………………..A Call to the Edge is a Call to Obedience!
Luke 11:28 “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
For me, every day is filled with choices of will I obey what God wants or will I do what I feel like or in the mood for without regard to God’s heart? Some choices are more serious than others. However, let’s not negate the little choices we make for there may be some underline issues of an unsurrendered heart. Choices like will I spend time with Jesus or will I get distracted by my to-do list? Choices like will I eat an apple or a cookie? Choices will I overlook a little frustration or will I choose to respond in anger? These for me are real examples and I wish I could tell you I have obeyed well in this last week. But to my own fault, I have not done as well as I would or could have done. I found myself in a heated argument with my husband which could have been handled differently, yes I had more of a craving for cookies than apples, and unfortunately, I have been distracted once or twice when I went to have my quiet time too. When I stop and reflect on my disobedience or my delayed obedience( which I have always told my sons delayed obedience is disobedience) I find myself confronted with discouragement that has left me feeling defeated. Am I the only one that has felt like that? Sometimes I struggle because honestly, I don’t always want to do what God wants. Sorry if that sounds too awful but I have to say I need a lot of help and a lot of Jesus in my life.
I will never forget one time when I was pregnant with my third son God challenged my heart in obedience. I stopped at the store and just thought I would pick out a few new outfits knowing my third son would be getting all the hand me downs. Hand me downs works great with the budget but I just wanted to get something new for my new little guy. I bought 4 -5 new things went home thinking how nice that will be for him. (Ok let’s keep it real my 3rd newborn son could have cared or less how I had him dressed!) It was then I got a call that one of the ladies that we had been working with and who was always volunteering as well needed some boy baby clothes. Well, of course, I had plenty of boy things so I went and picked a whole bag of clothes to pass along to her. No sooner did I get them downstairs, God clearly spoke to my heart and said,” Go get those new outfits you bought and put them in the bag.” Honestly, I tried really hard to ignore this thought going through my head and tried to push it out of my mind. The Lord disciplines those He loves so Hebrews 12:6, so God was not going to let me feel comfortable until I at least acknowledged His request. ”Ok God I will give her a 1 or 2 outfits, “so I put them in the bag thinking that would suffice. Yet God nudged me again and said, “Jodi I believe I said all and all does not mean just one or two!” So with reluctance, I went and got all that I bought and put in the bag. It wasn’t long until I rationalized myself out of giving them away and went and took them all out of the bag once again. I mean come on who will know and really is this that big of a deal?
Obedience is never an issue of compromise it is an issue of surrender!
If I can remember correctly I think I put those new clothes in and out the bag several times before I finally surrendered and gave them all like God originally asked for. That might not sound like a big deal of obedience but I have learned over many years in my relationship with Christ and serving with Urban Vision that if I cannot surrender little things I will never surrender the big things that really can make a difference in impacting a life a family or a community. We all struggle but God wants to give us victory! Yes, I struggled this past week with obedience issues, but as the Scripture tells us, “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Even after I confessed my sin I still was feeling kind of bad thinking how could I get so off track so quickly? A dear older African American mentor friend then asked me a question after I shared how I was feeling. She proceeded to ask, “touch your head and what do I feel?” I said nothing and she said that’s exactly right we don’t have our crowns yet to remind us we are all still works in progress. She has a point! God is faithful and He will complete the work he has for us to do in His time and His way. Ruth Bell Graham on her tombstone has this epitaph that says,” Construction complete thank you for your patience!” How true that is and my prayer is God until that day of completion let me obey with all my heart and without delay! Amen!
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.