Disobedience comes in two forms. In one form God tells us things notto do, and we disobey when we do them. For instance, God tells us not to lie, and then we lie to save ourselves from some discomfort. Or, God tells us not to covet our neighbors stuff, and we spend a great deal of effort trying to acquire things like our neighbor has. On the other hand, there are things that God tells us to do, and when we refuse to do them, we are in sin and (James 4:17). For instance, God tells you to be part of a faith community (Hebrews 10:24-25), but some prefer to avoid gathering with spiritual brothers and sisters. Most people I know don’t have a problem understanding the things they’re not supposed to do. And most of those people do a fair job of avoiding the big things that God has told us to avoid. It seems we are programmed to know that we shouldn’t entertain lust, or that we shouldn’t steal, or that we shouldn’t kill, or that we shouldn’t lie. But it seems harder, sometimes, for us to recognize the programming that tells us to do certain things.
One rather disturbing story in the Bible that illustrates how there are consequences for not doing what we are told to do is found in the character of Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1-8). King David calls for the Ark of the Covenant to be delivered from the House of Abinadab. Abinadab’s two sons, Uzzah and Ahio, set out to do just that. They place the Ark on a cart drawn by oxen. At some point, the Oxen stumble, and Uzzah stretches out his hand presumably to steady the Ark. This seems like a good deed, but God strikes Uzzah dead. The problem is that Uzzah had violated a couple of dos, and at least one don’t. God had prescribed for the Ark to be carried with poles by men (Exodus 25:12-14). Certain Levites – the sons of Kohath — were to be the ones who carried it (Numbers 4:15). It should not have been on a cart. And of course Uzzah should never have touched it (Numbers 4:15). Interestingly, if Uzzah and Ahio had done what God told them to do, they would not have been in a position to do what he had told them not to do – which was touch the Ark.
If you are busy doing what God tells you to do, like worshiping with other believers, engaging in study of his word, attending to prayer, stirring others up to good deeds, or loving God with everything, then you won’t be in a position to do those things he has told you not to do.