Simple Obedience.

Delight yourself in the Lord.

I don’t know how many times I have heard this phrase before, but just recently it has taken on a whole new meaning. God does so much to delight in us, His children, why don’t we delight more in the Lord?!

Just how much does the Lord delight in us? Let me share some scripture with you:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion–
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

(Isaiah 61:1-9)

Recently I have been in a phase life where I am not experiencing much emotion and honestly, it’s hard. I was someone who was built to feel in ways others do not. It might sound crazy, but I believe that God has allowed me to feel more deeply than most in order to serve and understand his people better. I have spent most of my life learning to understand this gift, and I even spent four years shoving back everything I felt, but God has been glorified many times through allowing me to experience emotions on a deeper level to minister to others in a way that some might not be able to.

As I’m writing this I have been coming to a clearer understanding of what the Lord is doing in this season. We are called to be simply obedient to the instructions that were left for us in The Word. God does not always ask us to do big things, but by trusting Him in the simple, He moves through our obedience and in our call to humility, moves mountains through us. Are we willing to put our “yes” on the table and let Him move in that? Are we willing to surrender ourselves and allow big things to happen because we rest in the simple obedience found in the gospel and how we respond to it?

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” 

– Oswald Chambers

We are called to simply love the Lord. In that, He will take us to ordinary places to do extraordinary things. I think we have a tendency to search for fireworks when we are often handed sparklers. God gives us the flame, but what we get to do with that is completely up to Him. Will you be satisfied with the simple?

It’s crazy how much I have seen this in my own life. The times I have stepped out in simple obedience, God has moved mountains. Seasons of sacrificing time to commit to a more in-depth prayer life has yielded a ton of fruit. Specifically, I began to pray for God to use me in a big way to shift the way worship is done within our church, but God wanted me to sacrifice parts of me in order to use me in this way.

I’ve not been one to struggle with a ton of pride when it comes to my singing voice, and contrary to popular belief I actually struggle a lot in confidence when it comes to my singing. However, God has healed me a ton in that area. In 2013 I actually lost just my singing voice, my speech was completely unaffected, for three months. I was in my third year of college and most of my studies at the time revolved around my ability to sing. While I was getting further behind in my assignments, God was growing me in my ability to trust Him. Up until this point, I had believed that the only way the Lord could use me was with my singing voice, but God showed me in these three months that He has gifted me in a lot of other areas and that I could serve His Kingdom in different ways outside of music.

Recently, in May of 2017, I was diagnosed with callouses on my vocal cords and had another season of struggling to trust that the Lord could use me or my voice for that matter to be the answer to the prayers I had been sharing with Him. Since then, I have struggled to sing for the Lord. I was having a hard time believing that God could use my broken voice to bring others to worship Him. But, God reminded me that this voice is not mine, it is His to use as he pleases. And after surrendering this instrument to Him, I’ve sang notes that are more healthy, more pure, and more beautiful than I ever have before. I was called to simply surrender my voice to His will and I’ve seen more of Him since then.

A lot of the time God just gives simple commands, like “Go” or “Do”. Inherently those things are not huge, but what He does through them is bigger than we could ever anticipate. In Acts 8, Philip is commanded to go to a place, and then get in a chariot. In his obedience, the Lord uses Philip to bring a Eunuch to faith. The commands were simply “Go” and “Do”, but the Lord used Philip’s obedience to open up a conversation that eventually lead to faith.

What is God telling you to “Do” or where is God telling you to “Go”? What is stopping you from responding? Is it fear of the unknown? Is it overlooking that God could use you in such a simplistic way? Why reach for the fireworks when God can use to to dance with the sparklers?

Serve the Lord where He has you; in your job, in class, in your family, wherever it may be. It may not look like mountains are being moved, but being faithful means trusting that the Lord can do great work with very little. What chariot is the Lord calling you to get into?

Loving the Lord is something we are called to do as creation. It is definitely a lot easier said than done in a world that goes against all of who He is. But by focusing on His promises, on what His word says about us, on His strength, we set ourselves up to be used by Him in ways we could never come up with or imagine for ourselves as finite creatures serving an infinite Father.

How can you take steps to delight more in the Lord? What do you need to surrender to allow yourself to see how much he cares for you and wants to use you to move mountains?

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