Obedience – A Christian Perspective on Why We May or May Not Be Obedient to the Holy Spirit.

The thing about being obedient is when we are, we may never know what it would have been like if we did it out way. But I am less willing to miss out on what God’s plan is for me than I am for my own plan.

Question – Are you one of those people who hears from the Holy Spirit? Or, are you one of those people who think those people are nuts or may be schizophrenic who think they hear from God? I am the former, and have found certain Christian “friends” being concerned I was schizophrenic and laughing at me when I mentioned it once years back when in one of my “becoming Catholic” classes.

Running a few days back, at the end of mile 1, I hear, “2.”

Psyche – My psyche psyched me out. I turned around and kept it at 2 miles only, having my rationales as to it being better for me than 4 miles because that is too much, I can’t do that, I am likely not that hydrated, and so on. At the end of the 2 miles, though, I thought maybe I was supposed to have run for 2 after the first – kept going. I didn’t want to. It was a lot, and I hadn’t run 4 miles in years. The most I’d run since I started running again was just over 3 recently, and I’d only run just under 2.5 on the beach which is where I was at the time. I did not want to run that hard – it is very hard to run on the soft sand of the beach.

I walked around and played at running more, questioning whether or not I was to have run more. Back and forth in my mind the craziness continued, and when it did, I remembered I heard someone say that failing to be obedient causes confusion. That’s where I was. My justifications were not louder than the still small voice. The knowing. The, you got here early today – there is no sun now due to the haze when it is normally already strong at this time. You have plenty of hydration. You were prompted by God, so you KNOW that when that happens, you are able.

It’s a matter of being lazy and not wanting to put in the effort b/c it’s hard – that’s the truth of it all. But I remembered too that I’d recently felt the need to push myself more too b/c there is something that is driven out of us, me, when we pursue more and work harder – the laziness, or unwillingness or complaints of the difficulty – all the lack, insecure, lazy, weak mentalities that hold me back at times. What I wanted really was to conquer. And, as I kind of ran back and forth, to and fro for awhile while decided what I would do, thinking I’d still need hydration which I did not, still looking for an excuse not to do what I figured I was being prompted to, I found I’d already gone about a mile in the deciding – and only 1.1 more miles, I can do that, I figured. Then, I ran on.

4 miles under my belt that day on the beach, the soft sand. It was a good accomplishment, and OF COURSE, I felt really good afterwards. Grateful.

What I know, is yes, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I do believe I said that a time or two as I ran, but even more, when I know the Lord asks or prompts me to do something I might not want to do, A. it is for my own good, and B, I can complete it because He has called me to it.  I had no excuses. I love knowing that!

The worry for me, besides it’s challenging and I’ve not been at this terribly long – the working to strengthen my knees and legs still – is hydration. The main part is the heat. Typically, in Florida, if you are out after 8 a.m., it’s too late, for me, to exercise. Given I’ve been out a lot past that recently, it has been hazy some days which makes it easier, but it still compounds an already challenging feat whether you are hydrated or not. It takes the wind out of me to keep on keeping on during the drudgery of the sand. I did get to a point, however, recently, where I ran the two miles like it was nothing. I liked that! Milestones are great!! And, I love to achieve them and celebrate them. It’s good making progress!

So, I ran and I guess that’s when it dawned on me – I recalled how interesting it was that I got up so early that day – I’d been resisting getting up before the sun for pretty much all of the summer, but that day I was up, and I was out early, and hydrated. Though I was early enough for the sunrise at 6:30ish, it never shone b/c of the haze, and it continued like that for almost the whole hour I was out there.  That’s when I realized God knew I could do it. He got me up early, got me out there, made sure I was hydrated enough and told me to go for 2 miles when I wanted to stop at 1. I insisted that the 2 was what I would stop at. After getting back from the 2 miles, however, and not needing water was when the debate in my mind started, and the lack of obedience ran me in circles literally. If people knew what went on in my mind sometimes :)! Ha! Now some know:)

Well, I am so grateful to have done it because not only did it remind me of how important it is to be obedient to stave off the crazies and confusion over making the right decision, but it reminds me that God is in the small things of my life – in my training, helping me still to “strengthen my knees that they do not become lame.” Finally, it reminds me that He can be, and is, TRUSTWORTHY:) He is my Father and my best-friend. I am always being helped more by His promptings and guidance, just like a good father will try and do.

So, the take-aways then – Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – He is always leading us for what is best for us. Following brings obedience which always brings a blessing. Blessing brings joy. Joy brings peace. Peace brings happiness and sharing that that brings help, hope and joy to others, I hope.

My take-away, however, as I walked from the beach that day, after I got another prompting when I went to the water afterwards, I didn’t listen. I do not know why I keep “failing this test” even after I just had an assignment and “knew the material.” I think it’s my ego, the feeling of just wanting to be in control and do it my way, whatever it is, I felt very sad afterwards because I feel it dishonors the Lord. It puts me above Him, my ways above Him when His ways are so far above my ways I cannot even see.

