Sunday, August 19, 2012

Casual Obedience

Casual Obedience

I am a follower of Jesus, but sometimes I turn my back to him. (This is the Biblical definition of evil). But always when I turn back to him (repent) he welcomes me back with open arms. He is always waiting  for me with a loving embrace! Mercy triumphs over judgement! Thank you Jesus!

There also always seems to be in my soul a battle for control. Lordship is allowing Jesus to speak to my heart, and doing my best to walk on the path he directs me to take. Sometimes when I do this I miss the mark, or it is a scary path, but it is my heart of obedience that pleases him more than the resulting circumstance.

This last week I have been noticing in my heart that at times I sense the Lord speaking to me, and I don't exactly turn my back to him, but I do delay my walk of obedience. I was taking a walk, and I decided to return to where I started, but rather than go straight back, I took a longer route. Now that was ok for the walk that I was on, but I realized that I do the same thing in my walk with God.

I don't generally run straight for the battle line like David did. I delay. I walk around the long way. I think about it. This really isn't the trust of Lordship like it ought to be. Yes, timing is important in our walk with God. There are times that God will speak to us and we need to wait on the timing to move forward. However, generally speaking I believe that when God speaks to our heart that we need to move to instant obedience. My obedience has been rather casual most of my life in God.

I remember a teaching I heard one time, that in terms of meeting peoples needs, or choosing to speak a word from the Lord to a stranger, TO NOT DECIDE TO, is TO DECIDE NOT TO. Sometimes our window for obedience is only a few seconds. We miss so much blessing by not trusting God with instant obedience.

I am faced with major life changing decisions. I have dragged my feet for over two years. How much have I missed? I found my heart in turmoil until I obeyed. God was asking me to do something outside my paradigm of vision for my life, and it took me that long to figure out that he indeed was asking me to lay down all my past career choices. I am on a new path now, but I find myself wanting to take a roundabout path so that I can "process" what he is doing. 

I am tired of going slow and taking the long way, and dragging my feet to the next destination. I want to get there now. So guess what, now I have to wait!
There are things I have no control over that I must wait for. So while I wait, I am doing my best to rid myself of all the baggage from the past that is holding me back. I have a lot of baggage. Some of it is hard to give up. But this path of obedience cannot continue to be casual. I need purposeful obedience. Forgetting what lies behind, I press on to the mark of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

I have a sense that God wants to do a new thing in all of us. We all see as "through a glass darkly" the will of God for our lives. We never know when some little decision will have a huge impact on our future. Sometimes we think we are facing a huge decision and it turns out not to be that big of a deal. Other times we make a quick instant decision with no idea that we are choosing something that is  going to affect our lives for years.

I am at a point where I know that I must leave the past behind. I get that. I also have a general sense about the future path, and yet...and yet. The natural path I see does not line up yet with the sense I have of where God has for me to go!
So all I can do is walk forward day by day. Doing my best to toss away the baggage of the past and find the path of the future. It is an exciting place.  I want so much to apprehend his promises for me. I don't see it clearly. Others seem to see it, why can't I?

Ok, here is what I do see about the Kingdom of God. Most of what we do in life is mundane, everyday stuff. Getting out of bed, preparing for the day, greeting our family, preparing meals, doing our work, praying, reading, resting, etc. But this IS all Kingdom stuff. If I think I am destined for some glorious ministry maybe I need to re-think my purpose. The most glorious ministry in the heart of God may be changing diapers and doing laundry!  Which brings me back to my point about obedience. He who is faithful in the little things is faithful also in much.  Which means if I want a glorious ministry, that I need to lay aside my casual obedience and grab hold of God instantly when he speaks. When I have to wait, then I must be faithful in what he wants me to do while I wait.

In any crowd there are only a few leaders.  There a 7 billion people on this earth.  Very few will lead. Most of us are just sheep. Yet the chief shepherd laid down his life for the sheep. Our calling is to be faithful sheep. The Lord of the universe is intimately acquainted with the depths of our hearts. Is this enough for you? Don't seek great things for yourself. God is able to lift you up. The humble he will not despise! The best leaders are changing diapers unseen by the crowds.  The greatest saints are cleaning up the daily messes of life everyday. Mother Theresa did not work alone. 

Our days on this planet are few in number, and only a few will attain the great things they dream of. Yet God's measure is not man's measure. His ways are not our ways. A daily walk with God in a relationship of humble instant obedience (not casual), is the greatest ministry anyone of us can have. Are we loving our neighbor as ourself? Who is our neighbor? Are we caring for our kids and family members like we should? Are we our brother's keeper? Are we living in peace with one another? Are we seeking great things for ourself? What does it mean to love one another? Are we doing for others what we want them to do for us? Are we storing up treasures in heaven, or seeking some kind of glory in this life? 

Take a few minutes to consider if your relationship with the King has been too casual. I know mine has been. By his grace and loving embrace, I will walk side by side with him every step of the way no matter where he goes. Remember the little things are the big things to him!

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