Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Obedience

I told you before my family and I left on our last trip that the Lord seems to teach me one big lesson during our various trips. This past time was no exception. Maybe I should have taken a hint from what I posted the day I left: "My blessed task from day to day is humbly, gladly, to obey." That is what the Lord impressed on me the past two weeks -- obedience.

The past several years my prayer has been from Psalms 25: “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me.” How does one know which way to go? With so much to do, I don’t want my days to be filled with stuff, but rather that which God has ordained, that which will prepare me for His future work.

The past month, I’ve been feeling like I lost my vision. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing (yet had PLENTY of time fillers). I didn’t know what path I should walk, losing all focus. I continued to cry out to God, yet didn’t seem to get anywhere.

And the Lord showed me why.

Disobedience.

For what parent will lay further responsibility on a child that has disregarded their prior commands? What master will entrust much to a servant who hasn’t been faithful in the little things?

The Lord showed me areas in my life where I have not obeyed His commands. Therefore, He can’t give me any new directions when I am not following what He has already asked of me.

But it begins with taking that first step. Obeying. Look at Paul's praise of Philemon:

“Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you,
knowing that you will do even more than I say."
(Philemon 21)
Going that extra mile, doing more than is asked of us.

I think it can be summed up by a quote from G. C. Morgan:
Obedience is the one qualification for further vision.

Sometimes I look so intently toward the top of the mountain that I stumble over the steps leading to it. The journey begins just where I am, with blessings in every step.

The future lies before me now,
Vast and far it lies.
The months and years are plotted out,
Beneath a darkening sky.
I long to climb a mountainside,
To see what lies ahead.
Discover what tomorrow holds,
For all I've done and said.
Then I could see the end result,
Of the path I have to follow!
I'd gladly stand for truth today,
And have no regrets tomorrow!

The Master of this path of life,
Has formed the way with care;
He knows what trials wait for me,
For He has placed them there!
Although I long to run ahead,
To do, to work, to say--
He bids me trust in His guiding hand,
And wait on Him each day.

He sees beyond the dessert land,
The rain beyond the drought!
He sees much farther than I can,
My view is plagued with doubt.
He sees beyond the future's crest,
Right up to Heaven's gate!
His timing always is the best,
If I'd only learn to wait.
-Daniel Gardner

12 comments:

Melanie said...

Wow, Bethany! Thank you for those thoughts. It is just what I needed to hear.

Ryebread said...

Amen, Bethany!
I know that I disobey the Lord way too many times... Whether it be just neglect of Him and His word, or whether I don't talk to someone that He's told me to witness to, it is all related to obedience. I find the words of the prophet Samuel, addressed to Saul convicting many times: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 Is the Lord really pleased when we "sacrifice" something for him to appease our conscience as we continue in our disobedience? No! May the Lord help us to always heed His will and way!
-- -- -- -- --
Thank you for sharing! I pray that I could be more sensitive to the Lord's leading!

-Ryan
--
"He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me."

JoelWNelson said...

That's a powerful message. I think I am going through much the same right now. I really need direction for what to do after college, and while I have obeyed His commands on the big things, have I been faithful in the little things?

BrittLeigh said...

"He bids me trust in His guiding hand,
And wait on Him each day."

Thanks so much for this post, and that beautiful poem. I so "Amen" it! Very good thoughts, and I needed the reminder. God bless you!

Hannah Michelle said...

Great post, Bethany! Thanks for sharing those thoughts honestly. I needed to hear that reminder...I have the feeling that God is nodding just now...I know I have LOTS more to learn in the area of obedience!! One of the hardest things in the world to learn, but one of the most important.

Caleb said...

Good words, Bethany. Thanks so much for sharing. The poem was great too.

abby said...

Wow, that was an excellent post!!! Sometimes I feel discouraged when I loose track and then I will be reading in my Bible and find a verse that really helps me put my focus back on Him and the things I am supposed to do! This post was really good for me to read right now!!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

some spend a life time walking just beside where they should be

Anonymous said...

Oh, Bethany! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It so spoke to my heart. I've felt the same way of late, and God has continued to bring back 'just doing' those small things. Those things that aren't as fun, or enjoyable, those things that we'd rather have wait, but yet those things He'd rather not wait!

What a challenging verse, and quotes. If only we will obey, and wait! "He who is faithful in the little..." God tells us, will then be entrusted with the big!:) How often I want the big with out the little. Though we'd never reach that mountain top without all the little steps it takes. For, if we take those giant ones, we will soon slip, and fall along the way!

Keep taking the little steps, dear sister, and together with His help we will reach the mountain top some day!

Love ya,
~Abi~

Bethany said...

Hey ya'll! Thank you for your comments -- you make blogging so much fun! (Have I mentioned that before?! :)

And I enjoy reading your thoughts, though all the "thank you's" need to be directed heavenward. I didn't really write it - God did through me. I'm still working on this area too -- just because I blogged about it doesn't mean I have it mastered yet! (But don't you wish?!)

God bless you! May we continue to stir one another up to love and good works!

abi said...

Amen, amen, amen, Bethany! You are so good at deflecting praise back to Him! It is a challenge to me!

Thank you for allowing Jesus Christ to work in and through you, so that others are drawn closer to the Savior. May He bless you for blessing others!

Love ya,
~Abi

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Ps.19:14

Anonymous said...

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