I am here to tell you friends, spiritual obedience can be a real struggle.
We’ve started reading “Radical” by David Platt as a church and in our LifeGroup. The first chapter alone smacks you where it hurts, revealing things about us that aren’t pretty. Who is really first, our Sovereign King, Holy and most Worthy God or me? What’s most important, His mission or mine?
We talk a good game, give on Sunday, do some acts of service, reflecting what we believe is a good faithful Christian in our comfortable American culture …. but do I really believe Jesus when He challenges us with the cost of following Him and more importantly, am I going to obey?
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Am I willing to put down my net? Or will I respond like the Rich Young Ruler, who counted the cost of discipleship and sadly walked away?
Since early this year I’ve felt God’s prompt to prepare. It’s like an if / then proposition. If you’re going to answer My call then get ready. Position yourselves financially and spiritually. Change is coming. Grow. Engage. If you love, trust and believe in Me, then let go your grip on things you hold dear. Possessions, security, pride, comfort and self. Even as I write this confession, fear has a nasty cold grip on my heart and it makes me feel weak and sick.
Deep in my heart I know that God is worthy of my complete trust and total surrender. He alone is my hope and my salvation. I know that everything comes from Him and belongs to Him. Then why is it so hard to give Him everything?
I’ve been convicted that part of our preparation as a ministry couple means downsizing our lifestyle and reducing our living expenses so that we can actually respond when God opens the door to full time ministry. Since our largest expense is the house, we need to sell it. It all sounds reasonable and logical in theory, much more difficult to put into practice.
I’ve spent these past few months preparing to prepare to move. I pre-packed items we don’t use everyday, cleaned out and organized closets, gave things away, staged our home with fresh new curtains and bedding, patched the ugly nail holes and touched them up with paint. I took pictures and made a little brochure to share on social media.
Then came the issue of actually placing “For Sale” signs in our yard. Since the idea is to be good stewards and sell the house ourselves to save a 3% commission, we would need some nice yard signs and directional signs. I didn’t want the cheesy WalMart kind that you mark up with a Sharpie, I wanted something that looked appealing and professional.
And that’s where it stalled out. These last three weeks I’ve dragged my feet in the next step of obedience to put up signs and follow through with trying to sell the house. Our home. Then what, Lord?
One step after another, following Jesus through shadows of uncertainty. Today I ordered the signs. I wish I could tell you I’m fearless and totally secure in this process but I’m not. But I am becoming more dependent on Him, clinging to Jesus oh so tightly for assurance, learning to open my hand to let go so that it’s free to receive.
The house might sell in a week. It might not sell at all. I have no idea. Perhaps the test is simply living out our willingness to abandon ourselves and trust Him with the outcome.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV)