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Radical Obedience

Lately, I find myself with less and less to say. Since a young age, I’ve deemed myself as an opinionated person, strong-willed, with the ability to do and withstand the hard things. Although I listened to the naysayers, I chose to make it a point to accomplish the opposite of what they deemed as my reality. As a child, I knew what I wanted and prided myself on knowing exactly how to achieve all of my dreams and aspirations.

Currently, I’m a mess. Imagine trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together and the pieces don’t fit with one another. I’m having a hard time navigating my feelings, thoughts, opinions and next steps. One day I’m up and the next day I’m down. My emotions, more often than not, dictate my actions. Consequently, I feel the Lord is constantly drawing me closer and closer to Him, requiring me to come to the end of myself. He’s adamantly asking me to sacrifice the life I desire and/or things that give me comfort because they are all-to-familiar.

I don’t hear the audible voice of God, yet. It’s something I am praying will one day happen, however, right now I have conversations in my head, and I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me through these conversations (and the word of God, of course). Here’s my latest chit chat:

God: Why do you think that you are entitled to live comfortably?

Me: Isn’t that obvious? Everything I’ve done as of late is uncomfortable. I moved to Swaziland because You told me too. I extended my time here over-and-over again because You told me too. I’ve accepted that You desired me here longer than I’ve ever expected. I’ve given up so much already, can’t I catch a break?  

I imagine when I have these conversations in my head that the Lord is sitting in Heaven, on His throne, laughing at me. Not in a mocking kind of way, but an “if only you knew what I had for you daughter;” sitting in amusement of my thoughts. Do you know what His response was to my question?

God: My son gave the ultimate sacrifice for you. He asked if it was possible to let this cup pass from him and if it couldn’t, he desired that My will would be done and not that of His flesh (Matthew 26: 39). I need you to do the same and let go of everything that I ask you to let go of; not because I want you to have nothing, but because I want you to have everything. I want to give you the world if You would only let me. It won’t be easy and I’m not promising you that it will be comfortable. I am, however, promising everything that I have for you is worth it! You are so worthy of the best that this life has to offer.  I desire to give it to you, but it doesn’t come without the ultimate sacrifice and radical change. Will you let me guide your steps and make your path straight? Please be obedient to my voice. Will you just trust me? 

I am not Jesus and I can’t pretend to be anything close to Him. However, I do strive to be a reflection of Him to others each day. It frustrates me after so many years of following the Lord while attempting to live righteously, that I don’t fully trust Him. I’m overjoyed to share that there is an overabundance of grace offered to me from the Lord, and it’s not solely tailored to me, you get it too. God may not necessarily be happy with my inability to trust Him, but He stays ever-so-close to me, cheering me on every minute and second of every day.

He’s my biggest fan. I’m sure that He has a sign that states “Go Brittine Go. You got this. If you fail, it’s ok too. I love you anyway.” He only made one of these signs, though, because I’m the only Brittine in existence (laugh with me it’s funny).

I’m currently studying the book of Mark with a group of missionary women in Eswatini. Mark 1:16-18 in the Amplified version states: “As Jesus was walking by the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Simon’s brother, Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]” [Emphasis added].

I love the Amplified version of this passage because of the way that it further describes verses by expounding the meaning. In this passage, I notice four things that will help us as we walk out radical obedience.

  1. Before we can do anything, we must accept the Lord as our Master and Teacher with the desire to follow in His footsteps, which He gave us through Jesus. Without this piece, the following three don’t matter. I used to think the decision I made when accepting Christ for the first time was a one and done deal, however, that’s why Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow him daily. It’s not a one-time occurrence, we must continually remind ourselves to be obedient to Abba daily, allowing ourselves to be refined through His standards and teachings each day.
  2. Peter and Andrew didn’t have it all together. They weren’t rich or even super skilled. They were fishermen and that’s what they knew how to do. Jesus knew something else though; He knew that with the right teaching and a heart willing to follow Him in obedience that He could use Peter and Andrew. When coming to the Father, we won’t have it all together, our role is to trust that He knows what He’s doing and that He will equip us for whatever He calls us to. He will make you what He desires you to be. 
  3. “Immediately.” I don’t know why we wait and want to make sure that we heard the Lord properly. Our flesh convinces us that we have to have confirmation after confirmation before we even take a step. The bible says that the disciples followed Jesus immediately. It’s not something they had to think about, it’s just what they did. Who is missing out on the love of Christ or hearing the gospel, because you are sitting around waiting for the Lord to confirm everything to you?  Be obedient immediately. 
  4. After the course of action is immediate, then you choose to follow Christ. We do this by trusting and believing in Him, while we follow in His footsteps. One reason Christ walked this earth was for him to be able to sympathize with our every-day struggle within our flesh. Christ overcame so that we can too. Believe, trust, and walk-in His footsteps. 

I wholeheartedly believe that God has so much more in store for me. As long as I am disobedient I will never fully reap the inheritance He has for me. Sacrifice does not come without obedience. I encourage each of you to choose obedience before anything else. Be blessed.

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