Tag Archive | obedience

Awkward!

Do you find the word “awkward” as hilarious as I do?  Go ahead, say it about 5 times to yourself and see if it doesn’t make you laugh!  It’s a word I’m hearing frequently these days from my 9 year old.  I’m not sure where she picked it up, but she often refers to situations by saying, “well, that was awkward!”.  Sometimes it fits, sometimes I think she just likes to say it!

Let’s face it– none of us really like to find ourselves in awkward situations or conversations.  We’d much rather have things flow smoothly, be thought well of, exude poise and confidence.  (Side story that will probably not be funny to very many people, but I will include anyway because this is my blog and I want to put it in here.  🙂  When you become a Sales Director in Mary Kay, there is an oath you take.  Every time a group of new directors is recognized on stage at an event, they take the oath and all the current Sales Directors say it with them.  It’s very cool and meaningful, but there is one phrase that always makes me and my best friend, Jill, laugh: “I will conduct myself with dignity”.  She and I are not really known for dignity.  Our oath should probably read, “I will conduct myself with goofiness”.  Okay, you can go back to the regular post now, after shaking your head at me.)

This has been the biggest learning curve for me.  Most often my opportunities for obedience to the Lord these days come in the form of awkward situations.  Mark Batterson says, “Awkwardness is a catalyst for spiritual growth.  Are you willing to do things that feel awkward, like kneel at an altar or obey a crazy prompting of the Holy Spirit or have a tough conversation with a good friend?  If you are, then God can use you!”

My most recent example: I’ve been dealing with chronic sleep issues for about 3 1/2 years now.  On Monday, before my Bible study, I really felt like God was telling me to ask the women in my group to lay hands on me and pray for this issue.  I did not want to do it.  It felt like I was making a big deal out of it and I knew there were several in the group who are dealing with much more difficult circumstances.  I didn’t want to be overly dramatic, but I could not shake this impression, so I obeyed and asked my friends to pray right then and there.  Before I did, though, I also realized an emotional issue was surfacing again (maybe I’ll write about that in another post sometime) and God asked me to be vulnerable enough to share that as well.  Yikes!  What followed was the most beautiful prayer time I may have ever experienced.  I haven’t received the healing we asked for yet, but I felt incredibly loved and God was definitely there with us.

To wrap up, there was another benefit of my obedience.  Another friend who is dealing with some scary heart problems was able to admit how scared she was and we laid hands on her and prayed for her as well!  She wouldn’t have received that blessing (and honestly it was just as much a blessing for the rest of us praying for her) had I not awkwardly spoken up to ask first.  God is really good!

I hope you  made it to the end of this very long post!  I’ll leave you with the exhortation to “go out and be awkward today” and then come back to share your stories here!

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Expect Opposition and Miracles

Sounds contradictory a bit, opposition and miracles.  Our sermon this morning was AMAZING and God was definitely working on me through our pastor’s words.  We’re in the middle of a series called Paradox and today’s paradox was “If you try to keep your life, you’ll lose it.  But if you give your life to God, you’ll find it.”  The overall message was that obeying God’s agenda rather than my agenda brings the good life, the great life, the best life.

Several things stood out to me.  First, “obedience usually triggers opposition”.  If you’re not ready to face opposition for your obedience, then you’re not ready to be used by God.  Ouch.  The enemy is trying to stop whatever God is trying to start in your life.  And I should worry when I’m not experiencing opposition because that maybe means that I’m not that much of a threat to the enemy.  Double ouch.

There is an area in my life in which God is asking for my obedience.  I’m experiencing the opposition that comes from doubt and fear. I’ve not fully thrown my heart over the bar in this area. Instead, I’ve been protecting my heart a little bit.  Not in a healthy way, but in a defense-mechanism way.  God showed me that this morning.  I really need to be on the offensive in the battlefield of my mind and heart.  My fear of failure rears its ugly head far too often.  I was reminded that when fear of failure is front and center for me, it means that I am way too focused on myself.

Second, “when you obey God’s agenda, it often releases God’s miracles”.  The Scripture we were working from this morning was the story in Acts where the apostles were thrown into jail for preaching in Jesus’ name.  An angel of the Lord came and opened the door to the jail and told them to go back out and do the same thing for which they had just been arrested.  Opposition and miracles.

Third, “obedience to God’s agenda always requires faith”.  Often when God asks for our obedience, we want to see not just the next step or 2, but steps 4, 5, and 6 down the road.  Like, “give me the details.”  And God replies, “if you saw too far ahead to what I have planned, you couldn’t handle the details!  Just take me at my word.”  In Psalm 119:105 it says, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet.”  A lamp only illuminates the path immediately ahead, it’s not a floodlight.

Finally, “the more that you obey God, the more you begin to recognize his voice.”  I’ve found this to be so true.  I’m quicker to respond with obedience the longer I’ve walked with him.  I don’t want to miss out on God’s best for my life by delaying obedience (which is really disobedience).  I will choose faith over fear, no matter how often I have to consciously do so.  Even when opposition comes.  I will expect miracles.  Stay tuned!