Oh dear friends,
This chapter brought me to tears……
“Your decision to obey God affects other people, and when you decide to disobey God, that also affects others. You may disobey God and choose to stay in the wilderness, but please keep in mind that if you now have or ever have children, your decision will keep them in the wilderness with you. Obedience is a far reaching thing; it closes the gates of hell and opens the windows of heaven.”
My mother was born into violence, insanity and all manner of abuse and neglect. It is a miracle she is alive. She has three siblings who at this current moment, are in various stages of mental struggles because of this. This should have been her lot as well. Yet, she heard God’s call and set her heart to obey. She loved when it cut and hurt her. She forgave when I wished she would have retaliated. She grew in the Lord’s presence and power. All us children knew her heart was to love her Lord by obeying.
She willingly paid the price. That being death to her ways and opinions and often her justified rights. She spent hours praying and allowing His word to renew her mind. She brought God’s Super into our “natural” on a daily basis. She taught us by example, with her words of faith, love and hope.
The result of her obedience, for me personally is from an early age to know God and how to operate in His power and grace. His grace has saved my life so many times. My life has been so much easier and peaceful than hers. She taught me early the value of listening and then prompt obedience.
One of the first scriptures I remember learning is,
Isaiah 1:19 (AMP)
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
She stressed the value of being willing but also the obedient part. She taught me how to obey. Something that did not come naturally for me at all. My mom is soft and I am hard. She told me that the way we show how much we love the Lord is to obey.
John 14:15 (AMP)
15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.
This simple teaching has produced so much life in me. It has allowed me to grow and grow and grow. As I continue to be willing to listen to the leading of the Lord and then obey my life has flowed into a path of “eating good fruit of the land.” In middle school I had a boyfriend that my mom saw wasn’t good for me. After she explained, she asked me to stop seeing him. Talk about devastating to my life. We had gone steady for six months. However, because I had been taught the value of obeying, I did so. Immediately my life crashed and I lost all my popularity and friends in one day. It was an awful time and took me two years to recover from that. Meanwhile, God was preparing the man who was to be my husband and I needed to be ready for him. My Gabriel was brought into my life three and a half years after this. Gabriel was specifically a reward to me for honoring my parents and obeying them. I thank the Lord often for His timing and growing of me to help me at age 17 to know Gabriel was the one.
There have been many hard times in my life, even though I have done my best to obey. I can’t imagine my life if I had chosen to disobey. For me the blessing of obedience were taught at a young age and the Holy Spirit helped me learn. Truly, I believe I walk the life of blessing I now have, because my mom was willing to pay the price. I cried because I am reminded by this chapter how much has been given to me. How blessed I am. I watched my mom, time and time again obey. I saw the heartache, the pain and the sorrow. But I also saw the rewards and the blessing. Her obedience echos in my own life and speaks very loudly to my children. Even as I am calling myself blessed to have her as my mom, my own children just recently pointed out, as we reading Proverbs 31, that they thought that chapter described me. Oh how my heart is humbled. See, I am stubborn, rebellious and very carnal. I struggle to lay down my way of doing and being. Yet, I try very hard to walk in obedience to the things He teaches me. I stumble all the time and still my children see Him. He is so faithful and I am so blessed.
As I am growing older and learning of His love, it becomes more and more easy to obey. It used to be I obeyed out of fear and duty but now I obey because I love Him. I trust that His way is better than mine. He knows more, can see the beginning, the middle and the end. He is infinite and I am finite. He is helping me grow in obedience. To answer and act the first time He asks instead of when I have logic-ed it out. To be quiet when He says be quiet. To pause to ask for help. This season of my life is about learning to obey in the small things. It all is rooted in what I allow my mind to think on.
When I allow my mind to think on what I deserve and am entitled to, my actions become self centered. When I choose to think on Him and His ways, my action become LOVE centered. That is because He meets my need and helps me. He always meets me where I am at and lifts me up.
This weeks chapter has been for me, all about recognizing the strategy of the enemy to use my own thoughts to hold me captive. My opinion, my right, my ideas. To see places in my thinking that tripped me up and caused me to stumble. Doing things my own way is a thinking pattern that keeps popping up but every time it does, God is there to help me avoid that trap. Now that He has opened my eyes I pray that all the gates of hell be closed and all the windows of heaven be opened. I will see the net of the enemy and then his snare will be spread in vain, because I will see and act with the heart of God. Not only me, but my children as well.
Proverbs 1:17 (AMP)
17 For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird!
Please help us to continue developing obedience. Help us to obey from love and then will obedience become a joy instead of a duty. When the choice is presented to us, help us to chose You. Let us be quick to hear but even quicker to obey. Let our obedience bring blessings to those in our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen