Thursday, August 03, 2006

Obedience…the Next Step


I’m finding more and more…or to more accurately state it…I’m more aware that God’s desire and aim is to keep me in close step with His commands and for me to be quick to obey His instructions.

For such a long time now…my life had been very busy. So busy in fact…that I found it a challenge to keep up with the everyday ordinary things like balancing my checkbook, or reconciling my mom’s financial records or even cleaning out the closet.

During this recent change of pace in my life…I felt that God was impressing upon me that I need to start taking care of these projects that I’ve let slip or set by the wayside. But now is the time to execute and get these things done.

Actually…a few weeks ago…is when I should have started on it. But did I? No…true to form…I found what I felt were valid excuses to delay even further. After all…I’m really tired these days. I’m learning a new job…having to get up earlier. Not to mention…this hot whether drains my energy. And by golly with the time and energy I do have…I love to write for my blog…and its faith related kind of stuff. Wouldn’t God want me working on that?

Well…no…not exactly. Does God want me to write about Himself and faith? Can God use my experiences to help others also going through trying times? Absolutely! But more than that…God desires that I obey Him. Obey Him in the big things and the little things. Obey Him in the things that seems important and of consequence…and that which I don’t quite understand the importance of.

So what’s so important about cleaning out a closet…or balancing a checkbook? I mean really…compare that to writing about God and testifying about what God is doing in my life. Actually all sorts of things make it important…but none more so than the fact that God made it clear to me what steps I needed to take next.

God knows my future…I don’t. When I look towards the future…I figure I can do this ordinary stuff any old time. I think…what’s a few papers lying around…or a closet that’s a little too full?

But God…omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God knows what my future holds. I think I have all the time in the world…but God knows what my tomorrow holds. He knows what He has planned for me and what will be required of me.

If I’m weighed down…by the clutter of my life I will not be able to fully invest or dedicate myself to that which God has in store for me. If for no other reason than I feel distracted or stressed that all this “stuff” I shoulda, coulda, woulda…gotten done if I had listened to God at the time.

God is a God of order…and He has a purpose and plan for my life. Disorder and clutter are not reflective of God in my life. Instead it’s reflective of me not being obedient to God…and not using the common sense that he has given me.

What I’m also finding out…is that God will not give me the next step, until I obey the directions and steps He had given me before. Instead…He will be quite and wait…until I obey. God will also exert some inner pressure from the Holy Spirit…pressing me until act in accordance with God’s instructions.

When I delay in completing a task…it seems to grow before my very eyes...and almost becomes insurmountable. Which in turn…makes me want to delay even more.

But that delay…costs me peace. Peace with myself and my life…as I look around me and only see many things I need to accomplish. It causes confusion…because I feel overwhelmed and hardly know where to start. I feel overwhelmed and incapable of accomplishing even the simplest task…I don’t know where to begin.

But even more important than that…my delay and failure to obey God’s instructions impacts my relationship with God. He doesn’t love me any less…nor does He desert me. But my disobedience…puts up a block in our relationship. I’m willing to listen and obey only the things I want to do or feel are important…but not obey the things I feel are of less consequence.

Perhaps it’s similar to a parent telling their child to take care of this task…or a boss giving an employee an assignment. Until that task or assignment is completed…the focus and the aim stays on that point.

So this past week…I started working on those tasks that God has made clear He wants me to complete. As I complete them…I feel relief and the pressure starting to let up. When I walk into my home...instead of seeing pile of papers that need to be attended to…I see have a clear counter. Or I have just one month worth of receipts to be reconciled at the end of the billing cycle…not two or three or more.

I also have a clear conscience…so when I want to sit down and write for my blog…or even watch a movie…I can do so guilt free. Not sit there half divided…thinking about all that I need to get done.

When I kneel down to pray…my conscience is not pricked by the fact I have still not completed that which God wants me to do next. Instead my focus can be on God. Praising Him for who He is and His character. Thanking Him for His hand of protection on me and blessings in my life. I can freely bring my prayers and petitions to God…without having to avoid or dance around an area in which I know I have been disobedient to God’s instruction.

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