Radical obedience. It’s something we read about in the great stories of the Bible. People who lived ordinary lives, then God showed up and asked them to do something…well,…pretty darn radical. Really Radical. And, they actually obeyed! Stories like:
* Daniel in the Lions Den (Daniel 6)
* Queen Esther saving the Jewish people from persecution (Esther 1-6)
* Moses and the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14)
* Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3)
* Abraham willingness to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22)
So let me ask you something. Do you think radical obedience is still required of us today? Now, come on, it is the 21st-century and surely that type of obedience was just for people whose stories made it into the Bible, right? Hmm…maybe not.
This morning I was reading through some Bible verses and came across these two that really grabbed my heart and made me question myself, am I choosing to live in radical obedience or convenient obedience?
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Luke 11:27-28
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23
Let’s not kid ourselves – radical obedience is hard. It’s not for the whimpy or weak at heart. It takes bold courage and faith to step out and do something radical for God. That’s why I think many of us don’t do it. Radical obedience living requires us to have a brave heart, determined perseverance, and a soul (mind, will, emotions) focused on the Lord.
Yet, based on the verses above, radical obedience is totally worth it! I don’t know about you but I want God to bless me. More importantly, I want God to love me and make His home within my heart.
If delayed obedience or convenient obedience (I’ll get to that when I can, Lord) keeps me from experiencing God’s lavished blessings and abundant love, then I need to rethink what’s really important in life. My comfort or my relationship with God?
God has been challenging me over the summer to do something radical. Okay, it’s nothing like stepping into a fiery blaze, hanging out with a bunch of lions, or sacrificing one of my kids (although there have been days….). My area of obedience has to do with something near and dear to my heart. Sleep. Oh, how I l-o-v-e to sleep!
You see, God has been challenging me to get up every morning at 6:00am, while it’s still dark outside, and everyone in my house is asleep. Why? So that I can have my quiet time with Him.
Can I just tell you that it’s been challenging for me. Real challenging! After all, it’s summer (yes, for two more days) and the only time I don’t have to get up early, since school’s out and we are in slow-pace mode.
But, every night, as I crawl into bed, I remind myself that I have a 6:00am date with the God of the universe. How cool is that? If He’s taking time out to meet with me, then surely I can get my butt out of bed and meet with Him. Right? Absolutely.
I’m going to be completely honest here. There were days that I hit the snooze button…again and again. There were mornings that I woke up, lingered under the covers, and fell back to sleep. There were even mornings that I forgot to set my alarm and slept until 9:ooish. But, the Holy Spirit kept prompting me, every night as I pulled those comfy covers up over my shoulders.
I’d run through the plan in my mind, as I drifted off to sleep…
* Don’t forget to set your alarm
*Our time together will be so worth it
*When the alarm goes off, don’t linger. Just get up!
*Holy Spirit, if I sleep through the alarm, please wake me.
That went on for weeks but now, I’m usually stirring before the alarm goes off. In fact, I can’t wait to tip-toe downstairs, while everyone’s asleep, to make myself a quick latte, grab my Bible/journal/pen, and begin my date with God. It’s become my absolute f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e part of my day.
Have there been blessings because of the obedience? YES! Our time together has been amazing! God’s showed me hidden treasures in Scripture that I never knew were there. He’s never stood me up or showed up late. And, God continues to show me just how much He loves me, not only during “date” but even throughout the day.
Radical Obedience. It’s not easy but it’s sooo worth it!
By the way, here is a picture I took one morning this week, as the sun was coming up over the horizon. I was on my date with God and this was the gift He gave me:
Now it’s your turn…
Today’s Question: What about you? Is God challenging you to be radically obedient? If so, what area of your life is He stretching, to draw you closer to Him? If you’re walking in radical obedience already, what are the blessings that you have experienced so far?
Be sure to leave your comments below so we can talk about it. And, if your new to my blog, I’d love for you to subscribe (see form above on the right) so that we can stay connected. I can’t wait to hear what God is doing in your life today!