The Lord has quite a sense of humor. Before I sat down to write this post, I got off the phone with someone who was offering me an opportunity at work that means more money, more influence, more responsibility, and more trusting in the Lord. After the initial shock, I felt immense peace. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to have peace right now. I don’t want to take this opportunity. I don’t want the 'more' it requires.
What do you do when you know the Lord is calling you to do something you just don’t want to do?
How do you obey when everything within you is screaming 'no' and wanting to run away?
Whenever I’m in this place, debating if my full, radical obedience to God is worth it, I always have to return to Truth.
God is Good.
His character is unchangeable and unshakeable. He’s not fickle or flighty, and he doesn’t change his mind. He doesn’t shape-shift, like a chameleon, from one situation to the next, but is a steady constant. It doesn’t matter if I’m having the best day in the history of humankind or the worst of my life, he is still God and he is always good.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)
God is Gracious.
Right now, as I’m sitting here at my computer contemplating my obedience, God isn’t judging me. He’s not angry with me or preparing how he’s going to punish me. In fact, I believe he’s on the edge of his seat, looking to see if I’m going to obey him. He feels the conflict in my heart and is giving me peace, reminding me that there’s no shame in him and that I am his. Whenever I return to him after disobedience or choose him despite my feelings, I believe he throws a big fat celebration, full of pride at his obedient daughter.
“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” Psalm 116:5 (NIV)
God is With Me.
We hear this all the time, but I would encourage you to really meditate on this truth. God is with you. No matter where you are right now, God is with you. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop, and he’s right here with me. He’ll be with me tomorrow in my meetings, next week when I’m stressing out again, and next month when I’m planning a vacation in my mind. There's nowhere you or I can go where he won't be, and what an incredible blessing that is!
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
Honestly, sometimes, I feel like I’m great at radical obedience, and other times my behavior leaves much to be desired. Being radically obedient isn’t easy. It’s stretching and uncomfortable and opens up the possibility of falling flat on our faces, but I’ve found that it’s worth it. Radical obedience -- giving my full ‘yes’ to the Lord -- always pays off in the end, no matter the discomfort I have to endure in the interim.
Whether you’re a pro or you need to work on your obedience game, I encourage you to take one small baby step of obedience today. It might mean texting the person who has been on your mind, cracking open your Bible after weeks or months of avoidance, or saving your money instead of hitting up Starbucks, or a thousand other things.
Let’s take a few moments today to seek the Lord and then have the courage to obey him knowing that he is good, gracious, and always with us!