The Gift of Obedience

It’s a comfortable life she has. Money to buy the things she wants. She travels a little. Has a great family. Oh. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. She loves God. She wants to obey him. She has taught her kids to trust God. To depend on him. To call on him in times of need. To thank him for his goodness.

God has gifted her with talents. A love for others. A listening ear. A gentle heart. He has showered her with friends. He has provided for her needs. He has rescued her from difficulties. He loves her.

God has asked certain things of her. She knows it. But she struggles to obey.

I wonder why it’s so hard for her to obey. To do the simple things he’s asking of her. I’m so quick to judge. I think of what he’s asking of me. It’s also simple things.  Trust. Obey. He’s not asking me to move a mountain. Or to move to Timbuktu. He’s asking me to stay put when I look to move. Why can’t I just trust him when he says I’m equipped where I am? Why is it so hard for me? Why do I seek what isn’t best for me?

I know he loves me regardless of what I do or don’t do. He wants more of me than I think I can give.  All or nothing.  Hot or cold. Don’t be lukewarm. 
It sounds so easy. 

When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical is anything but normal? -Mark Batterson

He’s right. You know. God doesn’t ask us to play it safe in our relationship with him. He asks us to go deeper into knowing him. To move out of our comfort zone and really live through him. He wants us to go all in.

When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus. -Corrie ten Boom

Why do I try to twist his request to suit my plans? Why do I stall for time hoping he’ll change his mind? Has God ever said that my ways are better than his?


But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice. Luke 11:28


What if Zacchaeus hadn’t climbed down from the tree when Jesus called him by name? Look at what he would have missed. This hated tax collector chose to come clean on the way he acquired his wealth and return money that wasn’t his. He chose to follow the unknown path of obeying Jesus.

What if the rich young man who was asked by Jesus to give up his wealth and comfortable life had actually obeyed? What other riches and blessings would he have received? He was already obeying the laws, but there was one thing he wasn’t doing. He willingly chose to keep his comfortable life instead of surrendering to Jesus. He’ll never know what he lost.

Comfort and complacency are never safe. It’s stagnant. It isn’t growth. I’m preaching to myself here.

Saying yes to God requires a sacrifice on my part. I will have to give up my comfort and convenience. But look what I gain. Perseverance. Growth. Peace. And so much more. I wonder what I’m giving up by choosing the path of comfort and convenience. Is it worth it? If I allow God to stretch me and use me as he wants, what can go wrong with that? Oh. I may be ridiculed. I may be mocked. I may be an outcast. I may be persecuted. But in the end I won’t lose.

Obedience. That’s the name of the game. Trust. That’s the art of letting go. Sounds so simple. So easy. But not knowing what’s ahead. What’s behind the door that’s ready to be opened. It can be daunting. It could be the best time of my life. And I’m willing to miss it just for the sake of playing it safe? Really? But I won’t know what’s on the other side of that door of obedience unless I walk through it.

Heavenly Assignment

I was asked to take on a new client at the last minute. I knew the two owners, my employers, would also be on the conference call. Me. The newbie. Them. The experienced owners. No pressure.

So I took the little bit of time I had and prepared. I’m not the spontaneous type. I’m methodical. Calculated. Deliberate. I don’t normally do things on the fly. Oh. I do if I have to. But the fly doesn’t seem to go well for me. But I couldn’t say that. I couldn’t let them see me sweat. I couldn’t let them hear the nervousness I was feeling.

So I did the one thing I do. I prayed. I asked God to empower me with boldness. I asked him to enable me to calmly present the information. I asked him to equip me for the work ahead.

Faith in God is liberating. Faith allows God to do the work that my fears and worries would only stifle. And God came through for me. Instead of fear and nervousness, I was calm and relaxed.

Oh. The majority of the work is still ahead. But it will get done. There may be more long work days ahead. But the task is for me and I am equipped.


You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said. Luke 1:45


Mary heard the Angel’s message. You are favored. You will conceive and bear a son. You will name him Jesus. He will be the Savior of the world. I’m sure she was alarmed. I’m sure she felt inadequate. But she also felt called and blessed among women.

Mary didn’t whine or complain about the assignment from God. She accepted the call to be the mother of the God child. The angel had told her about her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant at an old age. He said that the word of God will never fail. Nothing is impossible with God. And Mary accepted the news without a backward glance. She was all in. In spite of being outside her comfort zone. There was no turning back.

Mary spent some time with Elizabeth, who was also unusually pregnant at an advanced age.  Their boys would cause the world to stand up and take notice.   And Mary was thankful that God noticed her.

Oh. I haven’t been asked to bear the Son of God. But I have been noticed by God. He sees all that I do. He leads me in paths that I might not choose. But I choose to take the path where He leads. I’ve been asked to take on responsibilities that seem to stretch me every day. But I know God has led me there, so I’m all in. Regardless of the difficulty and unsettledness that others feel there, I am at peace.

Oh. The peace comes because I continue to ask God to help me. I continue to ask God to work in me and through me. And He does. Even though the angel hasn’t visited me, words of truth and comfort are whispered to me from the Lover of my Soul. So no matter the difficulty of the task I’ve been given, I am blessed because I believe the Lord will do what he says. Nothing is impossible with God.