“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families…That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God.”
I Corinthians 1: 27-29 (The Message)
When given a direction, our four-year-old has his own version of obedience. For example, the other night he was overly tired and needed his rest. He is so consistent that I knew what would happen. Sure enough, when he was told it was bedtime, he scrunched up his face and angrily announced he was not going to sleep and would not rock with me, all while allowing me to lift him gently onto my lap and attempt to hold him close. After a few minutes, I quietly reminded him to think about his words because he wouldn’t be allowed to change his mind once he was in his bed. As predicted, his anger disappeared, he melted into my arms as we cuddled, talked, and prayed. When he finally went to bed, he was asleep within minutes. I’m tuned into my child well enough to know his first reaction is anger, but when answered with understanding and a soft reply, it quickly disappears and he obeys with the right attitude.
Like mother…like son. God spoke to me in January regarding a specific request He wanted from me. As I talked about in Spoken from the Heart: Journey from Fear to Faith, before obeying, I made sure it was really God requesting it and not my own thinking getting in the way. So, I checked Scripture and yup, it was something God would approve. Then, I prayed about the request and waited, making sure it was God’s plan and not some creative idea of mine that would fail. Now, that step might seem lazy or a passive-aggressive way to get out doing what God was asking, but for me, it’s was important.
Throughout my years of communicating with God, we’ve built up a rhythm and I’ve learned how to listen to the specific way He speaks to me. When I want to know something is from Him (whether a verse He wants to give me, a command to obey, or a sin He wants me to work on), He presents the same message to me in various forms. The ways themselves aren’t always the same, but the message is consistent. Therefore, for me to pray and then wait was my way of saying, “Okay, God, I’m listening and willing to obey.”
After praying and then going about the jobs I already knew He wanted me to do, He in fact confirmed through two very different sources that He was calling me to step out in faith. Now…this is where the familiarity began between myself and my son. I knew what God was asking of me. I was willing to do it, but I was scared. God has brought me to the next level, where I choose faith instead of fear, but that doesn’t mean the fear isn’t still present. Now I walk in faith while shaking in my boots. Even though I was obeying and choosing to walk in the direction God wanted me to, I was silently having a temper tantrum based on fear. I don’t have enough time without neglecting my family. What if I mess everything up? What if I get rejected? I have no skills, this isn’t going to work out after all. I’m not good enough.
Come back next time to see how God chose to respond to my temper tantrum.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014