I left with the take-away that I hoped that “sorrowful” feeling I’d felt from that most previous incident really leads me to repentance – to remember that in all my ways He is leading me and guiding me in all my ways, and what an honor it is that I have listening ears, and He actually communicates with me. It is awesome! I think sometimes, oddly, it’s still a way of A. yes, asserting me in my life, of giving me control over me, but B. too, making sure it is Him and I can actually hear and trust Him. Whatever it is, I can trust Him and making an effort to listen more faithfully and honor him – I am reminded now. It takes slowing down a minute to obey because sometimes I am going so fast, and may use that as an excuse of not having time to “catch up” to be obedient to what You said, but it is just another excuse, and I am not prone to lies or believing them. Just be honorable and follow through 🙂

The thing about being obedient is when we are, we may never know what it would have been like if we did it out way. But I am less willing to miss out on what God’s plan is for me than I am for my own plan. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are His ways higher than our ways.”

I left praying, tearfully, that I had “sorrow unto repentance” so I may follow His word, even the little promptings I get, in following of His good plan for my life – the big and the small, and the small are sometimes more of what I love the most because they are often so tender and intimate.

In that, I have to pause, remember, and take heart, for He is loving and trustworthy.

Holly

Learning Obedience Through What I Suffer

Running Scared

Tonight I went for a run. It was late. After about 1/2 mile I felt to finish, but I didn’t want to. I’d hardly run at all. I kept going. I turned around after I’d gone a little over a mile. I was deep in the woods. It was getting dark. I got scared. I began to think bad thoughts. I changed them and began to pray and began to sing praises of thanks for being protected. I was still scared. I was reminded of the importance of listening to God’s direction, of being obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered.

Obedience is not only for our benefit, say, but it is also protective, and still beneficial, because it may prevent us from suffering.

We may get the benefits of whatever God has for us when we listen, and follow, but we may also suffer when we are disobedient. Luckily tonight I was granted mercy, and got a lesson out of it and no more suffering other than the panic I felt while running.

May we have ears to hear and walk in obedience that we may not suffer.

Hebrews 5: 7 – 10

7Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him; 10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Holly

How Suffering Perfects

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit.

“He learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

This verse in Hebrews came to mind today as I had been suffering from both hurting my knee and missing an appointment to have fun because I had failed to following the leadings of the Holy Spirit. I hope this doesn’t sound crazy!

If Jesus had to be made perfect through suffering, I might have to too. These are called the “learning the hard way” folks. 🙂  I’d like to be obedient from now on, instead. No more suffering, small or large!

Today while I was praying, whining a bit, I heard, “Walk.” Now let me say I am not crazy nor do I have schizophrenia, but I often get little directions, like Holy Spirit cues. Many times I follow them and many times I don’t.  Today, I did not obey the cues on a couple of circumstances, and this morning, as I was suffering from hurting my knee while running, I felt I’d been a disappointment again, and gone on a did what I wanted to do without respecting what I was told to do.

I first of all delayed the instruction to walk a bit b/c I had things to get out before proceeding with my day. I guess God was bored with my lamenting and whaling about my past I am working through and trying to heal. “Forget about those things which are past, and heal. Press on! Get outsides and get some fresh air!” may be what he wanted for me instead. Clear your head. Fretting only causes harm according to the bible in Psalm 37:8. I am just really trying to work through some stuff and was letting it all out this a.m. and rebuking and releasing and binding up. The whole works. God was not into that, maybe. Walking happened, eventually.

So, I finish up at where I figured was a good enough spot, got my workout clothes on and headed for the bridge. I got to just about where I would cross the street and head up, and I hear, “Back.” Not wanting to turn back b/c I was coming to the best part of my walk – the water with the sunshine on it in the early morning – I proceeded. I began to smile because I knew what to expect and was so excited to see the early morning sun and to look over the beautiful Stuart waterway. I pressed on. I got to the top, and lingered a bit while aweing the beauty gratefully before I headed back. I did not want to go back the ugly roadway, so I walked through town, defying again.

I began to feel like this walk was way too long. I had plans that morning and felt I might have blown it. My legs were feeling strong enough so I thought I’d run a bit. I was good, but then felt something in my knee collapse a bit. Ouch! It brought me to a halt. I walked from there, almost home.

I return only to find out that the date I had planned on going on this a.m. to meet people for biking would expire in terms of my timing. I was to leave at 8:25 to be there on time, and I walked in at 8:25. I blew that! I got ready anyway. I jumped in the shower, and rushed to make it. I would not make it. My bike was a block away, I had to fill the tires, put on my bike rack and get it loaded. I also wanted to eat breakfast.  I just decided If I had to go alone, that would be acceptable, but not preferred.

Felt disappointed and bothered for God b/c of my response and lack of surrendering. He tries to help me, and I fouled it up! Mad! I was suffering in a way from what I just judged someone of doing to me, too. Oh how we are always reaping what we sow.

