To Obey or Not to Obey

This week has been for me a lesson in obedience. Not the kind that deters punishment. No, this is the obedience that results in a greater blessing and a deeper closeness with the One who loves me most. It is the kind of obedience that, when we do not walk in it, strips us of the blessing intended for us by a loving and merciful Father.

It’s three o’clock in the morning, and I have been awakened by the Lord to spend time with Him. After our conversation, I have decided to share with you some of what we are discussing, because I believe that what I am discovering is important enough to share.

I had a health issue arise last weekend that by Tuesday had me desperate for some kind of relief. Oddly enough, someone at church last Sunday, while praying for me, felt led to pray for my health. As I was praying about what to do about the sinus pain and pressure I was having, which was not responding to any medication, the Lord led me to the internet, where I not only discovered some natural remedies (which turned out to work beautifully), but where I also came across information regarding what I now believe to be the root cause. More on that later.

As I walked into the health food store to purchase some of the things I needed, I heard the voice of the Lord ask me, how badly do you want this? He was asking me how committed I was to really feeling better. There are some significant lifestyle changes on the horizon if I am to truly be free from these symptoms that have plagued me for months, and in some cases years, things that I thought were completely unrelated, but I now believe are all connected to this root condition (again, more on that later).

When I immediately felt better when using the home remedies I discovered, I also began to reason with myself why I should allow myself “cheat days”, allotted times for me to deviate from the truth I had uncovered, that certain things I was doing and consuming were causing my trouble. Herein lies the problem – the spirit is willing, but yes, the flesh is weak. This is why the Lord was asking me how badly I wanted to feel better.

So here I am at three in the morning, reading over Isaiah 30. Verse 15 tells of His promise of salvation and strength if we repent, rest in Him, are quiet before Him, and trust Him. Verses 16 and 17 speak to our “having none of it” and pursuing our own ideas and agendas. Then in verse 18, we see the longing of the Lord to be gracious to us. It says “He rises to show you compassion.” That means He takes an active role in positioning Himself to show us compassion, not passively waiting for us to pass in front of Him as He waves some heavenly “compassion wand” over us.

There is so much more I am gleaning from this chapter that I cannot share it all here and now, but I will later. For now, these verses remind me that His wisdom far exceeds mine, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that when I am serious about pursuing His methods of taking better care of myself, I will reap the blessings He has in store for me in all their fullness. They also humble me as I again see Him faithfully and actively pursuing a deeper relationship with me as I ask the age-old question, “Who am I?”

And it all starts with repentance and rest, quietness and trust. The repentance and trust aren’t difficult. It’s the rest and quietness that I struggle with the most. I must be still and know that He is God.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15
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