Recently my son and his family came for a visit My oldest granddaughter is going to be four in December. She is a sweet girl. However, she pushes the boundaries, and at times during the visit she exhibited willful disobedience. On a couple of occasions she was told to do something and disobeyed.
That wasn't enough. After her father or her mother patiently explained why she must do it she still refused. Then they spelled out the consequences of her disobedience, giving her one last chance to do the right things. Still, knowing that there would be consequences that would be unpleasant, she was determined to have her own way.
I couldn't help thinking about our spiritual disobedience. God often asks us to do something and in willful disobedience we tell Him no. He patiently asks again, reinforcing the fact that we need to be obedient to Him. Finally, we are reminded of the consequences: obedience brings God's blessing while disobedience brings His discipline. Still, we choose to be disobedient.
It's not fun to watch my three year-old granddaughter willfully disobey her parents. It's painful for me to watch when she continues to disobey, knowing the outcome. And, I know it's painful for her parents to have to discipline her.
I don't think our Father enjoys it any more when we disobey. I think He is just as patient, encouraging us to do the right thing. But when we willfully disobey, He lovingly disciplines us.