Five years of obedience, impatience, struggle, joy, and prayer arrived in a semi-truck at my door on Friday. Had I known ahead of time what the road was going to be like, I’m not sure I would have taken it. Today, I’m glad I did.
This all began on a leaders’ retreat for our church. We were all encouraged to take our time of prayer and surrender ourselves to the will of God and press in on His will for us as a church. We spent the rest of the morning praying and seeking God’s will.
Off I went. I needed to be moving, so I went on a walk with my journal, Bible, and iPod. Yes, my iPod. My worship playlist was on as I tried to clear my head and focus on God’s will for our church. Then I prayed, “God give us the strength to be whole persons.” Then I wrote this thought in my journal. “The more I am in right relationship with Him, the greater my sense of personal wholeness, and the greater my sense of His love and grace for me.” Then I heard the song “Held,” by Natalie Grant, playing on my iPod, and I began to cry. The lyrics reminded me of the hope we have in Him to heal our brokenness. I asked God to give me a scripture. I heard Matthew 6:27 which says “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (TNIV) I began laughing and said, “God you are funny! That’s the first time You gave me a specific scripture to read and so appropriate.” I think He was trying to tell me something. What unfolded next has changed me profoundly.
In prayer, I asked God how we (the church) are supposed to do this (grow in ministry and expand the facility). God said very clearly, “Heal my people—write My book.” I instantly knew what He meant. I was to start with Him and tell my story of healing. Our dialogue continued in a way I had never experienced before.
Me: (Crying) “This is not what I expected.”
God: “And that surprises you?”
Me: (Laughing again, I heard David Crowder’s “No One Like You” on the iPod.) “Are You going to keep me focused?”
God: “You better believe it.”
Me: “Do I have to tell it all?”
Me: “Even the deepest and the darkest?
God: “Yes, others need to know it is okay. That is the only way they are going to heal.”
Me: (Crying again) “Why do you do this to me?”
God: “Because I love you.”
Me: “It is so easy to not trust what I am hearing.”
God: “Don’t let him (evil one) get in the way.”
Me: (Laughing and sarcastic) “This is supposed to be about bricks and mortar.”
God: “It’s never been about bricks and mortar.”
Me: “Okay, I know, I know. Oh, Lord, this is so big.”
God: “Yep! That’s why I am asking you.”
Me: (Laughing and crying) “I don’t know if I can take this.”
God: “You’ll be fine.”
I then heard the song “Healing Rain.”
Me: (Laughing) “You blow me away.”
Me: “I know we can do this.”
God: “Yes, we can.”
Finally, I heard the song “Worship You” and the lyrics, that say the best we can do is to worship Him. It was finally not about my kingdom but about His kingdom. This is not something I would have chosen to do on my own. I don’t like writing. It’s not my gifting. In fact, at first I didn’t want to do any of this. I had a lot of fear in the beginning. God, in His faithfulness, kept opening doors and putting people in my path to hold me up and show me His hand in this over and over. I wanted to fully trust Him and obey His call.
The word obedience isn’t alway seen as positive. Choosing obedience has brought me countless blessings. I encourage you to choose to follow His will for your life. You will never be the same.
How have you seen blessings in choosing obedience? Leave a comment and share with us.