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Friday, May 23, 2008

Finely Scuplted

"If you are willing and obedient, you will eat from the best of the land."
Isaiah 1:19

I have a friend. She is in a word OBEDIENT. When we met the Lord had placed on her heart something much larger than herself, and she in obedience, began what she knew she could not do on her own.

She was recently away on a trip to Ireland where she hoped to step away and hear the Lord's voice and see confirmation that she was doing HIS will. She was desperately trying to "be still" and KNOW God's purpose and His plan.

She shared with me that her daily prayer is this:

You also know my daily prayer-- “Lord, as I commit my work to you,I thank you that you are causing my thoughts, ideas, words, actions, and deeds to be lined up with your will, so that I will be established and have success. I am earnestly seeking His plan. Many are the thoughts in a man’s mind but it is His will that will be established. "

This is from the email that she sent me about what happened on that flight...

"Anyway, after the trip from Ireland to Newark in the middle of the night, a long layover, we got on the plane form Newark toward home, tired. I let the window seat passenger in, took the middle seat and laid my head over on Jim. I fell asleep until we had been in the air for awhile. I woke up thinking about the mission statement that I am trying to squeeze into only a sentence or two for grant-writing. I had an idea and reached for my notebook and began scribbling, paying no attention to the stranger next to me. After a few minutes he handed me his electronic "something or other" over to me. It had a message typed on it.

Keep in mind...he was a complete stranger. The message read:

"Jesus spoke to me. He said He loved you so much and has seen your heart and is well pleased! He said, "I am your God, I AM the Door. I will open the doors that no man will close." The devil would like to destroy you and the dream, but I, the Lord am your God, I am in control. Faint not my child --look not to the left nor to the right but keep your eyes on Me. For I, Jesus Christ have my hands on you. I and only I will direct your path."

I have heard these kinds of things in various sermons, but I KNOW this lady, she is a friend, and I KNOW and BELIEVE with all my heart that God was speaking to her through this man....letting her know that her obedience was noticed by God and to let go of the worries...He securely has it all under control!

After hearing this, I found myself asking am I being obedient? It is certainly not always easy, as any of us with children know. I looked to Romans 12 is a guide to just what obedience looks like.

*Despise evil
*Cling to goodness
*Devote yourself to others
*Treat others with respect
*Never compromise your excitement in the Lord
*Serve the Lord
*Be Joyful
*Be Patient
*Be faithful
*Share with others
*Show hospitality
*Bless those who mistreat you
*Rejoice with others over their good fortune
*Grieve with those who suffer
*Live in harmony with others
*Do not be prideful

These "Living Sacrifices" are obedience. My friend LIVES this! I watch her on a weekly basis and we talk about how GOOD God is and how patient we must be at times...while finding JOY in knowing that HIS WILL is being done.

I was just moved that in God's greatness, HIS bigness that HE took the time to "speak" to my friend and let her know that her obedience was being noticed....GOD noticed.
It was a reminder to me, obedience is something we tend to dismiss or not dwell on, but God notices when we "listen" to what He places on our hearts. That my friends, pleases Him.
~Questions to ponder~
Are there areas of obedience that you struggle with?
What has God placed on your heart that requires a commitment to obedience?

Obedience is never easy. It wasn't when we were children and it isn't easy now. The rewards of obedience have eternal impact and will fill us with a peace that the world can not understand.

You can find me daily over here...trying to 'obey!'

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Blogger Denise said...

Trust and obey, there is no other way.

May 23, 2008 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Great words of encouragement and challenge. Sometimes we make it so difficult and lofty, but those words from Romans 12 are basic, basic instructions. Thanks for sharing.

May 23, 2008 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger ValleyGirl said...

What a beautiful, tangible way He spoke to your friend! That must have completely blown her socks off!! I love hearing stories like that. Obedience IS tough ~ and I have to grudgingly admit I'm not very good at it ~ but this kind of thing is a wonderful encouragement. Great post, Lori!

