Why is it so hard to be obedient?
When I was a child, it was easier. I was either obedient or I would be in trouble. Something was either right or it was wrong. Not much gray area there. But as I got older, the temptations were stronger, the gray area between right and wrong got bigger and obedience was a little bit tougher. I wonder why…maybe it was because I wanted to fit in. Maybe it was because it was easier to go with the crowd than to take a stand. Whatever the reasons were, the decisions were not based on biblical standards and they led to guilt and regret. I do know this, when we choose to be obedient, we save ourselves from lots of heartache and set ourselves up to succeed and receive God’s blessings.
At the last workshop, I shared a personal story about learning to be obedient. My husband and I had bought a house that was priced at the very top of our budget. It was a foreclosure and the bank wouldn’t budge on the price. We bought the house, moved in and a month later Kevin lost his job. The house literally became a noose around our necks. We talked about selling the house, but pride kept us from doing so. We struggled for 4 ½ years to keep that house. When we listed the house last September, I thought we would have time to look at houses, pack everything up and move at a leisurely pace. Boy, did God have other plans! Our house sold in 3 days, we had 1 week to find a new place and had to be out before the holidays. We lost money on the house, but that was a small price to pay to be able to walk away.
As Paul Harvey says, Now, for the rest of the story…We moved out of our house (with a little lot of help from our friends), put stuff in storage and waited to close on our new, less expensive but oh-so-much-better house. We waited. Celebrated Thanksgiving. And waited. Celebrated Christmas with our version of a Charlie Brown tree. Waited some more. Rang in 2013. Waited 2 more weeks. Finally on January 15, 2 months after closing on our old house we were given the keys to our new home. The wait was finally over! We felt like we had finally reached the Promised Land. God had blessed our obedience.
The new house was only the beginning. Our desire as a family, has been to simplify: our lifestyle, our schedule, our clutter. Simplifying for us meant to be able to spend more time together as a family. It is hard to do, when Kevin works in Belle Chasse and our move added 25 more minutes to his commute. We have been praying for a while for a new job closer to home or at least this side of the Crescent City Connection. God has answered our prayers. Kevin has a new job that he recently started. Not only is this new job this side of the CCC, it is only 10 minutes from our driveway.
So many blessings and all because we chose to be obedient.
Is God asking you to do something that you don’t want to do? Don’t let pride or fear of failure hold you back. If God is asking, then you can trust that he will be faithful. He will provide. Give Him control. It will be worth it and will be better than you ever imagined!
Are you busy? Several years ago, I had an awakening to what it means to be busy. When my oldest, now 14, was a little guy, my husband owned his own delivery business. He delivered documents, groceries, prescriptions, t-shirts, flowers, King Cakes ... you name it. He delivered all over Baton Rouge and New Orleans and worked 12-15 hour days. I would run deliveries for him most days, packing our son into a carseat and driving all over town. I was nursing, running between naps, keeping up the house, keeping the books for our business, leading a small group for church, attending a small group at church, and building a house 30 minutes from where we lived. I felt rather busy. One night at our small group, a friend of mine who was newly married and very young, didn't work a job, was taking 9 hours in college, and her parents had given her a house for her and her husband to live in, said, "I almost didn't make it tonight. I'm just SO BUSY." I about came out of my skin! I gotta tell you, I was not exactly sympathetic with her that night - I didn't say anything to her, but I certainly wasn't going to console her for her "busy" schedule of taking 9 hours in school with NOTHING else on her plate and no mortgage.
For the next few days, I actually stewed over her innocent statement and then I came to a conclusion. We are ALL busy in our own ways! We can't compare our schedule to the schedule of others. God gives each of us what we can uniquely handle.
Just to let you know, this beautiful young lady now has 2 kids and has worked very hard to finish school, build their own nice house with almost no mortgage, and stays active in church leadership. She WAS busy, in her own unique way, at that time in her life. I'm sure she feels a different kind of busy now. :)
So, I ask you again, are you busy?
I'm positive we are all busy in our own ways. Different seasons of life bring different schedules and different types of busy. Marriage, kids, career, homemaker, caretaker, work relationships, church relationships, leadership - all require us to be "busy." And it can be difficult to find time to even sit down and enjoy a moment of silence. For this reason, we have got to be intentional and proactive with our relationship with Christ, especially during our busy seasons. It can be very obvious when that relationship gets pushed to the back burner because of our business. Our attitudes, our moods, our perspectives, our self-images...the way we work, the way we mother, the way we lead and manage...our emotions, our responses, our reactions. Everything can suffer if we allow our
Spiritual life to suffer.
Choose today whom you will serve.
Will you serve a calendar? An emotion? A sleepless nite? A lesson plan? A client? Your checkbook? Your family? Your job? None of these in and of themselves are bad things, but when you serve them and put them above your personal growth and relationship with Jesus, they become idols. Even good things can become idols when they are put above God. Build your life on a solid foundation, THE solid Foundation.
Maybe He's already your Foundation, but maybe that's all He's allowed to be. Maybe you’ve been focused on asking God for things and asking Him to be on your side. Maybe it's time to ask what can you do for Him and evaluate whether or not you are on His side. Ask Him again what He wants you to become for His glory, and spend time listening to His answer.
It’s a choice and you HAVE a choice – it’s up to you! We are all on a journey of becoming. It’s ok to reevaluate our lives and discern when we need to tweak some things. We have a choice to
stay where we are or continue growing.
Choose today whom you will serve.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Thanks for being a part of my journey!
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