Ever have those days when you don’t feel like doing anything? Well today is one of those days for me. There are lots of to-do’s on my list but no motivation to-do any of them. I seriously consider a Netflix marathon in the comfort of my bed and then I try what millions of us try daily. . .
I scroll through my social media feeds hoping to find some inspiration to jump start my day.
I text my hubby and he suggests I get out of the house and do some thrifting or go to the coffee shop. I am tempted but my hair and my budget say, “No.”
I pour myself a second cup of coffee and sit at the breakfast table in silence for a while.
As a look at my calendar I am reminded that today is a friend’s birthday. Earlier in the week I had planned to make him his favorite pie. I haven’t told him yet so I could not make the pie and he wouldn’t know the difference I reason.
WHEN OBEDIENCE IS AS EASY AS PIE
For years I confuse rule-following with obedience. I try to keep all the rules all the time. And even for a born rule-follower that way of life is a recipe for frustration and failure. Two decades into my journey as a Christian, God lovingly allows me to quietly fall apart so He can show me what I’m missing.
I’m writing a book to tell the bigger story but I’m reminded almost every day that I still have much to learn about obedience. Here’s what I learn again today:
- Obedience is a decision we make regardless of how we feel.
Feelings are not bad. God created us to be emotional beings. The problem with feelings comes when we allow them to control us. You and I may not be able to control what we feel but we can absolutely control what we say, think, and do in response to a feeling.
I’ve wasted a lot of time being controlled and sidetracked by out-of-control emotions. Feelings always over-promise and under-deliver.
Obedience tells a different story. God promises again and again in His Word to bless our obedience. I’ve never once regretted choosing obedience.
- Obedience is often as simple as making a decision to do the next right thing.
I finish my coffee and prepare to make pie. As I preheat the oven and assemble the ingredients the fog of negative feelings is moving. My thoughts race back in time as I walk slowly to the oven, just like my mom always did, being careful not to spill the contents from its shell.
I close the oven door and then do the next right thing. A text to my friend: “Isn’t today your birthday? I thought you might like your favorite pie?”
- One role of the Holy Spirit is to show believers how to be obedient to the commands in scripture.
Love one another. John 13:34
Today that looks like making a pie for a friend on his birthday.
Tomorrow it might look completely different.
The good news is we’re not left to figure it out on our own. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives in you and me and He is always ready and willing to guide us on our journey.
- Obedience requires surrender.
I struggle with this one the most today because of my fear of being misunderstood. You see, my plan is to make and deliver the pie without anyone knowing. No pics or social media posts. But God has a different plan which is the only reason I’m sharing this story with you.
He wants you to do what He’s asking you to do. You want to do what He’s asking you to do but one of your greatest fears is “What will others think?”
I know the fear well. As I consider sharing this story for you to read my fears multiply. The pettiness of my fear is magnified as I type. It sounded reasonable in my head.
- What if my friend _________________ sees the post and wonders why I didn’t make her a pie on her birthday?
- What if my friend remembers that I didn’t acknowledge her birthday at all?
- What if others think that I’m sharing this story to get a pat on the back?
- What if others wonder how I had time to make and deliver a pie but I didn’t have time for that thing they asked me to do?
- What will others think of me now that I’ve revealed the war that wages daily between my emotions and my desire to walk in faithful obedience to God?
Okay. So I’m human. Now I know that you know (as if you didn’t already know).
But obedience won today.
And it was as easy as pie.
I don’t know what battles you’re fighting today but I pray that my story encourages you to choose obedience. However big or small the task He’s calling you to I’m praying that, regardless of how you feel, you’ll make the decision to do the next right thing with the help of the Holy Spirit. Surrender your pride and the fear of being misunderstood. Obedience is always worth it.
Happy Birthday, Marvin!