Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

What Am I Doing, and Why Am I Doing It?

I had some prayer time with God today while I went for a walk, and I was confessing some things to God, among them an addiction (I have tried not to call it that, but it is what it is) to gambling. I used to love going to the casino and playing/watching poker, largely because I was decent at it, and so didn’t lose the money that most do at a casino. God put a question on my heart today in trying to help me realize some various points He needed to hammer home. The question is this: “If you had $100 to do whatever you wanted with, no repercussions, what would you spend it on?” I wrestled with this. Would I go gambling? Would I spend it on my wife or daughter?

Ultimately I came to the realization that I wouldn’t gamble, which helped me draw the conclusion that God has helped me overcome that addiction. But what was worse was that God made it clear that in trying to choose between a small handful of things, I neglected to ask, “What would You have me do with that?” See, while I might have overcome my addiction, what I have yet to overcome is the selfish attitude that the casino touts as glorious and the word deifies as success. Not once until God made it clear to me did I think that maybe buying food for the homeless or donating it to missions might be a better use of that money than on myself. I didn’t think about what would bring Him the most glory.

Why does God ask us to do these things? It’s a question that I had to ask myself when an atheist recently asked me to put myself into Abraham’s shoes when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Though I tried to make myself appear humble by quoting Isaiah 55:9, it made me stop and ask myself what the purpose of going through these things is. I came to a couple of conclusions:

1) God’s ways are not our ways. In the Abraham/Isaac situation, we tend to base the morality of the situation on the action being performed. God’s morality is based on how we treat the request. Our way goes on the physical nature of the act; God’s way goes on the heart’s intent behind the act.

2) God would not ask anything of us that He’s not willing to do Himself. God asks for our sacrifice because He has sacrificed. God asks for us to set ourselves apart because He has set Himself apart. God asks us to go and pursue men because He has pursued us. God asks us to be obedient because He is always obedient to His own nature, since He is clear that He will never change.

I cannot possibly hope to understand everything God does in this world, and why He does it. I only know that He asks something of me, and I do it because there is no reason not to. God has demonstrated why He asks, what He is looking for. When I study, when I listen, He is clear. Perhaps there is so much moral ambiguity because we spend all of our time deciding what we think is right instead of listening for why His way is right.

My verse for this week I think sort of fits in this jumbled mess of a post, because it is about letting self go and understanding that God’s ways are not my ways, but His power is greater than any way I can possibly fathom to get it done:

    “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” — 1 Peter 4:11

God’s Amazing – Especially When You’re Faithful

So my wife and I have been struggling with a decision recently. She has been feeling like God has told her that she needs to quit her job. The obvious reason we’ve been holding back from doing it is the financial one. We’ve been afraid that with our new mortgage and a new baby that we couldn’t survive on one income.

However, it seems like recently there have been more and more circumstances recently have been re-affirming God’s position. We bought a new computer and new software so that my wife could do her job from home once the baby was born, and in order to do that she needed to be able to use Windows and connect to a VPN. Well, the Windows has been slow and the VPN is broken, so it seems like God has been putting obstacles in the way.

This past week we prayed about it and made the decision that with her pending meeting with her boss, that she should tell him that she wanted to quit. I mentioned that I felt that if he said something specifically, then that meant that God was right and it was time for her to get out of the job.

Doing a proposed new budget was scary. We have to cut out a lot of things, such as spending money, a lot of the dining out we’ve been doing, and my personal demon, cable TV. Eliminating all of these things, we’re pretty sure we can do just fine, but still it’s been sort of a compromising process with God, trying to hang on to things and realizing that they need to go.

Well, in short, my wife’s boss said the thing that I referenced specifically, and we typed up a formal resignation letter and she submitted that last week. They, of course, tried to get her to stay, but we stood firm and she’s completing her two weeks and then shifting her energies to taking care of our daughter and trying to be more active in getting involved in Bible studies, both individual and (possibly) church-led.

All of that information brings me to this. I’ve been worried all week about the money, and when we actually need to put these budget cuts into effect. Besides the mortgage, we still owe on some credit cards, and we both feel like it’s imperative for us to get out of debt as soon as we can. We have a tax refund coming, but we’ve started to speak for a lot of that money in terms of paying off debt. Not a whole lot left to pad the account if we slip up.

This is where God stepped in. I’m positive it was because we were faithful to His command to leave the job behind. I got an E-mail from my dad yesterday saying that he was going through his safety-deposit box and he had a bunch of savings bonds for me that I had gotten as gifts from grandparents for years as a kid. He said the face value totals up to over $3,000! I just know that God is taking care of us, and I’ve never been more sure of being obedient to God.

My prayer for myself is that I won’t forget this special thing He’s done for us, and that it will teach me that obedience to God yields fruit, not necessarily financially but in some type of provision for us as His children. My prayer for any of you reading this is that this will cause you to call into question your own obedience to God and make a decision today to start doing your due diligence in following God’s will to every dotted I and crossed T.