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!