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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simple Obedience

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land...”

Isaiah 1:19 NIV

As I begin a new year I am contemplating resolutions vs. real change. I believe God is impressed with real change rather than a resolve to hopefully change.

At the beginning of 2009 our minister spoke on simple obedience. That message has been tugging at my heart ever since last January. I began to search my heart regarding where I might be avoiding simple obedience.

For me it wasn’t that I was stubbornly refusing to be obedient; but that I was procrastinating doing something that God had put on my heart. Part of the procrastination came because I wasn’t sure what to do or how to accomplish the task.

Over the past years of my life my friends and family have said, Paula, you should write. I really could not see myself writing a book. Yet writing was something that I enjoyed and came quite naturally for me. I had already written miscellaneous Bible study teaching materials, and a small devotional book. In addition, I had filled many journals and I had written hundreds of notes on the backs of church bulletins, scraps of paper, note cards, shopping receipts, and sometimes a paper napkin had to suffice! Ideas would pop into my head and I just had to immediately write them down. I had no real purpose in doing what I did, I just did it!

God began to speak to me about all that I had written in addition to all of my scatterings of notes! One day out of the blue, my husband, Joe suggested that I use the internet to write. I still was not sure how to go about this and then I discovered blogs!

In my feeble attempt to write I was faced with many challenges. I started and I stopped. I had time and I didn’t have time. I had an office to write in and then I lost my office. I also wrestled with the thought that perhaps I really didn’t have anything to say. I was fearful. I wanted all of the answers before I could begin. The blog idea continued to poke at me. Again, through another sermon God showed me that if I had been given spiritual truth it was my responsibility to pass it on. Finally, God gave me some ideas regarding time management skills. He also impressed upon me that it was OK not to know all of the answers in order to begin the project, nor did I need to know what the end result would be. I then began the simple act of obedience as I began to write.

I do not have a clue as to what God will do with my obedience. Maybe someone will read my blog and be encouraged. Maybe someone else will read my words and decide to invite Jesus Christ into their life. Yet maybe another person will be mentored through the words I write. Perhaps no one will read it. Maybe others will read it and hate it! Regardless of the results, I am free of the outcome. I am however, bound to simple obedience, and God will determine the usefulness.


Is God asking something of you?

What is God asking?

Are you being simply obedient?

What is keeping you from being obedient?


Dear God,

Help me to be obedient regarding what it is that you are asking me to do. It may be as simple as passing on a bag of hand me downs to another family, making a meal for a friend, or writing a note of encouragement to another person. It may be stepping up in service at church, or giving more of my resources. Or it may be the matter of adjusting my schedule to make more time for you. It may be going on a mission trip, opening my home for Bible study, or writing a blog. It may be the task of being nicer to my spouse or forgiving an offender. No matter what it is that you are calling me to do, please help me to be simply obedient to your call!

In Your Son’s Name I pray. Amen.