Suggested Reading: Matthew 21:28-32
In Matthew 21, Jesus told a parable about a man with two sons. The man told each of his sons to go and work in his vineyard but got a different response from each. The first son blatantly refused while the second said that he would go. When everything was said and done, however, the only son to go work in the vineyard was the son who initially refused.
We don't know why the one son promised he would go and didn't but we can guess because too often, we act that way ourselves. We have reasons for our disobedience. We get too busy. We get distracted. We "forget." We "want to" but we just can't get to it. But, however we rationalize it, much of the time we just don't want to obey and probably don't have any real intention of obeying. We feel a little bad, but we choose to believe our rationalization and push the guilt of disobedience away. While we know that the best thing would be to simply obey when God speaks, I think it would at least be a step in the right direction if we were like the son who initially refused to go, being honest with ourselves instead of pretending that we intend to obey the voice of God.
When we have to face our disobedient hearts, we will either accept them as they are or choose to course correct and obey. Revelation 3:15-16 indicates that God might even prefer open disobedience to an attitude of faux obedience. "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (NIV) God doesn't want followers who walk a fine line, trying to balance the appearance of obedience with our very real intention of ignoring the voice of God. God would rather that we be honest with ourselves and with God. Honest disobedience is something God can work with. Lying to both ourselves and to God just clouds the situation. God will take honest rebellion over self-deceit any day of the week.