Obedience: Tests of Love & Faith

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“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.”   ~ Elisabeth Elliot

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV)

There are very deep roots in the lessons of love. Obedience is one of them. God asks us to surrender our plans and agendas to Him, so that He can conform our will to His. This means we must obediently lay down our desires, passions, hopes, and dreams. We must also lay down our loved ones at His feet. He may give them back to us just as they were, or He may alter them before returning them to us. He may adjust our hopes or change them all together. It takes faith and obedience to give them willingly over to the Father.

Fear often hinders our obedience and obscures our path to righteousness. Our Lord may ask us to do something for Him that requires a sincere and purposeful faith. Fear will often step in and try to strangle or hinder our attempt to act on God’s prompt and request. This is when we need to remember the warning in Proverbs 29:25: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Financial problems have interfered or caused many people to stumble or miss out on blessings. Worry about supporting a family can wear out any believer. However, the Holy Spirit may prompt you to donate money which would stretch your budget and lifestyle for a month or more. God may ask you to sell your house and work as a missionary in another country.

Why would God make such requests? Would He really ask you to go in an unknown and different direction? Sure, He tests our faith and obedience in many different ways. God loves when we totally rely on His provision. This means that we should rely on Him for all provisions, not just money.

There are many different trials we face in life, and through each of them, God provides for our every need. This includes strength, endurance, love, food, friends, and encouragement. He will carry us through storms. All difficulties we face with an obedient heart will turn out to be a blessing, eventually. You will see how puzzle pieces just suddenly fall into place. Your obedience—doing what He asks of you—allows Him to work wondrous things in your life. God tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice.

After you hear from God and willingly submit to His will, pray for guidance and confirmation. Be obedient to the small things in your present life and you will find your future greatly blessed, as He works out all of the details. He will surely tell you what next to do. You may not see very far into your future, but He will let you see enough of the path so you don’t stumble or fall.

Be edified by these words and take some time to meditate on OBEDIENCE.

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16 AB).

“I find the doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.” ~ George Macdonald