Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘obedience’

The Last Minute

The past two weeks have been interesting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said in exasperation, “Lord, I don’t know what to do?!” We’ve all heard the saying “When in doubt, don’t.” So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I prayed, listened, waited, prayed, listened and waited some more. I even brought up to the Lord yesterday that I know He didn’t want us testing Him but to please be patient with me and guide me in the right direction. He wants us to pray His Word so I brought up the Gideon incident where Gideon prayed to the Lord for a sign and was granted his request via a fleece and some dew. All I wanted and needed was a “fleece” moment. I feel like I have spent most of my life screwing up and I needed His guidance.

I was rambling and praying most of the day yesterday and it was something like, “Ok, Lord, if this doesn’t happen, then I’ll assume You meant for me to do this other thing. Just open a door somewhere and I’ll go through it. I need a push in the right direction!”

Allowing my husband to make a tough call yesterday, I was attemping to be submissive (which can be hard for me if I don’t agree with the calling) and I was trying to show God that I could be. He knows my heart and my willingness.

Remember Abraham and Isaac? God told Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, and sacrifice him on the altar. The Bible doesn’t imbelish on what went through Abraham’s mind but just the fact that he moved and attempted to go through what the Lord asked of him, showed he had a willing heart. He was obedient. Right at the last minute, God stopped him and provided a sacrifice that day. And because Abraham was willing and showed obedience, even to the point of sacrificing his only son, God blessed him. Remember, too, that Abraham was no spring chicken. He was over 100 at this point and even in that time, was beyond the age of giving offspring. So, potentially, he could have killed his only son and not been able to have another. Of course, God being who He is, could have risen Isaac back from the dead. Abraham had to have great faith for this act of obedience, don’t you think?

Yesterday, it came down to that for me. I was willing to sacrifice something I loved and be obedient. Yet, God came through for me at the last minute. I thanked Him profusely and humbly. I think sometimes He does that, just to see if we are willing and how obedient our hearts truly are.

There are many times in my life that He has come through at the last minute for me. Are they tests? Could be. Are they pruning of something that needs to be gone? Could be. Only God knows why. We just need to be obedient.

Obedience Equals Joy

Last week, in our latest Bible study, our facilitator encouraged us to journal through the study.    I don’t know about you, but personally, I do not like to hand-write.  If you are a lefty like me, you’ll understand.  It doesn’t matter what pen I pick up, I end up with a smeared page and ink on my hand.  The OCD part of me comes out and it drives me nuts.

Beth Moore’s Bible Study “Stepping Up” is a step-by-step journey to draw us closer to God.   Each day is an exciting experience and I don’t want to forget any of it (but I don’t want to write it down, either).  Can you see my dilemma? So, I’ve decided to journal it here.  Maybe some of you can relate to my experiences. 

One challenge we were given was to lie facedown and surrender to God every morning.  Yes, facedown on the floor.  At first, I thought, “How can this make a difference?  I pray every morning anyway.”  It only takes a few seconds and it feels awkward at first, but after last week, I relish it.  Yes, I’ve gotten up with animal fur stuck to my forehead or in cases when I’ve forgotten about my dog in the room, she’s licking my ear feverishly and whining wondering why I am on the ground like that. 

The body in an posture of surrender seems to make the heart and mind follow.  Let me share  something that happened last week with you.

We were getting low on groceries and didn’t have any money.  I knew at some point that I would be getting either some money or a stub for my property management fees, depending on whether they took out my dues or not for the month.  I prayed silently about that check and how much we needed groceries for the week.  I went to the mailbox Thursday and there was an envelope for me with what appeared to be a check in it.  My heart skipped a beat.  I prayed on the way to the house, “Lord, I’m scared to open it.”  But I thought whether it was $25 or $75, I would be grateful and get what we could with it.  Hands shaking, I opened the envelope and it was for $179.  I squealed and shouted, “Thank you, Lord!”  I was grinning from ear to ear! 

