Having both spent time in early childhood development, my wife and I decided early on in our child’s life that we wouldn’t be counting to three before we disciplined him. Every kid that knew that had three strikes before timeout, took all three strikes. We decided that we preferred immediate obedience. Some people questioned us on it. Our response was always the same. If my child is running toward the road, and we see a car coming but he doesn’t, we need him to stop immediately instead of at three. It appeared we were being harsh, but in reality, we had his life in mind when we decided on how we wanted him to obey.
In the Garden of Eden, God put Adam and Eve. He gave them all kinds of freedoms and responsibilities. He gave them what they needed and took care of them much like a parent. He even gave them rules to follow. Like us, He expected immediate obedience without a three strike limit. That’s when Satan came to twist God’s Word and cause disobedience. He made them doubt God’s punishment for their disobedience, and they fell for it. God’s instructions were to protect them, but they decided to go against it. They paid the immediate and long term consequences because of it.
Psalm 119:114 says, “You’re my place of quiet retreat, and your wraparound presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your Word!” (TPT) David understood that God’s Word was meant to shield us from harm and the consequences of sin. He knew if he wrapped himself in it and hid it in his heart, it would protect him. The same is true for us. We may not understand why God won’t let us do whatever and live however we want, but we must obey trusting that he sees the car in the road that we can’t. Immediate and constant obedience is how we protect ourselves and receive the full blessings God has for us.