Will you respond to what He is asking you to do out of obedience to Him?
Enduring the process of spiritual growth and maturity is an ongoing, lifelong process. Unfortunately, it took me more than a decade to reach this conclusion and finally come to a point of total surrender. Isn't it comforting to know that if we would only surrender to the process of obedience to God, being willing to wait on Him, surrendering our will in exchange for His; that we will experience tremendous spiritual growth. Honestly, I believe that it makes the journey easier to endure, and takes less time.
Obedience brings healing, and it is much better than any sacrifice you can offer. God requires total obedience, yet what we offer Him daily are works, the sacrifice of our time, our talents, and our tenth. What about the other areas of our lives? "All a man's ways seems innocent to him, but motives are weighed by The Lord" (Proverbs 16:2). Where there is outright disobedience, an act of sacrifice is worthless before God. Are you doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons? When it comes to moral and spiritual actions, motives of the heart are equally complex. Sometime we may be acting from the purest of motives, yet we are in violation of God's commands.
Obedience IS Better Than Sacrifice
Consider Jonah and many other ordinary people like you and I who God called, as examples of our disobedient and resistant human nature. Moses, who God called and prepared, standing before a burning bush, making excuses for why he couldn't do what God called him to do. Consider Gideon who God called to lead an attack against the Midianites; arguing with an angel, explaining why he couldn't do it. How about King Saul, the wisest, most powerful King of Jerusalem. Who hid behind luggage when Samuel came to anoint him King of Israel. Consider Jeremiah, whom God called to be a prophet to the nations. Debating with God about his tender age, as though God didn't know how old he was. When God calls you He equips you.
Jonah's disobedience resulted in God's intervention and where he ended up, was not an ideal situation. Although he didn't debate with God or argue with an angel, he simply ran the other way. He didn't object to his call because of his inabilities, but rather his personal opinions. He felt that the people of Nineveh didn't deserve a warning of repentance, and rightfully so. The people of Nineveh were evil and wicked. A few days of running the opposite way landed him three days in the belly of a big fish where he would quickly regain his perspective and obey God. Despite Jonah's disobedience, his lack of perspective, his cultural prejudices, and his self-rightoeosuness, God never have up on him. God can still use us in spite of us.
Are you a friend of God, obeying His word and His will or an enemy of God rejecting and running away from God's will and not obeying His word.
My Nineveh Experience:
Before God called me into full time ministry, I was preparing to move back to Atlanta for what I perceived to be a strategic move on behalf of my daughters as they approached middle school, it was clear that they would need the influence of their father to keep them on the right track. I was right. However, before the official move I came to a crossroads. God was calling me back to himself in total surrender. No longer my way but his way. My plans had been blocked and to my surprise, I would spend the next 6 months going through a process of being broken, surrendering, and receiving divine revelation. It was very painful and I felt as though I was being punished. I did not understand and I was angry, but I submitted to the process and allowed God to work in me and eventually through me.
I believe that because of my surrendered heart, I was granted permission to continue with my plan to move with my daughters back to Atlanta, GA. I believed that I had made the right decision, however, the circumstances that I encountered when I arrived caused me to doubt. My doubts and lack of faith in God, caused me to waver in my obedience to Gods Word and His will.
Anytime you enter into a state of disobedience to God your way will be made hard to bring you back to a place of obedience. It would take me an entire year to finally get this revelation after waisting time, money, and making many mistakes. Eventually my situation would bring me to a point of surrender again. I would spend the next year going through a tremendous process of growth. I stopped running away from the call and surrendered in obedience to His will. The more time I spent in His Word and in prayer, the more clarity I gained about the plan and purpose for my life. This book that you are holding is the product of that and all because of obedience and total surrender.
OBEDIENCE = FRUITFULNESS
When I finally let go of fear and stepped out of the boat, I began to walk on water, and as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will not let me sink. #FailureIsNotAnOption
Exert from The Endurance Ride of Life Vol 2 "Becoming Fruitful"