I’ve never shared my faith in writing or so publicly until a few months ago. That is a story for another post. When I agreed to write my first post for @raysofsunshineinc, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about exactly. But a few days ago, I read Mrs. Ashley Pinner’s post on obedience and how “that silent obedience often has the loudest echo” and I knew then that this was the post I needed to write.
That day I received confirmation through the Lectio 365 app and the verse, “Blessed… are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:28
Obedience is a tricky thing. Sometimes we don’t want to be obedient… perhaps someone hurt us. Perhaps we feel we are too busy. Perhaps we feel what he is asking us is too hard or inconvenient. But I think we all know that God has a good and perfect will for our lives, that God is the God of forgiveness, and that God never fails.
At my church, we have been learning about the prophetic word. 1 Corinthians 14:1-3 says, “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging, and comfort.”
There have been several times over the past few months where God has asked me to do something or say something and obedience has always been the key to freedom.
The first was when I was reading the bible, and praying, I felt God say I needed to apologize to my dad. I balked a bit as I felt like I shouldn’t be the one apologizing. I should mention that my dad and I have been estranged for the past thirty years or so. He has been in my life, but we have had a great distance between us. This post is not the place to discuss what estranged us, but if there was ever going to be reconciliation, if we were ever going to recover what the locusts had stolen over the past thirty years, I had to make the first step in obedience. I called him and apologized for my anger, withdrawal, and frustration during that time and just like that, “Lisa, I forgive you.” I balled. I did. And there was such a sense of relief and freedom.
The second moment of obedience came when I very clearly heard a word for my father at church. The word was that he would write a book to help people, it would give him greater purpose, and that he has a gift of intercession and healing. That weekend I invited both my parents over for a feast at my house. When I invited my dad over to my house (which he has been many times) this time, it didn’t feel like a burden, but a gift. And there was joy where there were ashes, despair, and devastation. Rather than praying exactly what God had told me, I prayed a simple prayer of encouragement and comfort over him before he left… something like, “God I know you are not done with him. He has a greater purpose on this earth.” Confirmation came quickly…the next day, he called me and told me he wanted to write a book.
I wish I could say that the third moment of obedience was the easiest… I wish I could tell you that it was instantaneous. But I am human and sometimes I don’t always do as I am told.
In reality it took over a month for me to say yes. I had no idea what it would be. But I knew that it was clearly God’s will for me to use my gifts and talents to help him. But honestly, you and I know it was more than that. It was a second chance. It was a gift. And it was God renewing places in my life long devastated and mending generational wounds.
Many times God is asking you to do something hard and “declaring (his) will and powerfully communicating his heart” (Pete Greig, How to Hear God, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2022), p. 115 via Lectio 365 app.
After I shared my faith publicly (again a story for another post), I heard God say, “they will be drawn to you not because of your reputation but because of your obedience, your devotion, and your vulnerability.” I felt him say “don’t shy away from those that need you most. Don’t be afraid to share my Love and my Word with them.”
So I will leave you with this, if God is asking you (or has been asking you to do something), lean into it. Ask for wisdom. Ask for confirmation. Ask for discernment. Ask for the “peace that passes all understanding.” And be obedient to what God is asking you to do. We are to use God’s words for others to edify, encourage, and comfort. Be obedient to those “God nudges” because there is beauty and freedom in the next step.