By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – August 24, 2015) “If you love me, keep my commands”—John 14:15 (NIV).
Dubbed the fastest man on earth, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt set the world record for running the 100 meter dash in under 10 seconds with a time of 9.58 in the World Athletics Championship finals in 2009. No man has beaten his record since.
Ten seconds. What can we as Christians do in that brief time that leads to following Jesus in an obedient manner? In his book, “The 10 Second Rule: Following Jesus Made Simple,” author Clare DeGraaf writes, “Most of us would like to think of ourselves as followers of Jesus, but what does that really mean, practically?”
In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Says DeGraaf, “Simply put, it’s trusting Jesus enough to say ‘no’ to what we want, and ‘yes’ to what he wants. So, then why is it we don’t obey him more often than we do?”
During the course of his days, Graaf began to notice impressions to do something he was reasonably certain Jesus wanted him to do. “It could be an impression to either do something good for someone or a warning about a sin I was about to commit.”
He adds, “Almost simultaneously I would sense another voice whispering to me. ‘You don’t have time to do that—helping that person could get messy—you can’t afford to help them right now.’”
Graaf said if he listened to this other voice and thought about it too long “the moment for obedience would pass, often to my relief.” Graaf finally realized he was actually procrastinating and unintentionally teaching himself the habit of disobedience because he knew every decision to obey would cost him something—time, money, embarrassment, inconvenience or a momentary pleasure denied. By choosing not to obey Jesus, he could avoid all these things.
Then Graaf learned about the 10-second rule. “It is,” he says, “just doing the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do—and doing it immediately before you change your mind!”
After studying Jesus’ teachings, Graaf has become more spontaneous to simple obedience when opportunities are sent his way. Graaf says, “The Rule doesn’t require you to be absolutely certain an impression is from God before you obey. In fact, I’ve found that the need for certainty is often the enemy of obedience.”
Even if the impression isn’t from God, he adds, “You’ve still done something good for another person.”
Graff admits he sometimes fail to live by “The Rule.” However, it has become easier and has changed the way he responds to others’ needs. “It becomes a Christian habit,” he adds. “It gives you a place to begin again following Jesus, right now—today, if you’ve drifted spiritually. It’s following Jesus made simple and being led by Jesus, moment by moment, day by day—or even in the next 10 seconds.”
If you want to experience the natural consequences of a surrendered life, try the 10 second rule. It might just become a habit—a Godly one.
Photo captions: 1) World champion sprinter, Usain Bolt. 2) Carol Round.
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