May 23, 2008 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I just wanted to say that I am so blessed by this blog. I found it about two weeks ago and read it nearly everyday. Thank you for the time you take to do this. I really appreciated the verses from Romans 12. That is just what I needed to hear and will be meditating on today!

May 23, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

I love how you broke down Romans 12 into specific ways an obedient child of God obeys him.

I definantly don't always obey, and I'm thankful that my Good Shepherd keeps leading me in the way I should go when I get off track. I'm learning to obey. Mostly I'm learning to take every thought captive so that I can distinguish that which is the mind of Christ, and what I should obey, from the devil's deceptive, twisting of scripture which he often shoots my way to try and throw me off.

I do just want to obey Him! He knows what's best and I DON'T!


May 23, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Mark & Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Wonderful synopsis of Romans 12 - the kind of thing you would magnet-up on the 'fridge! Thank you. Romans 12:2 says, "Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him." If we live that. . . the kind of miracle witnessed by your friend on the plane via a stranger and his electronic "something-or-other" won't seem like such a miracle - but an everyday confirmation from God that he is pleased with our obedience! I'm going to go post the Romans 12 Guide on my refrigerator now.

May 23, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Truly Blessed said...

Less of self and more of Thee... None of self and ALL of Thee. That's what we must strive for. It's where your heart is that matters.
None of us is perfect, but if your heart is striving to be obedient in all things, HE KNOWS! He knows your heart even better than you do. Complete obedience is not easy, but if it was.......would it mean as much?
Thanks for your words and your questions that make us all THINK!
Love you.

May 23, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I am struggling with this right now. Having trouble with the "be joyful" part. Thanks for this post!

May 23, 2008 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Being human makes it very difficult to be extremely obedience. To me, it takes time, patience and a whole lot of effort. Cindi

May 23, 2008 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger skoots1mom said...

We try every day in some way to influence our kids: food choices, cleanliness, saying "nice" things, telling them things we learned as children.
I so many times feel my words may be falling on deaf ears because the non-verbals could sometimes knock me off my chair...rolling eyes, deep breaths followed by "Mooooom", or walking ahead of me anytime we're in public so people won't recognize we're together.
Yes, teen parenting calls on many different skill sets you learn thru hard experience or wonderful, sharing friends who have already been there.
Just when I'm at that point of busting, I'm sent an encouraging gift through a friend or a decision being made for the right reason...then I am given confirmation that the ears are working! Using your words, "We notice, like God notices, when they "listen" to what we place on their hearts."

I want her to understand God to the depths of her soul, seeking His input in every decision; especially when I'm not there to remind her--then He'll have to deal with her rolling eyes! hee hee!

May 23, 2008 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Lord, I thank you for this precious servant of yours. Father continue to speak to her heart, and let her know you notice her daily.

Thank you for bringing her into my life and using her to teach me many things about you.

I pray that you would give her signs daily that you are pleased as she is walks in obedience to you.

In Jesus name, Amen.

This was GREAT Lori!!

May 23, 2008 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Living Beyond said...

I'm jealous for that (good jealous) I want to hear His voice more than anything - but obedience is the key. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

May 23, 2008 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! That was really great Lori!! I'm going to have to put that in a bookmark to keep in my bible to remember. God bless you for sharing that.

May 23, 2008 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

"The rewards of obedience have eternal impact and will fill us with a peace that the world can not understand."

Preach it Sister!

(I like your friend!)

May 24, 2008 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

One area that immediately comes to mind is time management. There are portions of my day that simply pass by without notice, and when the day finishes, I wonder about the profit of such portions.

I'm not on a treadmill of "doing" fact, I think I need to be doing more at times.

Thank you for this beautifully written post which brings pause to my thinking today.


May 24, 2008 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous annie said...

What a great guide to live our lives by. Not always easy, but definitely right.

May 24, 2008 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger MarySnyder said...

"Never compromise your excitement in the Lord" What a powerful statement!

God is so good to give me just what I need, when I need it. This blog truly spoke to my heart tonight.

May 25, 2008 at 9:54 PM  

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