"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams." 1Samuel 15:21 & 22
OBEDIENCE, OBEY, OBEDIENT
Obedience has been the lesson of the summer. And I am still learning it. Actually, I think this a lesson that God has been trying to teach me for over a year now and this summer it has become the main lesson. It started with the word He gave about my Dad. He told me that I need to restore my relationship with Dad. That I can't wait around and blame Dad for the lack of relationship we have, when some of the responsibility lies on me. I did not want to approach my Dad and have a deep conversation because it would require vulnerability. With the encouragement of friends and their prayers, I did. And I don't regret it.
Then next one had to do with my friend, Deb, from nursing school. She's getting married in December to a guy from the Marines. She asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I'm honored. Yet I have concerns and I fear for her as I see her walk down a path that is dangerous and could be fraught with pain. I knew I had to talk to her about my concerns or else not be in the wedding. I could not support her without speaking my concerns. I did. This was easier than talking with Dad. And though I didn't change her mind, in speaking mine, I was being a true friend.
There are more things He is asking me now to do. Last year's question was "Will you trust My heart?" Now this year's question has been and is "Will you obey Me?" Just simply that; no excuses will do when He quietly, passionately speaks into my heart, saying "Will you obey Me? Because you love me; because I love you; because I want to use you; because you are My daughter. I squirm, I try to reason away the voice, the question. But that's just denying Him and refusing to grow.
How many times have I asked Him to use me, and then when He asks me to do something, my stomach knots up and I become so afraid. And I don't obey. I lost an opportunity for a friendship that way. But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.
Just recently I had the gift of healing hands prayed over me, prophecied over me for the third time. It is something I want to step into, but I am terrified to do so. This is the most recent thing God has asked of me. My aunt is from all appearances dying of lung cancer. The doctors have not actually said that, but it has been six months from her diagnosis of 4th stage cancer. She is too weak to walk up the steps, she keeps her voice quiet because of the work it takes to talk, she is in pain. A few times the thought has crossed me mind to go and lay hands on her and pray. It was a thought until healing hands was prayed over me again and until a recent drive to work. I was thinking about her and a cry began welling up inside me, from deep down. She has five young grandsons and another grandchild now on the way. It is not right! The thief is stealing her life before her time. He is stealing her life! It was this cry of "Oh, God, may it not be so! I won't let him steal her life!" She should have twenty or thirty more years.
It is no longer a thought that I should go pray for her. It is a command from God to go and pray for her. I am scared. What if He doesn't heal her? I don't really know her very well. How will she take it? I've never done this before. How do you pray for healing and really believe it? But God said go. So it's not a matter of what He does or does not do, but a matter of my obedience.
He is asking "Will you obey Me?" And in asking that question, the unspoken question behind it is, "Will you love Me and let Me love you?"