(Photo by Circe Denyer)
Abraham, the father of our faith, obeyed God, which took him out of his place of comfort and the place called home. Literally…
“He went out, not knowing where he was going.” -Hebrews 11:8
Walking consistently under God’s clear but not-so-exciting marching orders is the hardest part of faith for me. I have a lot of the Word of God under my belt, soaking it in over a period of 33 years. It makes me feel that my faith is utterly unshakable.
But the testing ground is in the mundane task of doing not what I find comfortable or what I want to do but what I know Jesus has called me to do every day.
Yes, for me, that is the simple matter of adding physical disciplines to my spiritual disciplines. God is supposed to be my Lord. My stupid flesh is not supposed to reign supreme. I actually feel better in my body and more alert in my brain by obeying God’s admonitions. Fortunately, once the flesh has been consistently trained in a healthy life habit, there is tremendous cooperation — unlike the kind of struggle I’m currently experiencing.
I’ve been going my own way of comfort and ease for too long. My daily pep talk to myself today is this scripture:
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 3:14
God has a plan and obedience is the way to walk on the path to fulfilling that plan.
Do you have a favorite source for daily encouragement? I do. It’s the devotional book My Utmost For His Highest, which shares the wisdom of Oswald Chambers on the topic of giving your absolute all to God. I’m personally convinced that doing exactly that is the secret to a successful life. How much do I believe it? The license plates on my car read: “Ys 2 God,” which stands for “Say Yes to God.” This is what the Utmost devotional is all about.
This is what my personalized license plates look like.
So in today’s reading from Chambers’ book I find a reminder that what surrendering to God basically amounts to is living for the purpose He has for your life. If you choose your own way, if it’s not what God wanted, you’ve stepped off the path of his blessing and empowerment for daily living.
That’s the amazing payoff to doing life God’s way. You are not only free from the stupid things of the world that do nothing but weigh you down, you also have the grace of God, which is the will to do what He wants and the power to do it.
Since I’m surrendered to God, when I find myself with a strong desire for something that comes out of my heart but not as a result of focusing on the world, I know that God intends for me to have whatever I’m longing for. No, really! It’s pretty amazing to walk with an ear for God. Without fail, when I suddenly “long for” something or another, I soon thereafter find it on an incredible sale or it’s given to me as a gift.
This all means that my desires expressed on this website, I believe, are inspired by Almighty God. He’s spurring me on to rise up and take hold of that which He has already given to me (I just need to bring it into the physical world from the spiritual). At some point I’m going to do something very right or an amazing door will be opened to me. I don’t have to sweat it. Simply obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit (not the promptings of the flesh!), and it will happen.
That’s what happens when you say yes to God.