Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 8, 2016
But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ Acts 5:29
When I first aspired to become a writer I was ecstatic, but not everyone shared my enthusiasm. In fact, some people close to me, including my mom, thought I had lost all sensibility. After all, I hadn’t written much of anything beside a few poems and short stories in high school and I didn’t have a journalism degree. All I had was a burning desire that defied reason. I truly felt called by God to put words on a page, so I started freelancing.
One day Mom urged me to get a full-time position. She was fearful and felt I needed to earn more money. I strongly believed that if I took her suggestion, I would be out of God’s will. Looking back, I realize that if I had done what Mom asked, I would have missed out on seeing God work in so many amazing ways and Mom would have missed it too. Some time ago, she told me, “My faith has grown as I have watched the Lord provide for you.”
My experience reminds me of what transpired between Ruth and Naomi in the book of Ruth. When Naomi’s husband and two sons died, she was left alone with her daughters in law, Ruth and Orpah. Naomi wanted to leave Moab where she had been living with her husband and her sons and daughters in law, back to Bethlehem and to her people. So she urged Orpah and Ruth to leave her and go back home because this is what she thought was best. But Ruth clung to Naomi, and she urged her not to tell her to go away. Ruth made a promise to Naomi when she said,
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me”’ (Ruth 1:16-17).
Ruth’s loyalty and deep conviction led her to go against her mother-in-law’s urging. This led Ruth to Bethlehem with Naomi, where she later met and married Boaz, and together they had a son. As a wonderful end to this tragic story, Naomi’s family—and hope—were restored. Can you imagine what Naomi would have missed out on if Ruth had taken her advice rather than following her conviction?
Is someone in your life urging you to do what they believe is best for you but it goes against what God is calling you to? Could it be that saying yes to them would mean saying no to blessing them later? Follow God even if it means the one urging you is displeased. You won’t do them any favors by pacifying or pleasing them at the expense of following God. In fact, you could rob them of blessings and the joy they will receive from watching God work in your life.
Isn’t it liberating to remember that our first priority is to follow the Lord while He takes care of the rest?
“Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’” (Matthew 8:19)
Prayer: “Lord, please help me to always remember to follow you first rather than pleasing men. Amen.”
Application: If you need to say no to someone and say yes to God, do it today.
Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 1:20; Luke 14:33; 1 Corinthians 3:19
Tweet this today: Why saying no can bless the one who opposes you. #WisdomHunters #FollowingRuth
Worship Video: 4 minutes – United: Say the Word
Check out Boyd’s newest devotional book Two Minutes in the Bible for Men. Order now!
If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision. Learn how to help.
© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
March 6, 2021
“Jesus expects you to be just as concerned with your neighbor’s well-being as your own.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 6, 2021 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important [...]
March 5, 2021
“We can choose to forgive the person who has hurt us and not allow the memory to control our lives. In that sense, we can forgive and forget.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 5, 2021 By Guest Writer: Sharon Jaynes As far as the east is from the west, so far [...]
March 4, 2021
“Hunger is not the problem; it is the object of our hunger that must be reexamined.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 4, 2021 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? Psalm 42:2 (NRSV) Most of the time, hunger is [...]