It was not my intention to go two and half weeks without blogging, but then life got in the way.
Life does that sometimes. Sometimes we’re forced to let go of our own plans—to “let go and let God,” as my best friend likes to say.
Last week, a nasty stomach bug knocked me down. On the first day that it hit, I could not do anything. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t journal, and I could hardly focus on TV. I could not eat, and I could not drink. I didn’t have the energy to even stand up. It was the most sick I’ve been in years.
Praise the Lord, this did not last too long. Four days later, I felt relatively normal again and was able to eat and drink mostly like usual.
I think in a way, God used the situation to tell me to slow down.
God wants our obedience, and I think at times He puts us in situations where the only choice we have is to listen to Him.
I was on the couch, barely able to move, and all I could do was think and pray.
I’m reading through the book of Exodus right now. Maybe it’s because I am journaling through it or maybe it’s because I’m discussing it within my discipleship group, but this is the first time the Old Testament is really clicking with me. I can actually see parallels between what happened thousands of years ago, what Jesus did for us in the New Testament, and what’s going on in my own life.
Take a look at a few of the passages in Exodus 12. I read a commentary to better understand this, and it helped me put the pieces together. The ten plagues over Egypt have ended, and the Lord instructs Moses and Aaron regarding Passover. He’s preparing them to help bring the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land:
“Here is how you must eat it: You must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover...
He summoned Moses and Aaron during the night and said, ‘Get up, leave my people, both you and the Israelites, and go, worship Yahweh as you have asked. Take even your flocks and your herds as you asked and leave, and also bless me.’...
The people baked the dough they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened loaves, since it had no yeast; for when they have been driven out of Egypt they could not delay and had not prepared any provisions for themselves.”
The Israelites had to eat the Passover meal in faith, trusting that God would in fact deliver them. They had to be dressed for travel and ready to walk in the deliverance that the Lord prepared for them right then and there. Later in Chapter 12, we see God tell Moses and Aaron to leave and worship Him. The people must leave in the middle of the night, with bread that has not baked, and with no preparation or provision for themselves. They had no choice but to do what God told them to do.
In the midst of my stomach bug, I had no choice but to stop and trust God. I had to rest. I had to be still. I had to take good care of myself.
And I thought a lot about the Exodus story. As with the Israelites, the Lord wants our obedience. We obey because we know and love God. He has delivered me from the old self, from sin and death. He’s given me new, eternal life in Him. I’m called to trust in Him and walk in that truth every day. The same is true for you, friend. If you've turned from sin and given your life to Christ, you have been made anew. Do you believe that? Does it change your day-to-day life?
If I believed that 100 percent of the time, I would relinquish the control I try to tightly hold on my life. I’d hand the reigns over to God.
Daily obedience and trust in God means I get to live a full, free life.
One of my favorite parts of Exodus is chapter 14 verses 13 and 14.
“But Moses said to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation. He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.’”
The Lord will fight for you. Be quiet, be still, let Him work.
The God who demanded obedience from the Israelites is the same God who asks that of us today. He’s the same God who paves the way when we trust Him. The same God who provides. When He puts us in situations where our only choice is to listen to Him, let’s stop resisting Him and do what He says.
In this season of my life, obedience looks like taking good care of my body. God's calling me to obey Him by eating well, resting and taking a break from exercise, and most of all, surrendering control to Him. Obedience changes my life and leads me closer to Him.
Obedience is an act of worship.
So what if God simply wants us to be quiet? What does it look like for you to be quietly obedient to Him? How is He asking you to follow Him and walk in the new life He’s given you?
Pray that He will open your eyes. Pray for the wisdom and courage to do all He's asking of you. And then trust. You don't have to be afraid to obey. God has already gone before you and prepared the way.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.