The Burden of Obedience

“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22: 42

I sat with a friend in court as she faced someone who had abused her verbally, emotionally and physically. She was there seeking protection for herself and for her daughter. God  could have made it so that this man didn’t show up in court, signed over his parental rights and she could be free of him. God could have taken this cup from her, but He didn’t. She was granted the protection she was seeking but only for a limited duration. Next year she’ll pray for God to step in and remove this cup again and no matter what,  she’ll submit herself to His will.

I had other things to do this morning. This was my morning to go to the food bank instead, God was inviting me to go to court with my friend. He was inviting me to go into an uncomfortable space, in an uncomfortable setting to be His physical presence of support for her. This morning wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about her, it was about Him and following His will. God knows I’m a “nervous Nelly” and He could have removed this cup from me  and had her ask anyone else but He didn’t, He had her ask me.

There is a burden to following God, and though Jesus tells us it is light (Matthew 11:30), a burden is still a burden. Jesus spent His last night on earth asking God to provide a way out from what was coming the next day and what is so awesome about this prayer is that He never wavered in His commitment to do God’s will. He put forth His request, remove the cup, and ended with obedience, Your will be done.

We face the burden of obedience every day if we walk closely with God. Everything about being a disciple of Jesus is counter cultural in American society today. Society tells us that we are our own top priority, that we can accomplish whatever we want and that we are number one. The burden of obedience tells us that we are the least in priority, that God’s will for our lives trumps our will and that God is number one. Following Jesus becomes like a walk in a river against the current and without the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we would be swept away.

I believe the lightness that Jesus is talking about is that our burdens are fully supported by Him. If we will choose Him, choose His will, He will carry the burden with us. Our job is to say yes, and once we do He comes in and takes over. The burden of obedience becomes light because it’s not our power that allows us to do all things, it’s the power of the Cross of Christ. (Philippians 4:13)

Whatever burden of obedience you are carrying today, don’t hold on to it too tightly because your power can’t get you through. Walk in obedience and submission and He will carry you through. The world around you may call you crazy but don’t worry about that, God calls you blessed. God’s promises of unending faithfulness will always be proven true.

Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy. If you need a prayer partner, email me at kaprayingforyou@gmail.com.

 

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Soft Hearted and Restful

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. – Hebrews 3:7

The condition of our hearts is up to us. The battle you are in, the challenge you are facing, the person who hurt your feelings, the addiction that keeps you down, none of these things have the power to harden your heart… you choose.

We have all faced hardship and had to choose our response. God is asking you to choose to not harden your heart. His rest, that amazing peace, only comes to those with hearts that are soft to God and what He is doing. You don’t have to like the situation, you have to trust that God is doing something good and stay open to Him. When soft-hearted is our response we find rest in Him.

Pray for your heart to stay soft no matter what comes today. When challenges arise, pray and seek God instead of turn away. He’s with you.

Your Salvation

“…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
“…pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1

God provided the access to a relationship with Him through the atoning blood of His son, Jesus Christ. It’s up to us to accept that amazing gift and then live our lives focused on Him and walking close to Him. God is the constant and we are the variables.

If you aren’t where you need to be with God, don’t blame anyone or anything else. Take responsibility for your life, remove the things in the way, and draw closer to God. You have direct access to the One who loves you more than anyone else thanks to His amazing grace.

Stay focused on God, lest you drift away.