Obedience. There are two ways to obey – willingly and unwillingly. We can either obey out of fear of consequences or we can respond with obedience out of love. The latter takes three important things: faith, courage and trust.
When we obey willingly, we do so in faith; faith in God to whose plans we submit. We must have faith that where God is taking us is so much better than where we are right now. Sometimes we take a leap of faith at our lowest points, having no other place to go. Often times we’ve run away from Him, unwilling to obey and fallen into those dark depths only to finally cry out to Him in faith as a last resort, exhausting all other possibilities. Obedience isn’t always a call we hear at our low points. Sometimes He calls us to obey by surrendering something we see as good. Perhaps it’s stepping down from a great position at work to something the world sees (and sometimes us) as less. Maybe it’s something you’re holding out hope for and you have to let go of that hope in obedience to His will. It takes great faith to hand something precious over to the Lord;it takes great faith to take a leap of faith and obey.
Willing obedience takes courage. When we can’t see God’s plans, but are called to follow His will, it can be scary, crushing, anguishing. So many “what ifs” flood our minds. Courage is hearing those thoughts and stepping out in faith anyway. Courage is finding the strength to do the scary thing, submit to the crushing, face the anguish.
When we willingly obey, we’re taking a step of faith with great courage, entrusting all we cannot see or comprehend into His mighty hands. We trust that He sees a greater future, a more beautiful transformation just waiting to take place. We trust that His ways are better than ours. We trust Him to move and shape us, fill us with His Spirit, transform us from the inside out into something completely wonderful.
Obedience is never about our circumstances, although God uses them all the time. Obedience is about us and God; our relationship with our Father. Obedience is the rendering of our hearts and souls to the One who knows us better than we could ever know ourselves, who loves us more than anyone could comprehend, who lovingly chases us right into His amazing arms. When we willingly obey, the results leave us awe-struck – even though it may not seem that way at moment we’re faced with obedience.
Are you at that crossroads? Is God asking you to obey something He’s called you to? Something He’s called you from? If you are, God knows what you’re feeling. He knows your apprehension, fear even heart ache… He knows. He knows and He wants to encourage you…
My dear child, have faith in Me. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you…” (Matthew 17:20) “For nothing will be impossible with [Me].” (Luke 1:37) I am beyond your comprehension. You cannot see what I see, fathom what I fathom. Dear child, you must “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) Draw close to Me. Read the Love Letter I have written to you, for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) “…Faith is confidence in what [you] hope for and assurance about what [you] do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
I know the depths of your soul, every beat of your frail human heart. I know all your “what if’s?” and apprehensions. I know your doubts and fears. But I tell you as a loving Father tenderly to His child, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for [I] the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) I would never call you do to something alone. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) You can do this. How do I know? Because I created you! “For [I] gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) It’s hard for you. I know dear one. I understand courage. I understand surrender. My Son died on a cross for you. I allowed that yielding to a will that broke My heart, even though I knew what laid ahead… just as I ask you to do now. But “we know that for those who love [Me] all things work together for good, for those who are called according to [My] purpose.” (Romans 8:28) I will never call you to something without having a greater plan, a more wonderful purpose for you. Repeat after Me… “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13 I am Him and I will strengthen you beyond any strength you have experienced or ever imagined.
Dear child, trust Me. Trust Me “with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge [Me], and [I] will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) I have a different path for you. How different? That remains to be seen. If I were to tell you beforehand, what use would there be for faith in Me? What I will tell you is this path will take you to a place of peace and contentment, beauty and wonder, love abounding. I don’t promise the journey will be easy, but trust Me to guide you to a better way with Me right at your side the whole time.
Take that step of obedience. Your life is in My hands, and there is no better place to be. “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:23) “Wait for [Me], the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for [Me]!” (Psalm 27:14) Now my child, let Me work in you and your life. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) I love you precious one.
Bless and be blessed…