When I gave my heart to Christ, I was so full of joy and excited by what Jesus has done for me; I couldn’t wait to share my testimony. I looked forward eagerly to growing up “in the spirit” and “fulfilling my purpose” and all the other nice things pastor said will happen if I stay in faith and obedience.
Apparently, in my excitement, I did not realize that growing up is a process that requires constant and consistent obedience and that it doesn’t come on soft rose scented cushions.
However, as part of my growth process, (make no mistake, I’m still very much in it) I have come to the realization that more often than not, obeying God doesn’t necessarily feel good. In fact, sometimes, it’s just inconvenient and annoying! (I can just hear you gasp! aah!!)
When I was single, Celibacy was an easy decision. Then came the relationship, and then I HAD to daily make an active decision to obey God and stick to his plan. Was it easy? Absolutely not! Do I feel like jumping on my man’s bones whenever I see him? Yes! Because I’m attracted to him. But at the beginning of the relationship, we both made a conscious and deliberate decision to Obey God and wait until marriage. It sucks, but we stick to it because we HAVE to.
See, it’s not every time you do God’s word that you’re gonna like it. How do you think Abraham felt when he was leading Isaac up to be sacrificed? Think about it… We’re talking about Isaac here. The son of promise. The son Abraham had been waiting for. The one promised to be the heir and the beginning of a great nation. Now, here comes God, saying “Hey Abraham! You know what? I want a burnt offering today. And I don’t want a goat or a ram. I want Isaac. Take him up the hill and sacrifice him”. (See Genesis Chapter 22 for the full story)
How do you think Abraham felt? I bet he wasn’t ecstatic and jumping for joy. But he got up and did what God told him to do anyway.
What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ – Romans 4:3
Over time, I have learned that when you really believe God, you obey him. When you believe him, you do what he tells you to do and you trust him for a miracle just like Abraham did. You just do what he says and trust that his plans will somehow unravel even when you don’t understand what those plans are.
After making myself unnecessarily worried and almost sick trying to “figure out” God’s plans and what he’s gonna do, when he’s gonna do it, I have learnt that most times, the only thing you’re sure of, is the fact that you’re following God’s instruction. Sometimes, those instructions don’t even make sense to you, but once you get that familiar nudge in the spirit that says, Go Forward, you move in faith and you trust him to handle the rest.
Obeying God for me is like driving at night on a road without streetlights. You only have your head lamps to guide you. And your head lamps will light the path directly in front of you. You don’t have to see the whole street. God shows you what you need to see to take the next step forward. You’re just going to have to trust him and keep moving. He’s never going to let you fall. And if you stumble, his hand is always there to catch you and hold you steady.
Psalm 121: 3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
The decision to be a disciple of Christ is not an easy one. It might look cool on social media, it definitely looks good when you post pictures of you and your youth group having fun at that concert and wearing your “Jesus Rocks” Tee- shirt. J But it’s much more than that. It’s making a decision to be different from everyone else, even at the expense of losing friends. It’s making a decision to stand up for what is right, even when it’s not popular. It’s sometimes, putting your life and your career and sometimes relationships on the line and embracing the greatest relationship of all. The relationship you have with Jesus. You might never be famous. You might be misunderstood. You might never become a millionaire. But one thing is certain; Eternal life and great blessings will be yours.
Psalm 119: 1-7 (MSG)
1-8 you’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.