Tag Archives: God

Trust and Obey

During my hour-long commute to work one morning, a song popped into my head and I started humming to the tune. Before I knew it, my heart was overcome with emotion as I sang these words on repeat:

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

I can’t remember the last time I sang this song at church, so it was an unexpected surprise to be reminded of the words. They’re simple lyrics, but if you really dwell on them, they’re hard to sing.

I thought it was quite appropriate and a good reminder, since I’ve been going through a lot in my own life (which sort of explains the blogging break). I am finding that submitting out of obedience is always the best answer, even when I don’t feel like doing so, even when it is difficult. There are times when obedience may cost me everything (or maybe my pride, which feels like everything), but I can be assured that God does hold my best interests at heart. Maybe what I initially want really isn’t what is best for me, and maybe something that I wouldn’t prefer ends up being the better choice. There are definitely days when I choose to debate against the Spirit or to avoid doing what I know will bring God greater glory. Whether it’s apologizing and confessing sin; reaching out to someone that’s harder for me to love; surrendering my desires; or being bold in situations when I’d rather hide — trusting and obeying God is far more sanctifying and lasting than doing things my own way. Continue reading

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 30-May 6, 2015)

(Photo Via)

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little bit quiet around here besides these weekly favorite links posts. Something that I haven’t yet mentioned on here is that I’ve been in a career transition for almost a month now (omgoodness time fliiiieeess). In other words, I’ve been funemployed. The crazy thing is that my life’s only gotten busier. How is that even possible? I don’t even know. It just turned out that way.

A lot of people in my life have been kindly checking in on me and one of the first questions they ask is to see how funemployment is turning out. To be honest, I never quite know how to answer them because I assume that they’re expecting me to reply with a “it’s been really chill and boring,” or “it’s okay, just job hunting,” or some other answer that they’ve already pre-conceived in their minds. Instead, when I tell them that it’s been pretty productive, I’m assuming that a lot of them only half-believe me and I always feel there’s a need to explain myself. So then I go and try to accurately paint a picture of what my schedule looked like during the week. (Don’t even get me started on weekends.)

It’s interesting that I feel the need to justify myself in other people’s eyes, or that I even care about what they think of me. It’s humbling to admit that I want to sound really productive, not just because it’s true, but because I want to gain recognition in their eyes. I know all of them genuinely mean well, but I also struggle with pride and don’t want them to think anything less of me because I’m not working right now at a 9-5 — thoughts that I’m lazy, unproductive, just wasting time, etc. In reality, perhaps none of them think any differently of me during this life stage, and it’s just all in my head, but I’m scared that they will.

There’s a strong temptation for me to get trapped with thoughts that are based off of my own interpretations and assumptions. It’s a silly, dangerous game that I play every day. In my heart of hearts, I want to be liked and affirmed by others. I seek their approval and worry whether I’ll fall short of their expectations for me. Believe me, I know it sounds really silly, but this battle is real. I have to remind myself that my worth is not found in my job title, or the numbers in my bank account, nor is it found in my ministries or relationships. It is also not found in being busy and productive. Instead of worrying about how others perceive me, I need to focus on how God views me and how I can use my time here on this earth more wisely to glorify him. My circumstances should not and will not define my character. The truth is, my worth is not found in my accomplishments or appearances, but on Christ’s accomplishments for me on that rugged cross so that I could have the freedom to worship God. Therefore, the only one I ever need to please, the only one that I should fear more, is him.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 17-22, 2015)

bedouin campfire

(Photo Via)

On my way back during an early evening run, I was surprised to see dark orange-pink clouds rising from what seemed like the back of my neighborhood. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t clouds that I saw, but actually smoke, and that there was a fire burning from beyond my point of view. At the time, I didn’t know where the fire originated, but it seemed really close to my home.

Thankfully the fire was farther away than my observations, and my family and I were safe. We weren’t close enough to the fire for any necessary evacuation (praise God), but our entire house did smell like a barbecue pit for two days afterwards.

In unexpected, unforeseeable situations like these, how would you respond? What if the fire was really close? Would you try to run back into your house and save your most prized possessions? Would you run back to warn your loved ones?  It’s hard to say how I’d respond. I’d probably only have seconds to make some important decisions in that situation.

There were still some lessons to be learned. That fire was a good reminder for me that this life is short. In seconds, everything that our family worked for up to that point could have gone up in flames; our house could have turned into ashes. The reality is, something like being caught in a fire or an earthquake or a shooting could happen to me at anytime, anywhere. It’s totally out of my control.

On the other hand, I do have greater control over my responses. Yes, in that scenario, I would’ve probably had an immediate, natural human reaction. If we did have to evacuate from our home and if the fire did end up burning everything that we had, I would be upset. But I pray that if something like that did happen to me, I would still have joy and peace. I pray that I would still have faith in God’s sovereignty and choose to dwell on his grace. What are houses and other material possessions in this life when we have something better and eternal in store for us?

I hope that I’d respond with joy because of a greater truth that I believe in, which is this: my salvation can’t be taken away from me and my citizenship is in heaven. This life is temporary, this life isn’t my home. I’m a foreigner here on this earth until the day that I’m reunited with Christ. How comforting is that truth. If I’m ever tested one day, I pray that I wouldn’t just know it but believe it with all my heart.

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