Being Obedient (31 Days #7)

To read all the posts in the 31 Days series, click here.

Obedience to God is hard.

He often says no to the things you want (or at least the things you think you want). And getting past that is hard, sometimes. So very hard. Because you question why He brought you down the path to begin with if it was just going to end with you smashing your face into a brick wall. But because somewhere deep down you trust His will more than your own (even if you can’t find it right away), you walk away.

Because you’re being obedient.

And then time passes.

And you remember to focus on being still, and as you’re still you remember He is God. And as you know Him, your trust is built and your hope restored. And you just might actually thank Him for the path ending into that brick wall…after you rub your nose in remembrance of the smash.

And suddenly one day, a new path emerges and because you’ve been still and because you know Him, you take the new path without even realizing you’ve changed course. You’re just walking along, knowing Him and being and suddenly you realize everything is new and you stop and look around with wide eyes and think, “woah.”

Woah, y’all.

God has started a new path and I woke up one day and was on it. It’s nothing I could have imagined or conceived a year and a half ago. The best part is that it’s brought me so much closer to Him as He’s taught me what it means to BE.

I was still and as I was I got to know Him.

Woah.

I told you on Saturday that there’s this new Thing called BE. And BE, for now, is weekly 30-minute podcasts that focus each week on what it means to BE a characteristic of Christ; podcasts that focus on how when we give ourselves permission to BE first, the doing will follow more naturally and with more anointing.

And today is the first day of the podcast launch. Be Still Be Free / The Be-Cast: Episode 1 (INTRODUCTION) is now live.

Run, don’t walk, over to the Be Still Be Free website to read the introductory blog post, find other links to the podcast (if iTunes isn’t your thing) and also get some other freebies — printables, free iPhone, iPad and desktop wallpapers and more.

I still can’t believe this thing is A Thing.

I’m still working towards embracing obedience with God. It’s not something you do with incredible ease and joy every time. There are times when it happens quickly. But sometimes He’s asking for your Isaac — your beloved one and only — and that is a wrestling match between God and your heart that leaves you limping every time.

But one thing is certain — even when it breaks you, it’s always worth it.

He’s always worth it.

“Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult.” (1 Samuel 15:22, The Message)

Altars of Grace

I felt strongly led to repost something I wrote last year. I’m not sure why, but I’m going with it. Blessings!  

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FALL SIDEWALK

To journey toward holiness is to walk where the sidewalk never ends. And the path is littered with altars along the way — altars of remembrance and altars of sacrifice.

“Here…on the left…this is where God remembered me and met me and parted the sea for me.”

“Over here, on the right…this is where I laid down my Isaac. There was no thicket, there was no ram.”

 ”And up here just a little bit…this is where God got a hold of me and blinded me. And it took awhile for the scales to be removed, but then I was able to see.”

These little altars are mile markers of progress on a path that will take a lifetime to travel.

As you walk along the path, you are showered with grace. Grace falling like snow into blankets of insulation. Grace falling like rain bringing water to a thirsty soul. Grace shining like the sun and illuminating His glory. Grace falling like fall leaves, where the slightest hint of the wind brings them to submission and piles them high where it’s all you can do not to just JUMP in without concern for bugs or spiders or slithering enemies.

Grace.

Holiness is unattainable without it — yet it is given, not demanded. We cannot demand the snow insulate the earth. We cannot demand the rain hydrate the soil. We cannot demand the sun illuminate our face. And we cannot demand the wind to shake loose the dry leaves from its branch.

For the leaves only fall when the Spirit blows through them. And their fall is gentle and silent, not loud and demanding.

Grace does not give permission to remain unholy.

Grace does not give permission to remain unholy. (tweet)

Instead, grace is the bumper along the path of holiness…that path where the sidewalk never ends…that path littered with altars…grace is piles of fallen leaves and banks of snow and pools of rain, guard rails that keep you from falling over the edge.

When unholiness beckons and summons you like the enemy of Wisdom, go to your altars. The altars of remembrance and the altars of sacrifice…stop on your unending sidewalk and visit them. Remember the things the Lord has done for you — the miracles He performed, the rams He provided and the sight He restored.

Lay back on them like they were lush, green pastures and use them to restore your soul.

And after you have waited on the Lord and renewed your strength, get back up again and continue walking forward toward holiness. Soak in the Spirit as it blows grace all around you, assured it will guard you, should you stumble.

“The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker — travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.” (Proverbs 4:18-19, The Message)