"Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience" ~
Steven Furtick, Sun Stand Still
I've been thinking a lot about obedience lately. I looked the word "obey" up in the dictionary. It does say, "to comply with or follow commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of" someone other than yourself.
If you know me, you know that this is a challenge. When someone tells me I MUST do something, I often question "why?" before even thinking of doing it. Even worse, when someone tells me I CANNOT do something... Watch out! I remember being in college - there was a rule that we couldn't dance. Never in my life had I wanted to dance... until they told me I couldn't! We used to have dance parties in our rooms!!
The verb form of the word "obey," however, had an interesting definition.
"To be obedient: to agree to obey."
Hold the phone.
"To agree to obey." What would that take? That would take knowing the character of the one who is asking you to obey so well that you agree to obey whatever he or she instructs you to do--even if you don't understand it, like it, or feel comfortable with it.
Isn't that the way God is?
I have been a close follower of God for 16 years now. From the beginning, He's asked for my obedience. Over the years, as I have discovered more and more of His character, seen more and more of His trustworthiness, He expects me to agree to obey Him much more quickly and willingly.
Some people see that as a bad thing. I see it as something beautiful. First of all, there is no single human in this world that I would trust the instant he or she told me something. No one, not parent or sibling, or friend, no one is so vested in my future as my God. Don't get me wrong--He isn't vested in making me happy. Happiness, contentedness in my surroundings, is a choice I have to choose every single day. God IS, however, vested in seeing His work done here on earth. And when I've obeyed Him in what He's asked me to do? I have never, ever, EVER regretted it.
It's because of God's past performance that I become a better obey-er. It's because He's proven Himself so thoroughly to me and in my life and the lives around me that I know that once He speaks, I'd better act. I fail at this. I failed this week at something... something I thought was trivial, but now that I look back at it I think, "Wow... what a missed opportunity. I could have impacted someone's life. My OWN life would be different now." That's why I'm blogging. It's my public way of reminding myself of how VITAL it is to not only listen to God whispering (OK, sometimes shouting!) to my spirit... but also to OBEY what it is He is telling me to do.
God's been talking to me. He's asking me if I will agree to obey Him.
My answer is YES.
I truly, truly hope that He is able to use me for His work here. I know I have a willing heart.
I hope you do, too.