If you’re like me this isn’t your favorite word. It has a negative connotation back to childhood of rules and punishments for when those rules were broken. However, lately God has been speaking to me a lot about obedience – and it has nothing to do with rules and punishment, but His best for my life.
It’s a word that has been grabbing me for a few months every time I see it. “Just be obedient, and I’ll take care of it,” God has whispered to me over and over. And I’m trying.
The focus of yesterday’s message was that the Incarnation (God coming to earth as a man in Jesus Christ) is a foundational truth in Christianity. (You can listen to the message here.) Christ came to earth and walked through life as a man so that He could bear our sins as a final atoning sacrifice. He left us an example of how to live out our days here, and because He’s been tempted in every way He can empathize with our struggles (Hebrews 4:15).
On the surface, this message seems to have little to do with obedience, however our Scripture for the day was Philippians 2:5-11:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The messages’ focus may have been on Jesus’ Incarnation, but obedience is riddled throughout it –
First, we are told that we should have the same mindset as Christ. Second, we see that His obedience meant leaving Heaven and coming to earth, following after God and obeying His laws here, and then being obedient in carrying the weight of our sins on the cross.
That’s some pretty radical ways to be obedient! But look at the glory that obedience brought to God the Father and to Jesus.
I am called to that kind of obedience. I am called to listen to and follow His leading wherever that may lead me, and whatever that looks like. And to be completely honest with you right now, that’s a pretty scary thing to do. I wrote a post a while back that explains some of it, but now there’s more that God is calling my family to, and it is going to require some radical obedience from both me and Chris.
But God’s timing is always perfect.
A few months back I signed up for an Online Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries on Lysa TerKeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God“. (I believe there’s still time to join the study here.) I was very excited to start this study, which started August 4, but for some reason I kept putting off buying the book.
In fact, I really avoided doing much with the study at all last week when it started. Though I did read a bit of the first chapter which is available for free online. It was a tough week for me – for many reasons. But one of the biggest had to do with feeling overwhelmed with what Chris is being led to do – and my willingness to be obedient in this area and help him with it.
The last several months we’ve both been feeling a very strong leading into full-time ministry. But we have no idea how to go about making this type of career change, especially Chris, whose background is in accounting. We’ve been praying about it and seeking to reach out through our blogs. However, we’re being called to more.
We have no idea quite what that’s going to look like at this point in time. Or even what we want it to look like. But Chris has felt a very strong pulling to go back to school in pursuit of a Master’s in Ministry. And last Friday, he made the decision to step out in obedience and apply.
Yesterday (Sunday), he was feeling a bit uncertain, as we both are. Where is the time and money going to come from? How are we going to manage one more task on our plate? Can we do this?
I felt it was time that I needed to buy “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God“, because I knew we needed to say yes, and we were struggling. What a blessing this timing was!
Encouragement of the joy found in saying yes to God, and the fruit that is bore through it was highlighted in the first chapter. The second chapter was a wonderful guide to help through the process of questioning and doubts that come with walking in obedience to the Spirit. I read it aloud to Chris, and in it we found the confirmation we’d been needing. It gave us the courage for us to follow in obedience as we face our fears together.
The real question in our obedience comes down to this: Do we trust Him?
Obedience isn’t about doing what we are told. It’s about trusting that the One doing the telling has our best interests in mind. <<–click to tweet
I do. And we are going to see what happens when the Hatcher family says Yes to God!
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