Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blessings come from Obedience

This morning, a quote in my devotional made me reflect on the last couple of years of my life.

Oswald Chambers said this morning.....

"Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him"

That is a heavy thought and one I wrestled with over 2 years ago.

I was studying Ezekiel.  If you have ever studied that book in the Bible you know that Ezekiel was a prophet that was sold out to God.  God called him to prophesy to a rebellious Israel and He called Ezekiel to do some pretty crazy things to try and get Israel to return to Him.

But toward then end of the study, we came to a chapter where God spoke to Ezekiel one morning and told him that in the evening he would lose the delight of his eyes (his wife). And he was not to cry over her or mourn her as an example to Israel, who was about to lose their beloved city, Jerusalem.

The scripture literally just took my breath away and for weeks I wrestled with God over it.

"God, how could you ask him to give up his wife for Israel....who was not even listening!!!  He had done everything you asked him to do....they just turned away. " It just seemed too much to ask.

And yet, Ezekiel accepts it, without argument and keeps on doing what God asks of him.  You see Ezekiel understood the quote above.

When I say "I wrestled with God", I really mean I wrestled with God!!!

You know, He is not afraid of our questions, emotions or doubts.  In fact, He WANTS us to bring those to Him.  And as I did, He revealed to me what the real issue was.....Pride.

At that point in my life, I was willing to follow God...but on my terms.  There were just some consequences I wasn't willing to take on.

that's pride.

Me thinking I know what is best over God.
Me thinking that I know what will bring Him most glory.
Me not being willing to give to Him, when He gave EVERYTHING for me.

Exactly what the quote above is talking about.

I read that quote this morning and smiled.  Because after wrestling with God and realizing my pride, I surrendered EVERYthing to Him.  I came to the point where I told God....

....I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring you more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to you.

and I meant it.

And guess what?

Right after that, my husband lost his job.  
And we went for a year without one.

I smiled this morning because now I am on the other side of that trial.   I can see that my obedience and trust through that tough time brought Him glory in many ways...too many to count and probably more that I don't even know about.  I can see and feel the amazing trust I developed in Him.  And I can see all the blessings that He poured out on me in the end..though my obedience.

This life is not about me.
It's about Him.

It's about bringing Him glory and drawing others to Him.
It's about allowing Him to mold me each day to be a little more like Him, so that other's see His character through my life.

Those things won't happen if I put conditions on my obedience to God.

So today, once again, I surrender my life to Him and say...

 I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring You more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to You.

I can do that because I KNOW He is faithful, sovereign, loving and just.  His ways are so much better than mine.

And I have seen first hand that blessings truly do come from obedience.


April's adventure said...

Gracious.... Hard/good Words!

Cathy said...

So true Sara, but so hard.

Rebecca Jo said...

I love that you 'wrestled' with God yourself & learned so much.

I just heard the quote yesterday about Pride being the center of any sin... I can see that.