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Posts Tagged ‘obeying God’

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Acts 5:29

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

I have had to wrestle with this question in my pursuit of starting a single mom ministry.

Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God?

Am I more afraid of men than I have trust in God?

Am I going to obey God or man?

God has called me to full-time ministry work. I am to minister to single mom families through a full-time ministry. Will I be paid in the conventional way? No, and this is where my objectors come in.

I am being lazy.

I need a “real” job to be productive.

I can’t just live off of people for the rest of my life.

Following God is not easy. Obeying God even when loved ones don’t get it isn’t easy. Having my value as a person based on my income isn’t easy. Right now, I have no value to some people because I choose to obey God whether I get paid or not. I choose to NOT let the possible consequences stop me from following God’s call on my life. At this point in my life, there is nothing else I can do. I have to obey my God and trust in HIS provision.

As a testimony to HIS goodness, I quit my last paying job of 8 years in May of 2019. I have been working on this ministry since then. I have been working to get it to where I can present it to a church as a feasible, necessary ministry. God is opening that door and more than that, I have had a home with family. I have had income enough to provide for my personal bills and my personal needs. I have not gone without. God provides what I need when I need it. I trust in God and God alone. I listen to God and God alone. I will NOT allow the voice of man to distract me from the will of God. I’ve come to far to turn back now.

My questions to you is:

Are you living for God or for man? Are you more afraid of man? Are you trying to gain the approval of man or God? Are you going to obey man or God?

Think about it. It may not seem like a big deal now, but there will come a time when you will have to choose. God or man?

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standing firm

 

Daniel 6:6-12

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

 

Obedience to God is not always an easy thing. Standing firm in your faith can come with a price tag. Daniel didn’t waver in his faith in God. As soon as he heard that the decree had been published, he went home and prayed. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God, just as he had always done. He didn’t quit praying when he heard about the decree. He obeyed God, regardless of the consequences. When the King’s men found Daniel praying, they took him to King Darius, who had no choice but to throw him in the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:19-23

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel,and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

God sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions, because Daniel had faith in God and obeyed God’s commands. Even today, we are faced with situations that cause us to disobey God. Society pressures us to do things that are against God and many times there are consequences for not having the faith to stand firm. Drinking, drugs, sex, hanging out with people who don’t share your values or belief in God, having a job that compromises your values or doesn’t allow you time to attend worship services on Sundays; these are only a few examples of situations in our lives that cause us to disobey God. Each one comes with it’s own set of consequences, but the biggest consequence is becoming separated from God. If Daniel had obeyed the King’s decree, he would have found himself separated from God. There is a deep agony in separation. There is despair and hopelessness that only communion with God can overcome. Daniel had that heart connection with God and he knew that life was not worth living without God. Daniel trusted God with his life and so he obeyed and prayed.

What situation are you facing today that is threatening to separate you from God? Are you willing to stand firm in your faith and trust God with the outcome? Are you willing to walk away from friends, a job, a relationship, to obey God? Are you willing to follow the example of Daniel, even when society is pressuring you to do something else? Are you willing to obey God to maintain that heart connection with Him?

Trusting God can be scary and downright terrifying at times. I encourage you to seek Him always. I encourage you to be like Daniel, who immediately went home to pray upon hearing of the decree. If you are facing a situation that is asking you to compromise your relationship with God, go to Him and ask Him to help you. God can and will shut the mouths of lions, even today. Don’t allow society to break that heart connection you have with God. The hopelessness of a life without God simply isn’t worth it.

 

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simplicity

Luke 9:1-6

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. (Italics mine)

Jesus made it clear to the disciples that He wanted them to live simply, focusing on the ONE important thing in their lives, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. I have heard people say that God has chosen certain people to be rich. I don’t buy it. That just doesn’t sound like the God of justice and equality that I know and love. Why would God choose some to be filthy rich and others to be homeless and hungry? Nope, doesn’t sound like the loving God that I worship.

In fact, scripture tells us just the opposite:

1 Timothy 6:9

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Luke 18:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

James 5:1-6

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

I am not judging the rich in our society, but it comes down to what you do with those riches: will you horde them and selfishly keep them to yourself or will you share out of your abundance in obedience to God? Will you live in a million dollar mansion on a hill isolated from others or live simply, sharing with those in need in your community? The same questions also apply to those pastors and leaders of mega churches: are you going to waste millions of dollars on a huge church, perfectly manicured gardens and dozens of programs to entertain your congregants or are you going to maintain a simple building and give the millions to those in need in your community? Are you going to move your church to the fancy neighborhood in the ‘burbs or are you going to stay in the ghetto where your presence may actually do more good than you could ever imagine?

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Luke 12:33

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Being rich is not a sin in itself. It is what you do with what God has blessed you with. Live simply and share your riches with those who are in need. Taking a look back at what Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9:1-6 we learn that we are to simplify our lives in three ways:

1. Material possessions

2. Time

3. Money

He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.

The disciples were told to take NOTHING for the journey! Jesus knew that material possessions and money would distract them from their purpose: proclaiming the good news and healing people. God provided what they needed, when they needed it. They lived simply. Their time was spent building relationships and proclaiming the good news. Period.

What does living simply mean to you? Take a look at the three things listed above and pray for God to guide you in ways to simplify your life, so that you can focus on our ONE true purpose: proclaiming the good news, building relationships and loving people to Jesus. List three ways under each category (material possessions, time and money) in which you can simplify your life. Give yourself a certain amount of time to accomplish those goals. How do you feel? Now, list three more ways to simplify for each category.

Don’t get discouraged. Simplifying sometimes means sacrifice. Is God worth the effort? I think He is. If you need encouragement along the way, I am here for you. Don’t give up! You can do this! One baby step at a time. Your reward will be treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

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