2018: My Year of Obedience

2018. My year of obedience. That’s what I’ve coined it anyway. Up until the last moments of 2017, I didn’t have the same understanding of obedience that I do now. So, I’m choosing it. I’m choosing the less comfortable path this year, and I think I’m okay with it. See, all my life, I’ve walked in relative obedience, you know, a conditional sort. Like “I’ll be obedient, Jesus, if your plan is to bring me a job or a husband or a friend at the end of it”. But I don’t think that’s the obedience we’re called to, that I’m called to. Something that I’ve already learned this year is that sometimes life is going to look a little different than the plans and dreams I hold. And that’s okay, it has to be. Because my Jesus’s goodness doesn’t change when the dreams and plans I had set, simply don’t happen. Obedience is, walking through the doors the Lord has opened, without standing for too long in the doorway of worry. Obedience is, doing the things that don’t make sense in order to serve Him better. Obedience is putting my emotions, my hurts, my desires, on the back-burner. Obedience is, not letting fear inspire disobedience in my heart, not letting desires inspire ungodliness in my heart. Obedience is, walking in the grace He’s given me on the days when it is difficult to be obedient and on the days that it’s easy. In the weeks leading up to and the three short days of this year, obedience has hit me hard. God has a funny way of implanting these things on our hearts. And for once, I’m choosing to listen.

This year, my year of obedience, means surrender, it’s going to mean heartache sometimes too, and it’s going to mean seeking joy in the places that are hard, it’s going to require more grace from Him than I’ve ever had the strength to ask for before. Because I’m going to fail. But here’s the deal, this year I choose to be obedient in not only my life’s calling, but in my relationships, my attitudes, my desires, my choices, my rhythms, and in my hurt. I never thought obedience and hurt could go hand in hand, but without obedience, even in my hurt, I haven’t put all of my trust in Him. This means, no more letting hurt rule me, no more asking Jesus to pity me in my hurt, or asking others to, but to feel that hurt for what it is, and hand it over to Jesus to use.

The most sobering part of all of this, is knowing that despite whether I made the choice to be obedient or not, in whatever relationship, position, attitude, or calling that He’s pulling me to, the Lord’s plan for me remained constant, He remained constant, and His love for me remained constant. My hope is that 2018 would renew my heart to be led by the Lord, and to lead others. My hope is that, in obedience, I learn to walk in holiness, I learn to serve Him better in the place, with the people, at the time He has called me to, I learn to love His people better, without selfish desires, without letting my own sinful tendency to get in the way, all in obedience.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. {2 John 1:6}

I’m ready to be better. To be better to my Jesus, to be better to my friends, and my family, to be better at seeking Him first, and His Word first, to be better at obedience. I’m ready to stop letting fear stand in my way of the Lord’s promises to me, to stop letting my fickle heart dictate how the God I serve and the people I love get treated by me. I’m ready to stand in the truths He has set for me, walk in the light of the love He has for me, and to submerge myself in the grace He’s covered me in. I pray that you, too, will take a step back from your situation, your pain, your troubles, your addiction, your sadness, your fear, your whatever it is, and hand your heart to your Father. Let Him work, let Him guide, let Him rearrange your priorities, your plans, and your relationships, let Him be glorified in you. In obedience, let Him take the reigns on your life, even when there’s pain in that obedience, we are called to walk in it.

I pray that this year, you would find your rhythm, find your word for this year, find the thing the Lord is gently putting on your heart to be obedient in. And once you find it, hold onto it, get to know it, and then do. Create rhythms of obedience, or trust, or fruitfulness, or faithfulness, or whatever your word is. Pray that He would fill your heart and soul with a passion for Him, for His word, for knowing Him. The thing I pray most for me and for you is that our biggest desire would be to love Him and chase after Him in complete trust and obedience.

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