Obedience. That’s a word that’s often difficult to swallow. My Bible reading has the children of Israel “wandering” in the wilderness. But in reality they weren’t wandering … they were following and obeying (sometimes). When the cloud moved away from the Tent of Tabernacle, they moved. At night it was a pillar of fire, and a cloud by day. I’m told sometimes they moved after a day, a week, or even a year. Can you imagine that type of pressure? They never knew when it would be time to pack and go again.
I can just imagine getting my little nest made, ready to do my nails and someone yells, “Time to move!” But my nails are wet! Of course that is silly. But how many times does God ask us to do something and we come up with excuses?
“No, I can’t talk to that person about eternity. They might think I’m weird. No, I can’t invite that person to church. They would never come.” And the excuses go on. But when you forget arguing with God and just obey, it feels so good. Sure, they may never come. But you did what you were asked. You obeyed.
I like to know what’s going on months ahead of time … at least weeks. But I’ve also learned when God changes things around for the day, to accept His calendar “interruptions” as the best for me.
The narrator of my Bible app tells the story when “Through the Word” was getting started. It was a very slim response at the beginning, but he felt like God was still leading him in that direction. He tells the story of driving on Interstate 10 going through New Orleans when he was crying and praying asking God what was going on.
A digital sign caught his attention. It said Five minute oil change … $19.99. Then it had the Bible reference II Corinthians 9:6-11 scroll by. Years earlier when he felt God first calling him into ministry he underlined those verses in his Bible and there they were being flashed on a digital screen. God had not forgotten him.
Don’t you wish God communicated with digital signs or a phone message more often? It would be my luck the phone would say, “Unknown Caller.” And I hate to let a call go to voicemail, and sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me. But it’s usually the car warranty I don’t need to extend, or the Discover Card that I don’t have.
It would be awesome to see “God” show up on my screen! Thankfully, God sent the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts and he speaks to us often in a quiet, still voice. I’m glad He doesn’t need a cell phone.
The passage in II Corinthians is about planting seeds. Have you seen how small some seeds can be? Yet they grow into beautiful trees, plants, bushes or flowers. We never know what the seeds of kindness or obedience will do for someone’s heart.
Someone gave me an Aldi cart the other day. I offered to give her the quarter, but she said, “No, it was given to me. I’m just passing it along.” I know that’s a small thing, but I love giving away my Aldi cart when I’m finished. And here it was done for me. I smiled all the way into the store.
I was given some beautiful flowers to take home after church the other day. The peonies were shades of purples and pinks and still make me smile everytime I look at them. Then when I walked in the house yesterday, I could smell the fresh flowers. What a blessing.
I have a friend in a situation of unfairness in his job. He’s not even making minimum wage, but yet feels that’s where God wants him to be. He realizes he’s got options — oh my especially in this climate of giving hiring bonuses! But is that being obedient? We talked about the II Corinithians passage and generously sewing seeds for a generous harvest. He knows God takes care of his needs. So he told me he would forget about the unfairness and realize he was placed exactly where he needed to be — until God moves him. Verse 8 reads, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
“Plenty to share.” I love that phrase. With our direct line to our Heavenly Father we can share prayers with each other. I love it when God places someone on my heart and I get to pray for them. Then I find out later, they were really going through something difficult and needed those prayers. What a blessing to be obedient.”
Let’s continue to trust and obey!