“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.” Deuteronomy 28:1 (NIV)
As God has been changing me and I’ve been seeking to obey Him in all areas of my life, there are a few lessons He has wanted me to learn along the way.
The first lesson God taught was that when I choose to obey Him, really obey Him, life can suddenly seem to get hard… really hard! I don’t think it necessarily is any harder than it was the day before… but I’m making different choices than I did yesterday and therefore, I’m called to a different level of action. For instance, if I choose to obey God with my food and He commands me to fast, then my food choices are going to look very different today than they did yesterday. Grabbing that donut isn’t an option and there will be some withdrawal and maybe even temper tantrum or two as my desires of the flesh are learning to submit themselves to my desire to please my Father.
God didn’t call me to a life of easy. God called me to a life of obedience and usually with that comes sacrifice, self-control and yes, even hard.
The second lesson God showed me was that obedience isn’t always linear. Sometimes I will be obeying “perfectly” in one area of my life while another area I can’t seem to obey for a full 24 hours. That is what I’ve been struggling with for the past 90 days and because of that struggle, I’ve started to feel like a failure.
After the 40 day fast God called me to this summer, I believe He said I needed to follow that up with a 90 day fast. I was able to fast for 40 days without too much trouble (a few temptations but my heart was focused and I was determined to obey) and so I went into the 90 day fast thinking, “easy peasey.”
Well, I learned quickly that even when God invites us to something and even when I can see the ways He’s clearing the path for my success, I still need to be prayed up and focused because when I get lazy, that’s when I give ample opportunity for the enemy to gain a foothold. And gain a foothold I allowed. I did well through Thanksgiving but the “month” of Christmas was my downfall. I gave in a little here and there and pretty soon, while I never said to God, “I’m done, I quit,” I failed more days than I succeeded.
Come back next time and I will talk about the last two lessons that God taught me.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017