Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Obedience Is Action

I have been discipled since July of 2010.   I can't believe that it has been almost 7 years since I began this journey of not just gaining knowledge about Jesus, but to apply it to my every day life...that there must be action...fruit of what I am learning as I read the Bible. 

It has been hard over the years.  I am naturally an introvert, so I don't like putting myself out there...afraid of rejection...afraid people will analyze me.  But in the last several months, the Lord has been working in me...changing me...building a confidence in me. 

Just before Christmas, I was running an errand and saw this gentleman sitting by an empty store front with a backpack and a couple of grocery bags filled with some belongings.  As I walked by him, he caught my attention. The Lord reminded me of the bags in the back of the van that we made a few days before for anyone we saw who was struggling with homelessness.  I felt the Lord leading me to go get a bag and bring it to this man.  I continued on into the store and told the Lord that I didn't think it was a good idea to give a bag because I didn't know 100% that this gentleman was homeless...and I didn't want to offend this guy while trying to love him like Jesus.  I went about my shopping and paid for my items.  As I was walking back to the car, I see this gentleman again.  And very clearly, I hear the Lord say to go get one of the bags out of the van and bring it to this gentleman.  I knew in that moment I had a choice...I was either going to obey or disobey.  I continued walking back to the van and put my stuff in it.  I went to the back of the van and got a bag.  I took a moment to pray.  I told the Lord I was willing to go, but I need Him to give me the words to say.  I took a deep breath, shut the door and walked over to this gentleman.  The whole way over to him, I just kept praying..asking the Lord to use me as he saw fit.  Finally, I am standing in front of this gentleman.  I hold the bag straight out in front of me.  I explained to him that as I was walking into the store I felt the Spirit leading me to bring him this bag of items.  I asked him if he wanted the bag.  He nodded his head and reached out and grabbed it.  Then he proceeded to say how much he appreciated the fact that I had brought him this bag of items.  I asked him if he knew who Jesus was and he told me he did.  (In my mind I was thinking, "Who has taken control of me?"  because this is NOT my normal approach...ever!) I then went on to explain that I was giving him this bag because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross.  I shared with him the church we attend and invited him to come for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service.  I told him that he was more than welcome to come worship with us anytime he was in the neighborhood. 

On the way home, I just praised Jesus for giving me the courage to obey in this situation.  I don't struggle with obeying when it is something I am comfortable with...like watching kiddos for friends, inviting people into my home, cooking a meal.  But this situation was COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone.  I prayed that the Lord would water whatever seed was planted that day. 

I write this blog post to say that even though I have been discipled for almost 7 years and have discipled many ladies over the years, I am still growing...I am still being stretched...I still have moments when I struggle with obedience.  But over the last couple of weeks as I reflect on this day, I am more and more convinced that obedience requires action.  Obedience is action.  I can't just read the Bible week after week with my discipler and not apply what He is teaching me.  I can't read the Bible week after week with the ladies that I disciple telling them that they need to obey as the Spirit leads them even if it makes them uncomfortable and not do it myself. 

So as a new year has started, I am listening for those opportunities that He lays before me. I pray that in those moments when I feel out of my comfort zone that my immediate response will be an obedient action instead of explaining to the Lord why it isn't a good idea or why it won't work.  I pray that I will remember:


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