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

Bankable Memories – A Birthday Surprise for Mike and a Training Surprise for Me

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊
What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training.

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was!

August 1

My ex-brother-in-law, Mike, had a birthday yesterday. He’s got to be pushing 70 or more – quite a bit older than my sister, he was.

Yesterday I thought to go and spend the day with him. In the morning, I had a flat and had to work out. Prayed about it in the a.m. with respect to having a confirmation of pwhat I was feeling. I opened the bible, and what I turned to was in Psalms, I believe, and it said something about “birthday feast.” Perfect. That settles it.

Went to take my car in and do my training, and by the time I got back it was after noon. I cleaned up myself and felt like I’d rather relax on the couch which is where I found myself sitting doing just that.

It was after 1, and the drive across 70 through FL is my most boring, hated, 3-hour drive, and with no radio!

I consulted the Lord again, what should I do? Do you really want me to go? I got a word from Isaiah that read, “Set you mind on the highway.” I was so excited because it was so clear and, I called Mike and let him know of my plan. Happily, he was out a dock bar having a birthday celebration with some friends and locals.  I asked if he’d be around later, and he said he had no plans. I told him was planning on coming over and taking him out for a birthday dinner! “Yah!” was his great response, in his cute Mike fashion that he does when he’s really excited. It’s so cute like a young kid.

I got off the couch immediately and gladly got about my business. Cleaned up a bit here, packed my bags and readied myself for the highway for the birthday feast celebration. I was so excited for Mike’s excitement and for having clear direction, my road trip woes were destroyed.

I prayed too the trip be shorter, somehow. When my GPS sent me a different way than I’d always gone it’s shaved a half hour off my trip! Yah!!

I got Mike a couple little silly things – a “birthday cupcake” which he requested. It was a chocolate muffin he called a “cupcake,” a card and some candy, a birthday balloon, and that was it. Not much. My visit, and the dinner, were the gifts. Thought he should have a card at least. Something to open! 😊

When I arrived, I sung to him after he opened the door for a quick happy birthday to you – he laughed and took it in.  We greeted each other warmly.

Mike wanted chicken parm which we eventually went out for and had a yummy feast! He was happy! I ate so much. He barely finished his dinner, because he had tacos for lunch he claimed, making him full, whereas I’d only had a tuna sandwich after an hour and a half at the gym, barely anything all day. I was ready to eat. Salad, bread, stuffed mushroom appetizer and a pasta and chicken dish. I ate almost every bit of it. A café latte and biscotti to boot. Mike was too full for a birthday cake, but had a “classic coffee,” as he puts it.  We chatted for some time. He shared how happy he was with the everything which made me pleased! Felt glad it was birthday feast success which was worth the trip over!

My plan the following morning was to train. My legs and knee felt good, gladly. Figured I would run first being it was about the time I would be running, 8:45, and I was working on proper conditioning. I was going for the distance for Saturday, 3.2 miles, a 5K. Planning on running around his neighborhood 4 times, according to him, would likely make that distance. Turns out, I ran 4 miles which was GREAT!!

My morning highlight, after the beautiful morning weather I enjoyed with coffee as I reminisced about Miami weather as a kid, was after making my first lap, seeing Mike in his garage waiting to cheer me on. What a great surprise!! I loved it. It made me so happy. I won’t have anybody at the event with me, so him cheering me on was really special. Bankable memories are what I began accumulating. Rich memories.

One of the things I realized with my run that morning was that like swimming I was originally having a hard time breathing which I’d forgotten – I’ve run little during these 3.2 weeks of training, and haven’t run much at all this summer! So, that was good to realize – that whatever my race, I will find my pace eventually, it may take me a minute or 15 to find my breath and then regulate it, but I’ll get there as long as I don’t panic! So, I felt my pace eventually, and it felt good. Mike even commented on my pace being good, but later told me to pick it up. 😊

I think I loved most what I came next. As I was going for lap two, I saw Mike heading toward me. I did not know it was him for a while. I’m not sure what sparked it, but the smile he had was the best I’ve ever seen on him.

It’s so rare to see a smile from him like that. It was great. Perfect! I’ve termed it one of those “bankable smiles.”

My memory will have that moment forever, for how happy he seemed for some reason, and what a fun moment that was! It was joyous! I’m not sure why or what was said. Maybe it was my laughing at the recognition of it being him coming toward me on my bike! Thought that was funny. He eventually began too with his army chant, “left, right, left, right, left.” He kept on. We laughed. We got back to his place. He eventually pulled in the drive, and I ran on.

He continued to be outside cheering me on, off and on with his coffee in hand, and a wave or cheer and a smile. Something supportive. It was super! I will be so grateful for those sweet memories, always! Fun and memorable are what he made that particular morning of training. It was great. Memorable, for sure. Completely unexpected and fun! Thank you, Mike!!

So, my trip to supporting my family friend turned about to be supportive to me, as well. Blessings go both ways!! 😊

What a loving gift I got, too, as I went to celebrate him! I got celebrated, too, for my training. I won’t have anybody I know cheering me on at the actual event, but, I will see Mike in my head and hear him in my ears as I make my transitions, and I finally cross the finish line winning for myself the title of triathlete.

Me Bike Train 2

Cheers to you, Mike. Thanks, too, for the fun, bankable memories! I love you.

Holly