My daughter and I headed to WalMart and I got a front parking space (which is not easy!).  I whispered, “Thank you, Lord.”  I cashed my check and we got groceries.  I had a buggy full.  I got what we needed and checked out at $99.  I was estactic!  I grabbed $20 and put it in my pocket. I promised the Lord I was going to tithe off that money and I couldn’t wait until Sunday to be able to put it in the offering.  This time, I was not ashamed of how much I was putting in.  I realized that pride had been holding me back on tithing off my meager income.  Wondering what people were thinking about my small amount and if I was “tipping” God kept me in a state of pride and I didn’t want to be “embarrassed” so I didn’t tithe.  God was trying to show me the error of my ways.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I told Lindsay that if we obey God and keep his commands, He will bless us.  She, being in the attitudinal-teenage-phase, snapped back at me, “Mom, just because you do something wrong, doesn’t mean God is going to leave you.”  I patiently explained that I didn’t say that God was going to leave me.  I just said that He would not bless us if we continue to blatantly disobey Him.  We had allowed sin in our lives and God had given me the courage to speak up this week and to stop it.  His Word says that if we knowingly allow sin to continue and do not say anything, we are  equally guilty.  He will not honor or bless that.

Sunday morning rolled around and as usual, I had a mental battle as I got out of bed.  Having some physical ramifications from a surgery over ten years ago, I struggled with pain around 5am and tossed and turned until time to get up.  As I got ready for church, the mental temptations kept barraging me.  “You don’t need to be there. There are plenty of people singing this morning.”  “You need a break.”  “You can just go to church, skip Sunday School.”  On and on it went.  Even the high about tithing had gone away.  But I know, as most of you should, especially if you are a female, you cannot go by how you feel.  You should just do what you know is right and leave the consequences to God. 

After I woke up fully, had my shower and got my coffee, all the while steadily praying about what to wear (another female issue), I got it together and headed out the door. 

As I sang Sunday morning, I felt free.  Free to worship and praise the Lord without the burden of guilt, self-loathing and sin hanging on me.  I sang for Him. 

Obedience equals joy…!

Let’s Have a Pity Party!

Have you ever had a pity party?  I have.  Tonight was one of those nights.  I had all I could take and shortly after a visit to a funeral home, I let it go.  I do not drink, but let me tell you it totally crossed my mind.  First, I got angry.  I started spewing and shouting in the van.  I was not angry at God, but I was angry at my life and I just vented.  I went home and as soon as I could get alone, I sat down and just bawled.  I guess my husband heard me because he came in and wanted to know what I was doing.  “Well, I’m sitting on the floor beside the bed crying….what does it look like I’m doing??”  I thought.  But I was also praying so I just sputtered, “Praying.”  He sat down on the bed and tried to console me.  It’s hard for me to cry and get it out when he does that.  I know he loves me but being a woman is hard and sometimes we just need to let go.  Right?

I ran scenarios through my mind knowing that some of the problems that we are going through could be consequences of our actions. So, I went to the Lord to make sure my sins were confessed and my heart and motives were pure and clean. Then I thought that maybe it was a test of faith or maybe I was not being submissive in my heart.  Of course, during this time, the enemy is loving it and is just whispering all sorts of lies and “what if’s” in my head as well. 

Realistically, if I wrote a contract, then it wouldn’t close for another 30-45 days. I needed money NOW.  Well, close enough to “now.”  I have a cell phone bill, an air conditioning repair bill plus our satellite/phone/internet bill due and a house payment by the end of the month.  We could swing the house payment, barely, but that was all.  What about gas for the van and groceries? And at this point, I had commited to tithing again—not that we had the money but I was determined to trust and obey God and leave the results to Him.  He promised that we would receive blessings overflowing that we would not have room to receive them. 

I spent an entire day practically working on my resume and cover letter for admin jobs.  If you’ve ever had to complete that chore, you know what a chore it really is.  First you have to pick a format, then how you convey yourself on your resume and cover letter make all the difference in the world.  You certainly don’t want to come off cheesy-sounding or try to be a comedian nor do you want to at any point want to sound negative.  Now how hard is it to sound positive when you really don’t want the job but you need it??  Is that an oxy-moron or what?

Finally polished to a decent shine, I sent them off to several ads placed on Craig’s List and waited for the games to begin. I don’t totally trust Craig’s List because I have gotten some wild responses from there but I figured I’d give it a chance once again.

I had floor duty at the office Saturday morning.  In the short span of 4 hours, I received a walk-in, cash buyer and a couple who wanted to purchase a $300k condo and need to list their home.  God is amazing and He comes through in perfect time, if we obey Him.  He doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it.  He gives us what we need, exactly when we need it. 

If we trust and obey as we should, then God will bless.

Be blessed in the Lord!

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