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Obedience

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By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8, Christian Standard Bible).

As my friends know, I love to travel. In fact, it is common to be greeted with the question, “Where’s your next trip?” It doesn’t matter if it’s five miles down the road or across continents, I’m ready for new sights and new adventures. Part of the enjoyment comes from sharing the adventure with a good friend. But I’ve learned not everyone makes a good travel companion. It must be someone whose “style” matches mine. Here’s my definition of some common traveler types.

  • The Organizer researches everything ahead of time—distance, hours to destination, things to see, and places to eat. Google, AAA, or whatever, they know the details. This traveler has a schedule and doesn’t deviate.
  • The Adventurer does have an ultimate destination in mind, but detours and stops are not just tolerated but embraced. Something historical down that road? Well, let’s stop to see it. Time doesn’t matter, but they will eventually arrive at the planned destination. Eventually is the key word.
  • The Point and Go traveler doesn’t care about the journey, regardless of any interesting sights along the way. They point the car and go. Reaching the destination in the most direct manner is the goal. Pity any passenger who would like to stop for a bathroom break or a Coke.

I suppose I’m a combination of the Organizer and the Adventurer. I like to know details about distance and destination, but oh, how I enjoy those impromptu side trips along the way. Even getting lost is fun. Years later we still laugh about our “shortcut” that went from pavement to gravel road and then to just ruts and dust. A very puzzled man in a pickup finally stopped and pointed us back to the highway.

The Ultimate Traveler

There is another type traveler, and I hope this one describes me as well. It’s The Faith Traveler. The best example I have of this person is Abraham. Hebrews 11:8 tells us he left the comfort of the known for an unknown destination. He had no step-by-step printed directions. A GPS would be worthless (if it had existed) because there was no way to enter a destination address.

Obey? Or Stay?

The question: obey or stay? When Abraham stepped out by faith, he surrendered all control of the situation. God became his Master Navigator.

Being a Faith Traveler is scary. Like Abraham, we need faith to launch ourselves into the unknown when God calls us to go. We also need a mega dose of obedience. But we don’t need to fear. God is plotting our perfect course.

Is God asking you to step out by faith in to the unknown? Are you having trouble surrendering complete control to Him? If He has called you to step into this great unknown, He will also lead you. He may only reveal one step at a time, but He knows the destination and it’s a good one. He’s the Master Navigator, so don’t worry.

“You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, ‘This is the correct way, walk in it,’ whether you are heading to the right or the left” (Isaiah 30:21, New English Translation).

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith so that I can launch myself into the unknown with You, knowing You will reveal the way I should go. You will guide me each step of the way.

“Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14).

In 2 Kings Chapter 5, we read the account of Naaman, captain of the Syrian army. He was a mighty man and honorable. Even though he was well-respected with an important position, he had leprosy.

Leprosy was a disease of the skin.  In the worst cases, the victims flesh would rot and fall off. Anyone who had this disease was considered unclean.

Naaman’s wife had a maid that had been captured from Israel. She told them about the prophet Elisha and the healings that followed his ministry . The king of Syria sent a messenger with talents, gold and raiment to the king of Israel in exchange for the prophet to come heal Naaman. When Elisha heard about this, he told the messenger to have Naaman come to him.

When Naaman came to the house, Elisha came to the door and told him to go wash in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman walked away furious because he expected the prophet to come and pray over him with a great prayer, not send him to the Jordan River to wash. He even questioned why he couldn’t go to another, better river. One of the servants pleaded with him to do as Elisha had commanded. Naaman finally agreed and went to wash in the Jordan River. On the seventh time that he entered the water, he was healed.

There was nothing special about what Elisha told Naaman to do. There was nothing magical about the Jordan River. Elisha didn’t speak a prophetic prayer over Naaman. It just came down to obedience.

God may ask you to do something that you think is foolish just to see if you will do it out of obedience. The answer to your prayer will always be linked to obedience.

About 8-9 years ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It got to the point that no one could touch me including my husband and my son. Most of the time, I would stay home.  I would miss church. People shaking my hand or hugging me had become too painful. Many times I would sit at home and cry because the pain was too much for me. There  were medicines to ease the pain, but no cure.  I became depressed and there were times I wished I could just die.

One day, I finally had enough. I had prayed numerous times for God to heal me but I didn’t get my miracle. Our church was having a special service and I wanted to go. That night they asked people to come to the front who needed healing, deliverance, salvation, etc. I made my way to the front and stood over to the side so that people wouldn’t touch me.

The guest speaker came by and asked why I needed prayer. I told him I wanted to be healed. I did not tell him the specific need, just that I needed healing. He asked me to spin around 3 times to receive my healing. At first, I stood and thought to myself, “What does this have to do with me getting my healing?” I finally decided that I would obey and do what he asked. I spun around once, twice, and on the third time the power of God touched me. God instantly healed me of Fibromyalgia and I have not suffered since that day!

There was nothing magical about spinning around.  The healing was released because I was obedient. If I had stopped after the first or second time around, I would not have received my miracle. God wanted me to trust and obey Him.

What is God asking you to do?  Obey.  It could be the answer to your prayer.

 

BY MISHELLE NALLY

“And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.” Genesis 24:58

At the beginning of the year, when we begin reading the Bible through once more, the story of Isaac and Rebekah has always stood out to me. This year I am reading the New Living Version and enjoyed reading it once again.

Can you imagine the excitement when Abraham’s servant appeared at the well and greeted Rebekah with the news that he had come with the purpose of finding a bride for his master’s son? Then as Rebekah took him to her home and he told her family of his mission, it must have caused quite a stir. Knowing that they would probably never see their daughter again, her parents desired that they wait awhile before leaving, but the servant was insistent that it was imperative they go immediately. They called Rebekah and put the question to her. Without hesitation, she answered: “I will go.” She was willing to leave family and the only life she had ever known and journey to a strange place to marry someone she had never seen.

What a picture of a person hearing the call of God to repent and leave their old life behind, and without hesitation say an eternal “Yes” to Jesus. Family and friends may try to persuade them that they shouldn’t make these changes, but the anticipation of what is ahead is greater than the pull of what is familiar.

Rebekah was fully committed to go to Isaac, and nothing could hold her back. We must be fully committed to Jesus, willing to follow Him all the way. It is worth everything we leave behind, because of the joy and love we find in Jesus Christ, and the hope we have of spending eternity with Him.

Prayer: Jesus thank you for the invitation to follow you, for the joy and peace you give, and for the hope of the future with you.

Devotion by Anne Johnston