Obedience To Blessings
Obedience. Our culture has put such a negative connotation around it when in reality, it is such a beautiful thing in the context of Christ. Think about this; Christ was constantly obedient to our Heavenly Father (John 14:31). And in that, we received grace, forgiveness, peace, mercy, salvation, and love. The list could go on and on. Well, aren’t we called to live a life exemplified by Christ? Wouldn’t that include being obedient to our Heavenly Father? The answer, to both of these questions: yes.
When we are obedient to Christ we become abundantly blessed! Let me tell you a personal story. I was in a relationship for just shy of three years and we were two and a half months out from our wedding when God hit me with a bag of bricks: this relationship was not God-honoring in many ways. Did we go to church on Sundays? Yes. Did we serve alongside each other in youth ministry? Yes. We even prayed together before every meal. That should say a lot right? No! What we didn’t do was put Christ first in our personal lives, or our relationship. We constantly looked for one another for fulfillment. Our wants, our needs, and even our heart’s deepest desires. Manipulation was a two-way street in our relationship.
Now back to the bag of bricks – in late July of 2017, I was a counselor for our youth students at summer camp. Just like every year, I asked God, “What are we going to work on this week?” I was there for the students, but God is always leading and pruning us. So, I asked and I received.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
“Marriage and ministry,” said the Lord. Sounds great to me! What twenty-something in full-time ministry, who also happens to be engaged, wouldn’t like that answer? Well, what I thought He meant, was not what He had in store.
I continued that week focused on my students and asked God for more insight on that answer. I thought I was going to learn how to have a fruitful marriage and a fruitful ministry. But, my heart ached all week. He kept challenging me in my relationship. He kept asking me if this guy was really “the one.” We came back from camp and I told my fiance that we needed to take a week and seek the Lord as to whether or not we were going to get married.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
During that week, I spent every free moment I had reading the Word and talking to God. I never felt closer to our Father and I never had more assurance of His guidance in my life. He continued to show me my worth and identity found in Him and Him alone.
There was nothing more I wanted then to feel that love and reassurance. But nothing I “felt” from my fiance exemplified the love Christ has for me. Am I saying love is a feeling? Definitely not. Love is sacrifice and commitment. But, I do believe that our feelings are indicators of our reality and can lead us to Truth. The peace and confidence God gave me in this storm were amazing and He asked me to make one of the hardest decisions of my life: I had to break up with my fiance.
Two and a half months before we were scheduled to say our vows, God lead me to the harsh reality of what our relationship was. Dresses were bought, tuxes were rented, invitations had arrived. And here I was, wrestling with God about what others were going to say and how I was going to hurt my fiance. Throughout this time, I kept leaning on the verse Psalm 61:2, “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
So, I did it. I broke up with him. But, as hard as it was, God was so present through it all! Through my obedience to the Holy Spirit, I have been abundantly blessed. I started a young adult’s lifegroup (instead of the young couples one we had planned) and gained some of my closest and most valuable, God-honoring friends. We genuinely do life together and challenge each other to trust the Lord with all our heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). My dream to start A Home for Teenage Mothers would not have come to fruition if I had gotten married. The opportunity I had to meet Alycia and start Tirzah Place would never have come to pass.
I am so grateful for our God! Jesus’ circumstances were a lot more stressful than mine, yet He obeyed God. If He can do it, I can too and so can you. I do not know what God is asking you to do, or like in my case, not to do. But, whatever it is; it is worth it. You are worth it. God is worth it. Take that leap of faith and be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is telling you. You never know what desires of your heart He will fulfill because you were willing too (Psalm 37:4).
How is God calling you to obedience in your life?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Courtney has a heart for others to know their true worth and find freedom from their past. Courtney has years of experience working with teenagers in both a one on one and group setting.