I don’t have to know or understand the outcome of my obedience in order to obey Him.
The Lord said in His Word that if we love Him, we will obey Him. It states it this way in John 14:15:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
The Story behind this thought:
This week I have had multiple chances to pray for and bless people. In all honesty, sometimes I was obedient and sometimes I did not follow the small feeling or passing thought that I felt might be the Holy Spirit nudging me to do something. I don’t remember the times where I did not listen (probably because they were not significant moments to me). Maybe I missed out on an opportunity. I truly don’t know. Whatever the case, I do not focus on what I did not do, because I want to keep my focus on Jesus. If I did not listen, then I quickly repented to Jesus for not listening to Him and then I changed my ways and I obeyed.
Jesus says in His Word to focus on that which is good and pleasant and excellent and honorable and true. Philippians 4:8 reads it this way:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The moments that I do remember consisted of me being obedient and the reason I remember them is because they encouraged me. When I was at a point in my week where I needed encouragement from the Lord, He gave encouragement to me after I obeyed Him. I am not saying that the Lord is only kind or gracious to me when I obey Him. He is faithful and good and kind to me despite my behavior toward Him. He is a good God and He loves me. What I am saying is that this week, I experienced encouragement as a result of obeying the Lord.
The Lord encouraged me…
1. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
Earlier this week I had the chance to pray with a friend who loves the Lord. We have both experienced healing within our bodies, minds, souls, and spirits. We have both experienced other people receiving healing in all of these capacities, as well. When we prayed together, we asked God for healing. There were no warm fuzzies for me, I didn’t feel the fire of God, I didn’t have a vision, and to my knowledge, my friend did not experience immediate healing. My friend’s body was in pain. I don’t know why the Lord did not heal in that moment. I do not understand how that experience supports what I KNOW about God and what I see written in the Word. I will not blame God, because He is good; and I will not feel guilt or shame, because I obeyed the Lord and I have faith in Him. However, honestly, I do not know what to think of that experience. The promises I see in the Word do not line up with what I experienced, and this is why, it does not make sense to me. I am not mad at God and I am not mad at myself. I am simply asking the Lord to give me insight and wisdom and knowledge regarding healing.
- God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
The next day, I met a nice, older woman, a Jesus Lover, who obviously had something wrong with her shoulder. She explained the scenario, and when I asked if I could pray for her, she gladly accepted. After praying, I asked her if she felt better and she responded, “Well, yes, I feel much better now that you prayed for me!” in regards to her well-being. I was specifically asking about her shoulder, but the Lord had used that prayer to touch her heart and not only her body. Once again, I do not understand the Lord and how He works, but He used this encounter to encourage me greatly! After praying for this woman, I saw how she was lifted up and encouraged, and this lifted my spirit! On my drive afterward, I was talking to the Lord thanking Him over and over again that He gave me that encouraging encounter with the nice, Jesus-loving woman!
- God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
This last scenario occurred as I went to the local grocery store. While in the check out line, my heart was drawn to a certain girl in the store whom I felt the Holy Spirit was highlighting. I felt like He was saying to bless her. To make sure it was the Holy Spirit, I told Him if the timing worked out right and I didn’t need to rush or run after her, that I would bless her. At the time, I had a young man with me who was busy singing and having fun and doing his own thing, thus I knew I was at the hands of the Lord’s timing.
As this young man and I walked out of the store, we walked right past the girl. I didn’t say a thing. I kept walking out to my car, figuring the Holy Spirit could bless her Himself or that I was just making things up on my own. We carried on, the young gentlemen still having fun singing and whistling his way to the car to put down the 5 gallons of fudge swirl ice cream we had just purchased. As I was driving out of the parking lot of the grocery store, I saw the girl loading her own groceries into her car. She was by herself and I just had a feeling she would feel blessed if I were to go over there and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Turning the car around and back into the parking lot, I explained to the young man in the back seat why our ice cream plans were currently on hold. Driving up to the girl in the most non-staulkerish way possible, I rolled down the window to explain that I felt that Jesus wanted me to bless her. She gladly received the offer, we prayed together, and she explained that what we had prayed about no longer having bad dreams was “right on”. After maxing out the words “thank-you”, saying she’s having a much better day now, and giving us hugs, my young friend and I were headed home and were back on track thinking of our ice cream plans.
This encounter was a treat (not just because of the ice cream) but because the Lord allowed me to choose to bless someone, and when I did, He blessed me. It was an act of simple obedience, and the Lord allowed me to love on Him, to love on someone He cherishes and loves, and He encouraged me.
This is all to say, that I do not understand the Lord, but I love Him. I do not understand His timing or why He does certain things the way He does. I just know that I am to love God and to love people. It’s simple in theory. The Lord has given me instructions I understand and can follow when I’m obeying the Holy Spirit. I want to show Him I love Him, whether I understand Him or not.
Help us to obey you when we do not understand what You are doing. We want to love You well. Help us to love You well.