Sweetness of Obedience

Obedience is a beautiful command but what does it really mean to be obedient? We were taught to obey our parents and the authorities placed above us but it was really hard for me to live it out as I grew up quite rebellious. Coupled with the blessing of a strong will, my childhood and adolescent years obedience was never out of my free will. So I was determined to rule my own life once I am out of my parents roof. And that was pretty much the story of my life.

When my relationship with Christ grew, I was challenged to live out a life of obedience. Naturally, I was uncomfortable and I get agitated hearing preachers talking about obedience and surrendering to the will of God. How can I obey if I do not know who am I obeying? I do not believe in blind obedience. There has to be a reason for obedience and God in His mercy showed me the reason. The reason is LOVE. He invites me to obey because He loves me and wants the best for me. My journey of falling in love with LOVE has opened up His grace to flow in me that I want to obey Him (though not always easy).

The true test came when God placed a call in my heart – to leave my comfort zone and go where He sent me. When I decided to follow Him and quit my lucrative job, most people thought that I was out of my mind. After spending 5 months going deeper in my faith in 2013, I again made a decision to go where He sent me. It was not a decision welcomed by my near and dear. I hear endless comments like; “Your home church needs you”, “There is plenty of work for God here, why do you need to go that far?”, “Your family needs you”, “You are still young and at your prime, why waste your time?”, “You are such a capable person, why waste your life?”, “How much did you give up for this?” and the litany goes on.

All these comments were valid to a certain extend but I knew deep in my heart the voice of my Shepherd and I knew that what God wants of me is to answer to His call and NOT fulfilling a need. Anyone can fulfill needs but I believe the will of God is unique for each person. Even though I made a decision to go where He sent me, it was not exactly easy to leave the people I love and the country that is very dear to me. Everything was going on really well at home and I really understood the meaning of my call when I chose to leave my glorious past. For others, it is also not easy to comprehend what I am doing now. It can only be experienced and for that reason, I invite people to come and spend some time with my community here. Looking at my journey thus far, I see His promises fulfilled one after another. The biggest one being;

“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16: 31

This is the first fruit of my obedience to God. I sincerely wanted to do His will and as I gave my unreserved (though flawed) YES to Him, He started to unfold His miracles on my family. Blessings upon blessings were poured upon my life. I took a step towards Him and He ran a mile to meet me – that is our Abba Father who wait on us, eager to see us opening ourselves more for His infinite and unconditional love to fill our soul.

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Having tasted the goodness of the Lord, I know how sweet are fruits of obedience. However, being an imperfect person who is perfectly loved by God; I still struggle to obey. And it is amazing that our gracious God is both loving and patient. He invites me to be in His will and He respects my decision. Retrospectively looking, I can see the initial struggle to obey and act on God’s invitation. I am blessed that at those time, God sent me angels like this wise man who once shared a prayer with me when it comes to responding to God’s invitation, it goes;

“Lord, I sensed that You are inviting me to go in this direction. I ask for Your grace and blessing as I run in this direction. If I am going on the wrong direction, break my leg and bring me back”

Dear friends, that prayer has blessed me tremendously and I hope it bless you as well. If you are at a time in your life that you are called to take a radical step towards God, I would like to encourage you to run with it. It may be scary but what I can assure you is that it is going to be worth it. Do remember that God call us to His specific will in order to save us. It is always for our good that He place a call in our heart. You can only know if you are going on the right direction if you take the step to walk into it. As a closing note, I would like to share this beautiful prayer written by Thomas Merton;

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” ― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

May you be blessed!

With lots of love,

Irene

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