How far are you willing to go to follow the Lord? Would you be ready to get naked? In public? For three years? That’s what Isaiah did, simply because God told him to.
This sign in the picture here hangs in the master bathroom of our home. Getting naked in the privacy of my bathroom is no big deal, right? Getting naked in the privacy of one’s bathroom is even expected. But when I take my nakedness out into the wide-open spaces of the public world, people are going to have issues. Big issues.
So let me ask again? How far are you willing to go to follow the Lord? Many times in the Christian faith we talk about having “blind faith.” The kind of faith that moves and believes even without seeing. But I want to coin a new phrase in the faith. I call it “naked obedience.”
Isaiah 20:2-3 (2) The Lord told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot. (3) Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.
Talk about a memorable sermon illustration. I’m not sure many of us have this much faith. God told Isaiah to take off his clothes, and for three years Isaiah walked around naked and barefoot, preaching the Word of the Lord. Isaiah had “naked obedience.” He literally got naked for the Lord.
Now, I don’t think God is going to ask any of us to get naked and walk around for three years as an illustration. He clearly uses different methods and different means in every generation to get his message across. The question though is not about whether God WOULD ask us to get naked; the question is whether I have that kind of obedience in me or not?
I’d have to be quite sure that God was asking me to do something like that before I did it, but if I’m honest with myself, I often don’t obey the things He’s already revealed in His Word. I can know whether I have naked obedience by asking myself if I have “now obedience.” Am I obeying now what I already know I should be doing from His Word?
You see, we often look at stories like Isaiah and wonder if we’d have the faith to do that or not. Isaiah’s naked obedience didn’t start with getting naked. Isaiah’s naked obedience for those three years was born from his right now obedience of every day. God may not ask you to get naked, but if you follow Him long enough, He will ask you to do something that makes you just as uncomfortable. Will you have naked obedience on that day?
“Lord, help me to have a right now obedience today, so I’ll be ready to live out my naked obedience one day.”