When an old year ends and a new year begins we think about what we would like to see different in our lives. Many call the list we've composed many times "RESOLUTIONS". Some have wanted to move away from that word because they think resolutions are made to be broken - sometimes by Jan 7th! They call them GOALS instead. I don't think the name you call them makes a difference and whatever gets you into the changes you desire in your life - I say, "God bless it!" Whatever you call it!
As I was sitting in church yesterday I heard God on the inside of my spirit prompt me with an idea I had heard many times before. I was thinking how I start out resolute to obey that urging - but in a few days - I have forgotten all about it and I'm not doing the new thing anymore. I can't even remember I had committed to it. Then, I heard my Pastor say, "How many times have you heard God tell you to fast - but you didn't do it - for some reason or other?" At that moment I thought, "How busted am I!" Fasting regularly was the very thing I had heard God prompt me to do just a moment ago and a million times before (probably not an exaggeration) - but I have not been disobedient to Him in that.
Don't you love it when God underlines something for you like that - you know - for emphasis? It's also an indication that I am not willing to be obedient in that area and His underlining is His way of telling me what my Mom used to say at the end of every command I was reluctant to obey, "...And I mean it!" Mother’s retort was also followed by this icy glare that – even after all these years – I can still see. Thanks to Mother – I learned obedience in many areas because of that icy glare and the certain retribution I would encounter if I chose unwisely!
Then, still in the service - I heard the still, small voice again prompting me to keep it simple. Suddenly I had the idea to set a reminder on my phone for every day of the week I commit to fast. Wow! Could my Steve Jobsian Apple device help me be obedient to God? Ok, that's probably a bit over the top. But, what I knew in my heart God was saying to me was, "Use any means necessary!"
Then I realized as my Pastor went on preaching about obeying God - that I really only have one thing to do to be successful in every arena of my life in 2013 - OBEY GOD! Let that be the answer to every question. For some things it will require time on my knees to find what He is telling me to do - but seeking Him is always a win. This will make my life simpler and decisions much easier.
QUESTION: Should I have a burger or a salad?
ANSWER: Obey God!
I am being tongue in cheek and absolutely oversimplifying - but the concept is clear. You see, we will never know what blessings and opportunities God can see waiting for us on the other side of our obedience - in even the small things.
One small act of obedience can be a portal leading to a huge life change that just may be what we've been praying for. It may be the weapon we've been needing to stop the plan of the enemy cold in an area of our lives. It also may be the door that reveals the path God has first chosen to lead us to our destiny.
It's like in the original movie version of The Wizard of Oz adapted from the book by L. Frank Baum and presented by Metro Goldwyn-Mayer. (Please forgive me. I am a Judy Garland fan.) After they colorized it they introduced the change in an amazing way. Everything is still in black and white until the twister has taken the house and planted it in Oz. When Dorothy opens the door after that frightening ride - everything on the other side of that door is in the most magnificent colors! Maybe our obedience to Him in everything will do the same. Maybe - it will show us a world of wonders, miracles, blessings, opportunities to touch people and make a difference. Maybe it will lead us to personal accomplishments we have always felt God wanted for us - but we could never seem to get to them. Maybe we will begin to see and experience life like we never have before - but like He intended all along.
This is a challenge, I know. When we pick up obedience - we lay down something else. But, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Is that true or not?
Let's pray for each other that one thing - that we would obey God. You can certainly pray that for this Examiner! In the words of my Mother - "...And I mean it!"
Planetshakers recorded a worship called The Anthem. It has been speaking to my heart. I included it here. Take a moment right now to worship with them. May it speak to your heart as well and encourage us all to do one thing in 2013 - OBEY GOD! OBEY GOD! OBEY GOD!
God bless you all. May you find life with Him in the new year full of power and wonder. May you find all the color of this life that He intended for you - experiencing all the many facets of who He is. May you, not just know God - but OBEY GOD!