Why Obedience Matters
It had been awhile since I’d visited my beautiful 92 year old friend, Iris. I decided I’d go the next day. Friday dawned bright and fair. Not a cloud in the sky. The sun was up up and away, dispersing not just light but also an abundance of heat into our world. Yes, it was going to be a warm day. Too hot for me. I felt exhausted when I awoke and slept in. It was well past noon by the time I’d done my chores and spent time with God.
My battle with fibro in hot weather is often a losing one. Was it wise then to go out? But a voice within me persisted “Visit Iris today’ and I could not say ‘No’. I forced myself to leave home, despite a body that was screaming to get back to bed. When I entered my car, a blast of hot air greeted me – the heat of desert sands. But there was no turning back. Iris is a dear, inspiring lady and it was lovely to spend time with her. Afterwards, I forced myself once more, to walk in the heat to the postbox to send a card to a friend who needed it. By the time I returned home at 2.30, I was zapped. I stumbled my way through my evening chores - an Energizer Bunny whose batteries had been removed.
The next day, Saturday, I slept in again. But guess what! It turned out to be my best day physically in a very long time. I could not believe it. Perhaps my being out in the midday heat had made me sweat which in turn had been good for my well being? Whatever it was – I realised that I had had been deeply blessed through my obedience to God. Wow!
The blessings continued all weekend. That night, we had dinner at a friend’s home. We returned at 12.30 but I couldn’t get to sleep and I was wide awake till 4.30 a.m. I had only 3 hours sleep but was fine when I got up next morning. What a grand surprise. As I reflected later on those 2 days when my body had (for once) behaved perfectly, I knew God had come through for me. I’d imagined that my visit Iris was to bless her at cost to myself. But you know what! It was I who benefitted. Rather than being exhausted the next day, I was rejuvenated. It had to be God. Thank you God. THANK YOU.
There are times in our lives when as we look back, we make surprising discoveries. Years ago, Mum told me that she’d like me to come for her funeral. Of course I said ‘Yes’. When she was called home in January 2015, I boarded a plane to Sri Lanka tearfully. I made sure I honoured my promise to my beloved Mama as I said goodbye. But now, looking back, I know why she asked me to be there. It was not for her sake; it was for mine. With her insight and wisdom, she’d known that I would need the closure. It was a request made by her giving, loving, blessed Mother-heart.
When God asks us to obey Him, there are times I imagine it is a great sacrifice. But when I walk on the paths He's chosen for me – I find Him He filling my pockets with special gifts. Obedience is its own reward. Because, as Corrie Ten Boom reminds us, the safest place to be in, is the centre of God’s will. ‘Surrender’ might sound a scary prospect. Would God demand too much of me? On the contrary, I've found obedience to be a sprinkler that refreshes not just the garden I water but the person who holds the hose as well. As I please God’s heart in the doing, I get drenched in His blessings and His unquenchable love.
Recently, God’s been asking me to give Him daily times of worship apart from the study of His word and prayer. One morning, as I lifted my eyes and heart in praise to our awesome God, all at once, I understood. God doesn’t ask me to worship Him because He needs it. It’s true that He, the Lord of Lords is worthy of our worship. But there is a grander purpose behind His request. It’s because I need to worship. Like Mama's loving heart that planned what was best for me, my Heavenly Father always knows what will bless me most. Worship is the only way that everything and everyone else in my life will fall into their rightful places. When I see God as He is, in His glory – my life changes. And I’m able to view life through its correct lens at last, a telescope through which I see a velvet night sky of a thousand dazzling stars.
Does God require something of you today? Do you hesitate because it feels too difficult? Let me assure you that if God calls you – it’s the right place for you. So go forward without fear. He who calls you will give you not only what you need but far more than that. He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams.
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” 1 Samuel 15:22
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10