The Gift of Obedience

Tuesday , 23, December 2014 Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!  If you are like me, this time of year always brings a child-like excitement with it.  If you are like me, this time of year always comes too quickly and ends too soon.  And, if you are like me, this season can also bring up some childish, self-focused attitudes that reflect anything but obedience to the Lord.  So, if you are like me, this season is one of spiritual paradoxes as well as glory and awe…

As we were reading the Word and journaling a couple weeks ago, the Lord spoke about this in a special way to Tina.  I am referring to her notes today. (I shared my insights about Joseph’s faith and obedience in last week’s blog)  As we read about Joseph in Matthew’s Gospel, Tina was struck by his growing levels of obedience as the story unfolded.  First, he was obedient in taking Mary as his wife and Jesus as his own.  Second, Joseph was obedient in fleeing from Judea into Egypt with his wife and infant son, trusting the Lord enough to leave the familiar and go in what seemed like the wrong direction and into wrong land.  Finally, Joseph was obedient to return to his homeland—but only when the time was right and only to the (obscure) place the Lord directed him.  (Remember, Bethlehem, not Nazareth, was Joseph’s true home).

In each step, Joseph operated in an ever-higher level of obedience that eventually—but not instantly nor easily—led Joseph’s family to be exactly where they needed to be for Jesus to both fulfill prophecy and to save the world…

While, ironically, this season may at times lead us to places of childish selfishness and childlike behavior, the deeper call on us as Christ-followers is to ever-deeper levels of obedience.  The Lord is calling us to not be afraid, to trust His lead, to move into a new place of relationship with Him and to follow His directions, trusting that He is saving our lives and moving us forward at just the right time and to just the right destination…!  God knows the blessings and privileges and ministries we cannot see…  He knows the dangers that we cannot comprehend, and has given us a way of escape, if we’ll just listen.  He takes us to places we never dreamt of going, and He leads us home even to places that we did not at first think of as “home.”  The Lord really does know the plans He has for us, and they really are for our good, and not our destruction—to give us a future and a hope! (See Jeremiah 29:10-11)

So, Tina and I are praying for you the same prayer we are praying for ourselves—a new level of obedience that open doors, answer questions, creates new questions, challenge us to the core, and lead us into fields of harvest beyond anything we have yet imagined.  This is a God-sized Christmas gift waiting for all of us to open…!

May obedience, then, be the gift we receive this Christmas—the gift that opens the door to abundantly more than we can even ask or imagine…!  Merry Christmas!!!

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