“I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own devices.
13 “If my people would only listen to me,
if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
There’s blessing in the obeying.
When I call to my little girls 30 minutes before we’re supposed to leave the house to go to church, I usually say something like, “Make sure you get your colors and paper, water and a snack ready. And please get your coat and shoes on.”
Often, they’re like their mama. We wait until it’s go-time to actually prepare to go. And so we miss the blessing of obeying. Because instead of having the time to prepare, they’re now rushing and don’t have time to gather the blessings I had prepared in advance for them.
You might be thinking, “What do you mean you prepared those things in advance for them? You didn’t get the colors and snack and water for them.” No. I didn’t. But I prepared in advance to give them time to do the thing I asked. Which was actually for their own good and for the good of the kids near them at church who they could share with.
God has prepared good works for you and me to do in advance. God prepared them in advance for US to actually DO. Not to dream about or think about or pray about. To DO. (Ephesians 2:10). I think we sometimes think that prayer is all we need to do. It’s only the beginning. As Pastor Brandon Cormier says, “Pray is the first thing we do, but it’s not the only thing we do.”
The Lord has made it very clear He wants me to do a couple things lately, since my husband died. Big things that require spiritual strength and endurance and likely a fight in prayer. But can I be brutally honest? Sometimes when we are sucker-punched and grieving and dealing with trauma, we feel entitled to a pass on obedience.
But look at Jesus. Sucker-punched and grieving and dealing with the trauma of the entire history of mankind, to the point that He sweat blood… and He did not use it as an excuse not to obey. He is our Big Brother and the One we follow after.
I’ve been waiting until it’s go-time, apparently. But now that it’s clearly here, I’m finally going to step out and try to obey.
Here’s one of the things He asked me to do. In a quiet whisper, over many months or maybe years, He’s been asking me to blog daily. Daily. Um, I don’t do daily. I suffer from the lovely brain of a creative who doesn’t follow routines very well, though I try desperately anyways. Every day of mine looks different. Except I do floss and brush daily, and I do pray daily. And I drink water. Other than that… I’m not sure. Consistency is not my strength. And if you caught the last newsletter, then you know that if consistency is key, well, shoot. Then I lost my keys!
But truthfully, obedience is key. It really does unlock blessings we didn’t even know to ask for.
Tonight I repented for not listening to the Lord, on many accounts. I mean I listened. I heard Him ask me. But I ignored Him, and I didn’t obey. (Parents, this is hitting close to home right now. I know.) So, I’m starting now. And I may start imperfectly. And I may miss a few days here and there. But He said daily, and I don’t know for how long, but until He changes course, then daily is my aim.
Lord, have mercy and help me and give me courage and keys of obedience.
Sometimes, I wonder… and I won’t try to prove this with any scripture or theology, but I just wonder. What if some of the delays in our lives are because God won’t do the next thing until WE do the last thing He already asked us to do. What if we spend years begging God to move when He already showed us the path toward forward movement and we just don’t’ want to walk down it? Ohhhhh! Conviction, anyone?
It’s time to repent. It’s time to confess. Lord, You asked me to do that one thing and I still haven’t done it. I haven’t followed through. Whether motivated by fear or lack of trust, God, you alone have called me to do this and I cast aside every excuse I’ve been making up.
Friends, revival is coming, and it’s already here. The Lord promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and He is doing it. It’s not something we’re praying for in the future. It’s right now already.
A year ago, evangelist Ben Hughes said, “The harvest isn’t just ripe, it’s desperate.” People in the grocery store, in the dressing rooms, in the doctor’s office waiting rooms, they’re desperate to know what hope really is about. They’re desperate to hear Good News. Psst. You have it. You carry it in you. It’s time to share it. It’s go-time. There may have been blessing in obeying right away, but we don’t throw in the towel just because we delayed. No! We pick up where we are and press on toward the prize. If we’re living and breathing, it’s not too late. But there will be a day when time is up. So let’s do the thing. Do the works. Blessing is just on the other side, for you and for those around you.
What if some of the lost are desperately waiting for us just to turn the key of obedience?
What if those little steps of faith are what the floodgates of revival are hinged on?
Have mercy on us, Oh God. For we have delayed far too long. Forgive us. Give us the courage to do the works you prepared in advance for us to do. In Jesus’s name, amen
What’s one thing God’s asked you to do that maybe you haven’t done yet?
Apologize? Forgive? Go dancing? Come clean? Paint? Talk to your neighbor? Call that person? Pray for that stranger?
Tell me in a comment below. It can be one word. It can be in code. But write it out loud, because that’s one way to make a small step toward obeying. Some written accountability to do the thing.