Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blessing of Obedience

Lately I have been learning a lot about obedience.  To me, there are two different types of obedience. The easy type, cleaning your room or washing the dishes, and the more difficult kind, being obedient even when its hard, even when it hurts, even when you would rather run as fast as you can in the other direction.  That type of obedience is an act of love and faith.  It comes from understanding that your life is not your own and that Christ knows what is best and will not lead you astray.  That’s the type of submission that God is bringing me to.

At church I serve in the prayer ministry.  To most people that doesn’t seem like to big of a deal but my closest s friends would tell you, for me, it’s a BIG deal.  I really struggle with my own confidence in praying for people.  It is something that is completely unnatural for me for whatever reason and not something that I willingly step into.  One Sunday morning this past fall someone approached me and asked me to pray for people during response.  They were in need of more ladies to pray with women as they responded to a message.  I was terrified.  Who am I that I should be standing alongside women praying with them as they encounter and respond to Christ.  As I made my way to the front God encountered me in ways that only He could.  I was overwhelmed by His Spirit, prompting, and peace as I listened and prayed with people throughout the service.  As God’s perfect timing would have it a prayer training started the following Thursday and I found myself obeying God’s calling to join the prayer team and go through the training.  I was about to step into a journey of necessary but hard obedience and submission to Christ.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I am sitting near the front during response at a 7pm service.  There were not many people coming up for prayer at the time so I was just sitting and watching.  All of a sudden a close friend of mine walked up, sat down next to me, and collapsed in my lap.  As I sat there, with a person I care about deeply, crying and clearly hurting in my arms I had no idea what to do.  I am sure the look on my face was of clear bewilderment.  I felt completely unequipped to help her or pray for her.  All I could do was hold her as she cried and pray silently in my heart that God would heal her heart and her pain.  As worship continued and I began to feel this unrelenting call to pray for her in a very specific way.  My initial reaction was NO WAY!  I was scared, I was hesitant, I wanted to run the other way.  But instead I reluctantly obeyed and began praying for precisely what God has placed on my heart.  The words were not my own.  There is no way that I could of said what needed to said or pray what needed to be prayed but God could and He did.  As we closed I stood up gave her a hug and we both returned to our seats.  Later that night I was overcome with my own fear, inadequacies, and hundreds of what if’s.  What if I prayed the wrong thing?  What if I said something that was so off base and so out of left field?  What if, what if, what if!  I fell asleep that night questioning my own obedience and if it had finally failed me.

But that’s the thing, God never fails me.  Acting out my obedience to Him might be hard, frightening, and often times the last thing I feel equipped to do.  But He is faithful.  He provides me with what I need to be obedient and to follow His ways.  Later the next day I received confirmation that what I had prayed was exactly what she needed.   It was the perfect thing at the perfect time. 

While obedience can sometimes be the hardest thing, often times it brings with it the biggest blessings.  Submitting to God is a constant struggle but as He breaks down each wall in my life bringing me to my knees I realize the blessings that come with them.  Blessings of the king and kingdom, something I would never run from.