I would like to recommend the audio book of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst. It is available free this month from christianaudio.com. Lysa talks about her journey of learning ‘radical obedience’ to God. This is familiar to me, as God has also been graciously leading me on this uncomfortable but joyful path.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Psalm 23 v 3
What does obedience look like? Many of us want to ‘do great things for God’, hoping that He will call us to do something extraordinary and wonderful. But what if the path of obedience is more mundane, such as washing dishes for Jesus, or learning not to lose my temper, or being honest when no one else is? What if it means choosing not to respond in anger with my children when they disobey again, or are careless? What if it means choosing not to complain or grumble about people who don’t pull their weight at work or at church, but being thankful for them and blessing them instead? What if it means getting up early to pray rather sleeping for another hour?
I’m starting to see that the life of radical obedience that God is calling us to is made of many choices, day by day, but that these often trivial matters point back to one choice we must make – will we live to please Him or to please ourselves? The little things matter.
Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.
Luke 16 verse 10
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!”
Matthew 25 verse 21
Lessons from Daniel
As a family we have been re-reading the book of Daniel. The story opens when Daniel and three of his friends are among the captives taken from Jerusalem to Babylon. The best-looking, fittest and most intelligent young men are chosen to receive the finest education the Babylonian court can provide, and Daniel and his friends are among this select group. They are to be fed on the choicest foods and wines from the king’s own table. However, this is a problem for Daniel and his three friends. They are forbidden by the Law given to Moses to consume certain animals, and may not eat meat that has not had the blood drained from it. Daniel asks that they be fed vegetables instead. The officer over them is reluctant, because he thinks that they will not fare as well as the other young men who eat the king’s food, but Daniel asks for a ten day trial. After ten days the four young men who are obedient to God’s law look healthier than all the others. They are allowed to continue eating their plain diet rather than the king’s food. God blesses them with understanding and wisdom above all their fellows, so that they rise to prominent positions in the king’s court.
How many young men from Judah were in that court? There must have been many more than four. However, only Daniel and his friends were willing to be different from the rest. What words may have been thrown at them?
“Why are you making a fuss? We’re in Babylon now. When in Babylon, do as the Babylonians do.”
“You’re making the rest of us look bad. I suppose you think you’re super holy or something.”
“Why are you bothering to obey God when he couldn’t save us from Nebuchadnezzar’s armies?”
It was only a ‘little thing’, but it mattered in God’s eyes.
Taking a break from blogland
For the next month I am taking a break from blogging and from visiting other people’s blogs. It seems to be what God is asking me to do. In fact He’s been asking for a while, but I’ve been struggling to stop. However listening to Lysa’s book has encouraged me to take this step.
Some things I’m hoping to do in my blog-free month: gardening, spending more time with my family, craft projects, praying, writing songs and poetry, cooking and reaching out to others. Who knows what else God has planned?