Our Obedience – God’s Response

“Sometimes, Damon, you just have to take the step.” This one sentence changed the trajectory of my life back in the year 2000. It was spoken by a pastor and friend of mine who was sharing his story with me in relation to what I was sharing with him. At that time I was a very juvenile twenty-three year old with no real understanding of the real world. I lacked knowledge and experience, had been married for less than two years, and was a brand-new dad. To say the least, my head was spinning, especially as my wife expressed her strong desire to be home with our newly minted little one. She had made this known to me in the months predating his birth and reminded me often in the months that postdated his arrival. However, I knew that I could not support the three of us with my work alone. Without her employment, we would lose more than half our income and our benefits to boot. In my young and immature faith, I had no capacity for understanding God’s power and ability, or the way in which He responds to the obedience of His sons and daughters.

My wife’s plea to become a stay-at-home momma took on a new challenge one day when I began to feel the Lord affirm in my heart that her desire was coming from Him. My response? “Lord, you might want to use a calculator, because it is mathematically impossible.” For six months I argued with God about this until one day the weight of His command became heavier than my ability to ignore it. So, I took my dilemma to my pastor friend and with his words I received the faith to relinquish my stubborn disobedience and trust the Lord with that which I couldn’t fathom. The grin on my wife’s face was the first of many blessings that followed.

What has taken place since is akin to the words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Malachi, Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (3:10b). This does not mean I have a storehouse of financial riches hidden someplace, but God, in so many timely ways, has been providing for my family ever since. It hasn’t stopped. When a need arises, and there have been many in the last seventeen years, He has supplied those needs. Some very big, and some very small, but He has supplied them all. They have not always come in the manner or timing by which we expected, but they have consistently come. One act of obedience has set forth almost two decades now of His Fatherly provision.

I share this story today because prior to writing this article I read a story written by a member of our Groups ministry who in recent days obediently allowed God to orchestrate a seemingly ordinary and mundane activity, so as to link him with a person who needed to be encouraged by the good news of the Gospel. And this came on the heals of a story shared with me in regard to how God turned what was meant for evil into good (Gen. 50:20), which followed another situation where I witnessed God orchestrate the lives of a handful of people so that another handful of people could encounter the love of Christ in a truly miraculous and life saving manner.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28

My point in sharing all this is to encourage you, whether in your groups, or simply going about your normal daily activity, to be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You may not understand them and they may not seem to make sense in the moment, but remember, “..with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). To delay is not only disobedience but you are subsequently also delaying, maybe even denying, the blessings God has in store for you and others. God is truly sovereign and He will fulfill His plan, but He wants to do so through you if you will allow Him.

God works through His people, for His people. Our missing this fact can be to our peril, or that of others. Consider the words of Hanani the seer, to Asa king of Judah in 2 Chronicles 16:7-9, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Group leaders, every time you meet there will be opportunities that God wants to bring to fruition for and through you and your group members. The floodgates of His blessings are waiting to open, and you hold the key. If you will follow and obey, even in the mundane or illogical circumstances, the blessings will flow. Rely not on outside, or logical evidences; rely on God, His promises, and His faithfulness.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

One last note in regard to my story at the beginning of this article, my wife is still at home, I still work for the same employer, and we have had five more little ones since. There are many details intermingling the days within our story. I have witnessed it all come together over the years but I remain astonished as to how. It is only God who can grow things in a pot that doesn’t seem fit for the seeds.

Go Deeper – Grow Stronger

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