It seems like a dirty word.
I don’t like others being in charge. I don’t like to follow through with other people’s original ideas. I struggle with wanting to always be the boss, be in control, and make the final call. That is why the call to follow and be obedient to God isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for me.
Don’t get me wrong- these leadership qualities (or being called a “Bossy Pants”) have been extremely helpful in my life. They give me the drive to work harder and longer to see a project wrap up perfectly. I find it easy to lead people on a team and don’t turn away from a chance to try something new (as long as I am the one who created the new thing.) I thrive in scenarios that require quick-thinking and an even faster responding.
But when God calls me to do things that aren’t my idea, to chase after him into the unknown, I hesitate.
I pause and consider. The leader in me throws a fit.
“I want to decide how to do this!”
“But what if I have a better idea of what to do next?”
“Aren’t I the one who should call the shots? It is MY life, afterall.”
And God gently corrects me each time. It is as if He places his hand on the small of my back, softly guiding my steps forward. Comforting, yet firm and focused.
This is such a time in my life.
My husband Joey and I just announced that we are moving to Texas. This revelation from God came to me as completely unexpected and wholly indisputable. God was calling us to move, period. Not only was this unexpected, but it required quick movement. We have had a little over a month to pack our things, transition from a ministry that we are deeply rooted in, and follow God across three states. Leaving my family, a church home we deeply love, and a city that I have been passionately involved in.
God was calling me to be obedient, and it was going to hurt my pride and bring to light my control issues.
I tried to push the timeline of the move, at least wait until Thanksgiving. My ministry would be in a better transition time, my son could easily transfer schools, and it would give me time to relish the relationships I had built over the past six years in ministry. But God had a different plan that involved us leaving sooner than I desired. And I was deeply sad – like, ugly-cry-face, can’t-speak, soul-crushing-sadness and anxiety. I couldn’t see how life could get any better doing anything other than what I was doing! I loved working in children’s ministry. I was making a difference in the lives of those I served along with, and I was on a spiritual growth spurt that was out of this world.
God came along, affirmed what had been happening in my life and whispered,
“What if I can give you more?”
“Do you trust me that I know what is best? If you really trust me, follow me, and see what I do in your life. Because I cannot work if you don’t give up everything to follow me…”
Not only spiritually follow God, but physically follow Him.
“Okay, God. You’re the boss. Lead the way and I will chase after you.”
Once I felt God’s presence in the midst of my breakdown, I could breathe. My life is not going to look anything like I ever imagined. That is equally exhilarating and terrifying. But my God is faithful and I am ready to see what he does in this tiny, obedient heart.
“However, as it is written:
‘What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived’
the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
Is God calling you to step out of your comfort zone to be obedient?
I think this confirms the fact that we truly are soul twins 🙂 So much of what you write I struggle with. And yet God will not let me stay there, always puts me in situations where I have to let him take the lead. Thankful for his goodness and kindness that leads me to follow Him
I completely relate, as I’m sure most Christians do, with the calling to complete obedience. My husband and I moved from Tennessee to Texas in the same manner that you guys moved to Texas. Stepping into the unknown, which is NOT my personality at all! haha.
A few months after we arrived we were hanging out with one of the ladies I had really connected with. She randomly got this horrible rash on her neck and it began spreading all over her face and down onto her chest. She was really discouraged one night when my husband and I were dropping her off at her house so I asked if we could pray for her….
THIS is where the story gets weird. As I was praying for her I felt the Holy Spirit was telling me to blow on her neck!!! WHAT?! haha. I brushed the thought off attributing it to my wild imagination. Well the next day we were having lunch with one of my mentors and I had mentioned to be praying for my friend. In the middle of our lunch, she stopped me and said, “I feel like God is telling you that you need to blow on her neck!”
SO. My friend came over that day and you can imagine the awkwardness of the conversation when I told her what I felt like God was asking me to do 🙂 God had actually spoken to her before hand about the same thing. As I prayed for her I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I might see the rash completely gone when I opened my eyes… God had asked me to do it. Right? However, when I finished praying and blowing… haha … I opened my eyes and it was still there.
After she left, I began to question God. “Why would you ask me to do something so random and weird if you aren’t going to show up and do what YOU told me to pray for??”
His response wrecked me. “Why didn’t you listen the first time? How many people are missing out on blessings because you question my voice. I want AUTOMATIC OBEDIENCE.”
I struggle with wanting to do things my way. I always question my husbands decisions thinking I might have a better way of doing things. Not only do I question my husband, but I question God.
His calling for automatic obedience that day was a gentle and humbling reminder of how in control He really is. Who am I to think that I know better for my own life than the one who has grafted each detail. Thanks for your post. I love that you are putting yourself out there in obedience to what He is asking you to do. I have no doubt it will be blessed.
Erica Willis says
What an incredible story! Thanks for sharing! I have had God show me things in such a peculiar way too, that cause me to be humbled as well as taught something. It’s a nice reminder that we aren’t are smart as we think we are! Obedience is about our own heart and no one else’s, but God often uses others in the process of reminding us.