There’s a song out that has the phrase “Nobody’s going tell me what to do.” This is a sentiment that many people have. It used to be that bosses could tell their employees what to do, but now, many employees use the above phrase.
There are many people so inclined when it comes to the word of God. They say, “nobody’s going to tell them what to do.” Yet, God does tell people what to do, but they are not forced to do what God tells them; they have a choice. When we look at God’s word we see both those that did what God said and those that had the idea that “nobody’s going to tell them what to do.” Naaman did both, 2 Kings 5.
At first, Naaman had the idea that what the man of God told him to do to be healed of leprosy wasn’t good enough, so he was not going to have some one tell him what to do that he did like. But then, having a change of heart and mind, he did what the man of God told him and he was healed. The Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ day had the idea that “nobody’s going to tell them what to do.” They rejected Jesus and His word again and again. The Jews of Paul’s day, some of them at least, had this same thought, causing Paul on one occasion to say that he would go to some one else and preach the word. Luke, the beloved physician, wrote, “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:45-47).
Beloved, let us be as James wrote. He wrote, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:21-25).
Beloved, listen to all of God's word, God will do thee good!
- Jimmie Z. Gribble; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org