Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Required Course of Obedience

December 16, 2008 IOW

“You’ve stood where Joseph stood. Caught between what God says and what makes sense. You’ve done what he told you to do only to wonder if it was him speaking in the first place.” … “If you are asking what Joseph asked, let me urge you to do what Joseph did. Obey. That’s what he did. He obeyed. He obeyed when the angel called. He obeyed when Mary explained. He obeyed when God sent.” Max Lucado from “Joseph’s Prayer” in The Heart of Christmas.

When I read this quote from Max this week it made me think of another old saying that must have been picked up some where along life’s lane itself. The old saying of being caught between a rock and a hard place reflecting a kind of dead end street with no place to turn. However, that is not case with what Max is talking about here.

In the situation of Joseph, there was a way out. It was through the path of obedience. It’s so very true that we have all found ourselves standing exactly where Joseph stood, not the same geographic location but the same spot when it comes to listening to God and making a decision, “Do I obey or not.”

We hear what God is saying to us while at the same time in our minds we toy with what makes sense to us. Stepping out in faith we do what we are told to do only to be followed into the adventure with a touch of doubt on our tail. We wonder, “Was that really God speaking to me?” Soon we are giving in to our doubts and turning in the opposite direction of where our faith needs to be.

My co-worker today was tickled about this plaque she had custom-made. It said, “When in doubt, don’t.” That was her motto in life, for us as Christians it would be “When in doubt, obey God.” No, that isn’t right is it. We should obey God whether we are in doubt or not. Where our feelings tend to stop in fear our faith needs to take over.

The best place to start is in God’s word. It’s vital that we get to know God in order to recognize His voice more and more. One of Satan’s most affective attacks is the one where he disguises his voice to sound like God and that’s where true discernment comes in to play. I went through one of Satan’s “specially designed for you,” attacks that appeared to have all the ear-markings of God’s will and His voice. However, there were things about it that didn’t. What I was being told was against what God’s Word says so I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. I carried with me a piece of material that resembled a fleece like Gideon used. I echoed in my heart the words of Gideon from Judges 6:39, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more; Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece.” God granted Gideon one last test as He did me. From there God expected obedience. More tricks with the fleece would only mean postponing the task of the obedience God was expecting from me as He expected from Gideon, Joseph, and many others back then and still today.

It’s a dangerous zone to find ourselves in unprepared. We need to walk cautiously yet faithfully, obediently yet discerning that the one we are being obedient to is indeed God. It’s important we proceed with caution but indeed proceed into the obedience of what He has asked us to do. Its not always going to make sense but that’s where we put the Proverbs 3:5,6 scripture, “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” into the pocket of our heart and proceed anyway.

Obedience 101 is a required course in the obedience school we’ve all been sent to attend in order to learn how to trust and rely on God, doing His Will on a daily basis in ALL areas of our lives not just areas selected by us. It can’t be said enough, obedience isn’t a choice it’s a requirement. Joseph and Mary knew that and we need to know it as well. Therefore, if we are asking what Joseph asked, do what Joseph did. Obey!

Copyright 2008 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


MiPa said...

It is so important to be prepared. We can know that it is God's leading, when we know his word and can see the call and the word align. Only then can we step out in obedience with confidence. Bless you for sharing today.

Denise said...


Laurie Ann said...

I love getting to know Him through His Word and through prayer. The more I know Him, the more I hear Him and am quick to dismiss the Enemy's doubts. Oh, great post!!

micey said...

excellent post!

Esthermay said...

Obedience isn't always obvious and you are right - finding it is often in our understanding of HIS Word - not by HIS writing on a 'Post-It' or speaking audibly to us. Duh! We have to be IN the Word to see His direction and grasp and excercise obedience.
~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

jamie {rose cottage} said...

Good post, and great point about being prepared!