Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Cost of Obedience

I am so proud of my husband!  He was between a rock and a hard place, and he chose THE ROCK -
"I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. 
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold."  Psalm 18:1-2

Our journey to Africa started about 13 months ago. And while we still do not know exactly what God wants us to do there, we do know that He wants us going to Uganda and Kenya with Visiting Orphans this month. 

About 7 or 8 months ago when God laid on my heart that we were to go in December, I laughed.  Out loud.  Then I told God that December would not work.  It was the worst possible time for us to go - for lots of reasons.  I told Him there was no way.  But He persisted. 

God had already laid Uganda and Kenya on our hearts, and I knew He wanted us to go there first.  After He told me we were to go in December, I sensed He wanted me to check the Visiting Orphans website for their upcoming trips.  Wouldn't you know it, they had a trip going to Uganda and Kenya in December!  I was really convinced then.

Now it was time to tell my husband.  Several weeks went by before I shared all of this with him.  He of course responded much like I had - there was NO WAY we could go in December.  I told him God and I had already had that conversation, and God wasn't changing His mind.  So, I removed myself from the equation and left it up to God and my husband to figure out. 

It didn't take long before God gave my husband clarity and peace about December - as crazy as it seemed.

Not wanting to deal with some of our obstacles though kept me from signing up with Visiting Orphans (VO) right away.  On several occasions, I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me to sign us up, but I procrastinated.  I even searched for other trips with other organizations at different times.  But, God kept bringing me back to the December trip with VO. 

When I finally decided to be obedient, the trip was FULL!!!  I was so distraught!  I knew I had been disobedient.  But I also knew we were supposed to be on that trip!  So, we put ourselves on the waiting list.  And we waited.

While I was on mission in Jamaica this past August, we did not have easy access to the internet.  I was only able to check my e-mail once while we were there.  But once was all I needed to receive the good news that Shawn & I had been added to the Uganda/Kenya December mission team!!!

Soon after that, we started facing lots of opposition.  So, one night we began praying VERY SPECIFICALLY about whether or not we should go to Africa in December.  The next morning, I read my daily devotion from Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God Day by Day" and it said........

"For am I now trying to win the favor of people or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ." Galatians 1:10

"At times, you will have to make a choice between pleasing God and pleasing those around you, for God's ways are not man's ways. As important as it is to strive for good relations with others, it is even more important to maintain a steadfast and obedient relationship with Christ. Disobeying God to keep peace with other people is never wise. Peace with God is always paramount.

Jesus warned that obeying Him might cause division in your relationships. If Paul's primary goal had been to please others, he would never have become an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul went completely against the wishes of his colleagues in order to obey Christ. At times, obedience to God sets family members at odds with each other. When you follow Jesus' lordship, your family may misunderstand or even oppose you, yet your obedience to God reflects your identity as His child. Jesus said that those who obey His will are His brothers and sisters. God does not intend to divide the home, but He places obedience before domestic harmony.

It is important to get alone in quietness with God so that you understand what pleases Him. The world's thinking will mislead you more easily when you are not clear about what God desires. It broke Peter's heart to know that the opinion of a servant girl had mattered more to him than the approval of his Lord! If the desire to appease others tempts you to compromise what you know God wants you to do, learn from Peter's mistake. Determine that you will please your Lord regardless of the opinions of others." 

OH. MY.  God could not have made it more clear!!!  There was our answer - spelled out for us in black and white!  Clear as day!  It left NO room for any more questions or doubts!  I nearly passed out!!!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  God had spoken - issue resolved!  It was time to move forward.

Right after that is when God also made it clear to me that He would take care of every financial need we had for this trip.  It wasn't going to cost us financially, but it was going to cost us in other ways. 

I talked a lot about this in my Garage Sale Chronicles posts so I won't go into detail again except to say that God had me read 2 Samuel 24:18-25.  These verses are about David building an altar to God on Araunah's threshing floor, and Araunah wanting to give David the animals for his sacrifice.  Here is David's response ..... But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

You see, if we offer something to God that cost us nothing, where is the sacrifice in that?!!!  Saying yes to God means we have to say no to something or someone else.  Obedience has a price tag.  It can be expensive.  But, no matter the cost, it is ALWAYS worth it!  God is ALWAYS worth it!

So why am I so proud of my husband, and what does it have to do with sacrifice?  Well, my husband has chosen to obey God and follow His call to go to Africa in December.  The cost - his job. 

God in all of His tender mercy even gave my husband a sign of reassurance yesterday in the midst of his difficult circumstances.

God is so amazing and faithful!!!  He continues to blow my mind!  He is so worthy of our praise and our surrender!

God is ushering us into a new adventure with Him.  Our first step is going to Uganda and Kenya in December.  Our second step is completely trusting Him to lead us from there.  Our hearts and our lives are wide open now! 

Please pray for us as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:25-34 

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

No comments:

Post a Comment