We are all called to do things outside of what we want to do, and we have a choice of whether we do these things or not. If we do them, we are obedient. If we refuse to cooperate, well…. There are consequences for each of our actions. If we do what is asked of us, we reap the rewards. If we disobey, the consequences can be punitive. For the child who obeys his mom and picks up his toys, he may earn screen time or some other reward. The child who ignores what his mom asks of him and does what he wants may be grounded from screens or be limited on his playtime. He has a choice to make.
The same is true in the adult world. If you want a promotion, you may need to do as your boss instructs you to do. If you throw a temper tantrum at work and scream at coworkers, however, the promotion is likely off the table. You have a choice to obey or not to obey. The consequences can be either positive or negative based on what YOU choose to do.
When God asks us for our obedience, it’s very much the same. We always have a choice. We can step out in faith and pursue what He has asked us to do, or we can plant our feet and refuse to budge. When God asks us for obedience, it usually means doing things outside of our comfort zone. By doing what is asked of us and prompting our hearts to follow His call to action, we grow as Christians. If we remain planted, our faith stagnates. We remain the same. We willfully ignore the opportunity to grow our faith and our walk with Him comes to a halt. He will surely forgive us, even though we have denied Him.
Thinking back over the past year, there have been so many times I’ve been prompted to step outside of my comfort zone. I don’t like the limelight – or even being noticed, actually – so I prefer to remain behind the scenes in the tasks I have taken on. However, I have had to step out of my comfort zone to encourage others to join the small group I have been asked to lead, to talk to people I don’t know, and to introduce myself when the need arises. All of these things bring anxiety. I am safe if I remain in the shadows and no one knows my name. I can be anonymous and not worry about impacting others. BUT!!! God has other plans. He wants us to rely on Him. To lean on Him. To be near to Him. With Him. In Him.
This effort is a huge leap for me. I will write and keep it all to myself. Even now, there are many other blog entries started that I cannot publish. I am transparent and share more than is probably wise, but the posting is not what I WANT to do. It’s what I HAVE to do. If I allow my fear to rule my life and not publish anything and remain in shadows despite when I have to step into the light, I am denying God. That is something I am simply not prepared to do, so I take baby steps each day into obedience. It hurts. It sucks. It is more than I can take some days. But it is what I am being asked to do to show my faith. If one person is impacted as a result of the actions I take in obedience, it is all worth it.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (NIV)
1 Kings 2:3 Observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go. (NIV)
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)