Thursday, December 22, 2011

Obedience

Thou Shalt Obey.

It's one of the Ten Commandments, it is 10% of God's Laws given to His people.  Sometimes it easy to obey, but most of the time, it isn't.  At least it isn't for me.  I wrestle ALL the time with obedience.  I clearly hear God tell me something, and I almost immediately start calculating in my head what I think He means.

Six weeks ago, God told me to share His calling on me with someone at Church.  That was an easy command to obey.  I was excited, His instructions were so clear to me.  The person I was to share with would be excited, this was an EASY command to obey.  And it made me feel good... So I obeyed.

Shortly after that, He told me to share my news with others, send an email.  Send an email announcing your intentions to follow me, send it to everyone!  So I sat down and wrote an email, sharing what God had called me to do.  And then I clicked on the "To:" button and I started choosing friends and family, fellow Christians and once I thought I had selected everyone God would want me to send the email to, I hit "Send".  I heard not one word in response.  I was beginning to worry a little bit.

10 days ago, I heard an incredible sermon by our Youth Pastor, CJ Buchan, who encouraged everyone to "DIVE into the deep end!"  Trust that GOD will take care of you when you do what He has called you to do.  "Don't put on your swimmies and climb into the kiddie pool.  TRUST God and OBEY Him when He calls, and DIVE in where the water is scary!"

I sat in church that Sunday feeling pretty self righteous.  I thought I was doing what I had been called to do, and I completely missed an opportunity to be blessed by God Almighty as I sat in my seat and felt good about doing what God had called me to do.

3 Days ago, this past Sunday, I don't remember much of the sermon.  It's not because Pastor Duanne didn't preach a good sermon, I don't because he started with a reference back to CJ's visual of sitting in the kiddie pool with swimmies on.  In that moment I realized that I was sitting in the pool with my swimmies on, proud of the fact that I had gotten wet!  God reminded me over the next hour that He called me to send an email to EVERYONE.  He did not tell me to select who to send it to.  He told me to share it in every way I could.  Post it on my Quilting Blog (www.OutnumberedQuilter.com), post it on Facebook, I had not done any of those...

I had obeyed comfortably.  I had shared with those who I thought would be the people God would use.  I had not fully and unconditionally Obeyed.  I had partially Obeyed, but not completely.  Sunday after Church I prayed with a dear friend, Jimmy, and Monday I composed an email that I sent to everyone in my address book.  (Including a few people who I did not realize were in my email address book, and I got in a little hot water, but hey, I obeyed this time!)  I wrote a post for my Quilting Blog, and I posted it on Facebook.

And guess what happened... Within one day, all of the books for my first class were purchased, two of them by someone I don't even know, and one by a friend in my "photography world".  I received emails from people I don't know and from people I didn't expect to hear from.  I received word that I would be receiving a gift toward my tuition...  I received words of encouragement that are simply invaluable.  Most of them from people I don't even know personally.

Followers of my Quilting Blog and at least two people who "happened to see my blog for the first time" sent words of encouragement.  I have been moved to tears several times over the past 24 hours as I have watched God move in ways I would have never expected.

There is still a long way to go.  I am the type of person who doesn't like to be surprised.  God is teaching me things right now that I didn't expect to learn.  I am beginning to wonder which is going to be more instructive, The Masters Program or Life During the Masters Program!  Either way, I am beginning to realize that I am a passenger on this ride and I will gain much more from it if I stop trying to get into the Pilot's seat!

That's not going to be easy for me, but I'm going to start trying...

Until His Work in me is Complete...
Paul


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