Usually when God speaks to me, it's in a gentle voice. Kind of like, as a child, when your parent would gently ask you to clean your room or do a chore. At that point, you have a choice to obey or disobey. If you disobey, the voice your parent uses becomes a little more harsh and loud. And consequences soon follow. Know what I'm talking about?
Over a year ago, God told us to "Go." He said it in a gentle voice and we obeyed. Now I like to say that I'm "walking in obedience" because of that one act of obedience. Recently, God has been teaching me that it's not a one time thing, but more like every day. Acting obediently and rightly every. single. day.
I expect my children to obey every day. At the sound of your alarm clock, you wake up. Obedience. You get yourself dressed and out the door for school on time. Obedience. You respect the rules of our home. Obedience.
Why was I thinking God was any different a parent than I am?
Of course, He's the perfect Father. I, of course, am no where near the perfect child. I have been quite disobedient for over a year now. I've been a spoiled baby, is exactly what I've been. God has been telling me gently that I need to start taking care of my body. Treating it with more respect, keeping it healthy, feeding it properly, building strength instead of fat. I've given in to "stress" and given myself permission to eat foods that comforted me instead of foods that healed me. As God gently reminds me time and time again of His plans for me that are good, I am convicted of what I am doing to myself that is not good.
Obedience. My choice.
I was convicted a few weeks ago during church. Our amazing church is growing in number so we are currently in the process of building a larger building. Larger buildings require funds to build them. We've been talking about sacrificing things to be able to give to our church. Joyfully giving out of obedience, sacrifice, and knowing God will provide a way for us. My 12 year old son had been saving up money for a larger computer monitor. After his birthday he had enough money to be able to buy one that we found a great deal on for $60! He had his money in his pocket one Sunday because we were going to pick up the monitor that Sunday after church was over. Before service started, he said, "Mom, I need to talk to you about something." He said he was feeling God asking him for that $60 to give to the church instead of buying something he didn't really need, but just wanted. He wasn't sure what God could do with his measly $60, but his wise response to God was that he would definitely obey because he knew God would provide for him in His perfect timing. Yes, my 12 year old responded with such joyful obedience & with full trust that God would provide for him. No closed fists....just an open palm raised to Heaven.
If my 12 year old can obey like that, then much older momma can stop acting like a spoiled brat and obey with her health, knowing that God will provide a way for her out of her joyful sacrifice. Is it even the same concept? YES! God doesn't just want me to obey with my finances. He wants me to obey with my talents, my choices, my health, my service...everything!! Everything I do should be a reflection of His glory in me.
So, tomorrow...during the week of Thanksgiving, God has called me to be obedient in the most difficult way possible (at least for me). I will be starting a lifestyle change of portion control and exercise...did I mention over Thanksgiving? God seems to make the challenges not quite so easy. But He always provides a way for us to obey. He sent an old friend to help me through this process with a program and some accountability.
His plans for me are GOOD! What He will reveal after my step of obedience is something I cannot wait to see. My loving Father has told me to keep my hands out of the cookie jar, and I choose obedience. I choose sacrifice and joy.