OBEDIENCE. Sounds simple, huh? One would think that if we step out in faith in obedience that the automatic result would be an automatic answer or solution to the condition you found yourself in, right?
The reality is….MY OBEDIENCE TO GOD DOESN’T GUARANTEE WHAT I WANT OR MY DREAMS.
Sometimes, stepping out in faith means your first step may be a step in poo. It may mean that the first step may be uncomfortable or even painful. It may mean giving up a friendship. It may mean giving up time for yourself. It may mean giving up something you really enjoy.
We forget/I forget that obedience is not about my fame, but it is all about God’s fame. There is no guarantee of physical needs met if I step out in obedience. There is no guarantee that I will always get what I want. One thing though if I step out in obedience, I am promised a closer walk with Jesus and that my friends is worth it.
I may not receive presents, but I will receive Presence. The presence of God is a great gift than gold, a new car, a boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.
In Exodus, we see this principle unfold. In Exodus 4 it starts out to be one of those movie minutes where the dramatic music is playing and the feel good part of the movie is when the good guys win. It just seems that it’s going to be like the movie where everything is resolved in two hours.
We see that God calls Moses out of Moses’ self-imposed retirement through a burning bush. Moses and Aaron get called up to deliver the Israelites from slavery. Every excuse that Moses gave, God gave a rebuttal reminding him that He was with him.
Things are going well….
The next step is he meets with the elders and the elders are okay with the gameplan ready to get out of the dump they have been working in as slaves. Trusting Moses and Aaron, the Israelites cheer them on to go and talk with Pharaoh.
Things continue to go well….
Moses and Aaron go and talk with Pharaoh. In boldness, they say to Pharoah, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.” (Exodus 5:1)
“Is that so? And who is the LORD? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.”
Beads of sweat I am sure are forming on Moses brow…his face getting beat red.
I know what I would have been thinking. I would have been thinking, “Did I hear God right? God, what in the world is happening? God, I’m ticked at you–look at what pickle you have put me in!”
To make matters worse………..
Pharoah sends orders to the Egyptian slave drivers to “load them down with more work….make them sweat.” They had to get all of the straw for themselves and still be required to make the same number of bricks as before.
“But God, I did as you said…….I stepped out in obedience!”
First step in Camel Poo…….
Not only was Pharoah against Moses and Aaron, but it royally ticked off the Israelites believing that Moses and Aaron just sentenced them to death. (Exodus 5:19-21)
Second step in Camel Poo…..
Moses responded, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
The smell is atrocious!
Have you ever felt this way? You clearly sensed God leading you in a certain direction and you hit a wall or you felt like you stepped in poo. The results you expected were no where in sight?
Yeah, me too!
When Sarah and I clearly heard God wanting us to have more kids, we excitedly moved forward. Who doesn’t like to do what it takes to make babies? 🙂 We knew God wanted us to have a new child. It was one of those movie moments where we anticipated smooth sailing….heck, what could go wrong when we clearly heard what God wanted?
2 miscarriages….consoling my wife……telling our children…..worried about the prospects of being able to have another kid.
Talk about wondering if we heard God right.
Over 2 years later……Judah Daniel! 2 years!!!!!!!!!!! Let me say that again-2 years!!!!
2 years allowed God to do some pretty extraordinary things in our lives. We probably would not have learned much if everything had gone according to plan, so regardless of the time it took, I am very thankful for the gift He gave us!
Stepping out in obedience is all about God’s timing, not ours. Moses had to go through multiple encounters with Pharoah and go through many hoops in order for Pharaoh to release them. Even with that after being delivered, Pharaoh’s army chased after them. I am not for sure of the time frame all of that happened, but the chain of events I am sure Moses was not expecting.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in these situations?
Hang on…..to Him!
I love Exodus 6:2, “I am Yahweh–‘the LORD.’ ……..You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them.”
Friend, you can be sure that Yahweh has heard your groans–he is very well aware of your condition. You may feel like you are walking in poo–but in time you will be delivered.
Keep walking in obedience! What if Moses gave up after his encounter with Pharoah? As my friend Walker Moore always says, “My disappointment may be God’s divine appointment!”
And remember…..”HE IS YAHWEH–‘the LORD’.
Praying for you!