Well, I felt once I saw the time and realize my error I was living the verse in the bible that talks about Jesus learning obedience through what he suffered. By not listening, I not only hurt my knee, but blew my chance and fun with others I thought. Pissed a little. Disappointed at me for God. Not sure if he feels that. Now just thought he is infinitely patient so maybe he doesn’t feel disappointed, if he knows we’ll be obedient eventually? Not sure. May need a bit more patience with myself too, but need to step it up, too. I knew better!

Anyway, a hurt knee and missed biking tour were my morning sufferings! Bummer. It was a great day for a bike ride. I was pissed and disappointed at myself. Felt bad for God, like why do you put up with me? I hate disobedience in my students, and I do it, too, still – doing what I want to do and/or just overriding what I’m led to do by the Holy Spirit because I logically reason out of my instruction. I do obey too, a lot, but not always.

I made it to the preserve and there were no bikers around. I hit the trail and headed out to find who I was to meet. I’d never been on a trail like that – so broad and a secluded, long ride through the scrub at  Seabranch Presereve State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/seabranch-preserve-state-park. The bike trail extended way beyond that. I found my people in Peck Lake Park, eventually, gladly, too, about 15 – 20 minutes into the ride, but missed the end result of that walking path which looks very pretty, below.

Jupiter Group Obedient

 

Was so glad God had mercy on me, and I was able to successfully find them at a good spot, despite my being about 30 minutes late. Glad to have found them. It was a good time. It was a beautiful, breezy morning where I met new people, caught up with who I already knew, rode 18 miles (I’m on day 4 of committing to fitness:), and got to take in all new nature sights of 1 Preserve, 2 different parks, I hammock and a tortoise encounter. I opted not to join them for lunch being that I’d just filled up prior to the ride, and I headed home, instead.

Hobe Sound BikingHolly Tamiara River

After I got back from biking, I had a little ice cream and decided to head to the beach. Could use some cold water on my hot body, and it was beautiful beach weather. I jumped in the shower yet again and headed to the beach. Not having enough water or having good, cold water, I thought I’d pop into the store to get some when I was guided not to. But it’s hot and I will drink all this water and would like cold water too was what I reasoned with myself, like it was me against me. I went in against my will.

As I left, I felt grieved – I was disobedient, again, not trusting my instruction, I was swayed this time with reason, not desire, but a little bit of both.  I was heavy, feeling I’d grieved the Holy Spirit and didn’t quite understand. Perhaps I could have bought water at the beach.

Yes, it was small, but we know about the little foxes. If you have kids, think about even the littlest of things you tell them to do for their own good and they think they know better or want more, so they just defy you and do what they want to. It’s annoying and bothersome, at least to me! So, I get to the beach, no water to buy, make my way to a spot and start reading only to have my umbrella blow flat. It is not staying properly poofed-up for shading! I put it down and continue to read after smathering myself all over with sunscreen.

No time later, and here comes the rain! I put my umbrella back up, but I was literally holding it with one hand and reading with the other for about 25 – 30 minutes. Luckily it was not cumbersome at all. I finished a whole article on Neaderthals and a debate about their perceived intelligence. I rarely finish long articles, so I was glad to be stuck, and it pertains to my work a little, so it was relevant.  Shortly after the rain stopped, I’d finished the article, took in the wind and sun for about another 2 minutes and headed out. I packed up and saw my sweating cold water bottle, hardly having any water out of it, and figured I blew it, again. ISo much for my logic. God knows.

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit. Its really awesome when you think about it!!

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths,” the bible says. God, our Father, is hear to help us and lead us and direct us in all of our ways – even to get water or not!

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

Every little thing matters, and he cares about us and is here to help us. It makes me sad to think how helpful he is and when I don’t listen, I’m grieved. So, despite my mess-ups, I have been reminded to listen because not listening takes me from his protection and the best he has for me!

It is a good reminder too, to be obedient, and to please him in that. God desires obedience more than sacrifice. I Samuel 15:22.

I thought about when I left the beach this evening how we are to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. My thought with that is to just be obedient to his promptings. That is honoring him. Why would He keep giving us what we clearly disobey or disregard or distrust? I have learned enough to know He is helping me at all times, and He has reminded me, today. So, thanks for the trials, Father!  Remembering. Thank you. One more thing – in considering I am able to hear from the Holy Spirit, what a blessing and an honor. Thank you, Lord, for that. Thank you for honoring me with your presence and ever present help and aid. I love you!!

What a WOW too, when you really consider we are guided by the Holy Spirit as born again believers. I love it. I am grateful to be reminded of this tremendous! blessing.

Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. Not sure what all he went through before he became obedient b/c that is not quite clear, but I have felt this before today even. It’s time to listen more reverently and obediently!!

I have learned when I follow the Holy Spirit it is actually more exciting because you never know what’s going to happen and/or it can spare you hurt, time and money lost or any unnecessary evil. Either way, it’s always good to walk in obedience because God has our best interest in mind in all ways.

Holly