That word tends to strike fear and discomfort in the hearts of both children and adults alike. It is one carrying the message of ‘Something you HAVE to do, but you aren’t going to like it.’
It’s something we demand of our children, wanting them to learn to respond to authority. But often, it’s something we ignore doing ourselves.
How often do we remind our children, ‘obedience brings blessing’?
And how often do we shirk our own duty to obey the commands of our Father and the leading of the Holy Spirit?
I have a friend who followed an ask that God gave her right away, and many were abundantly blessed by it. Walking into a store, she saw a fellow mom with her kiddos and felt the Lord leading her to invite this mom to our local MOPS group. She stepped out of her comfort zone and moved to follow this call. Of course, she had no idea whether this invitation would fall on deaf ears, or if it would be followed up on. But she moved forward in obedience anyways.
The next morning (which was the day of our next MOPS meeting), this mom called my friend wanting to know if she could come to MOPS! She bravely showed up and since then has been a bright spot in our group, a lovely addition to our tribe of moms. And, she and my friend have built a beautiful friendship as well. The fruit of obedience was seen so quickly in this story that it has inspired many to think about how we respond to a call from God.
And sometimes the blessing is that apparent and quick, but other times it’s not. Sometimes God asks something of us that we do not understand one bit and can’t see how it could possibly be used by Him.
This is a place that God has been working on me this past year. I’ve had a couple of situations where God has asked me to confess and seek forgiveness for things I’ve done, things I did not want to talk about again.
And He’s so gentle, and so loving. He asks kindly, lays it on my heart softly, and then slowly increases the asking. And oh how I wish I would just jump and answer immediately.
But in my flesh, I fight it hard. And I use every excuse in the book to shy away. I convince myself that if I don’t know why then I can’t do it.
But here’s the truth: it’s not my job to know why He asks me to do the things He does. It never was my job. He knows and that’s enough.
If I follow Him and do what He asks, He might show me the outcome. Or, on the other side of the coin, I may not know this side of heaven why He’s asked this thing of me. But in the end, the situation never left His hands. It was never outside of His control.
It’s hard to choose to do the tough thing. The heartbreaking thing. The uncommon thing. The ‘against the grain’ thing.
But if it’s something God asks, shouldn’t we trust that He will do good with it?
Here’s my challenge to you: just do it. Do the tough thing that He’s laying on your heart. Don’t fret, swear, or forget. Do it. And trust that God has it all in hand.