I think we all have that one sin.
The one we keep going back to; the boyfriend, the party, the porn website.
It looks different in all of us, but we’re all the same. We have eternity written on our hearts and are stuck here on Earth, trying to satisfy it; that God-sized hole.
And I think obedience gets a bad wrap. Almost as if obeying the Lord leads to a boring life. —I’ve bought into it, too.
For years I have known Jesus face to face but held on tight to my special sin behind my back.
It’s just easier that way. Especially when it disguises itself as love, as fun, as something that always makes me feel good.
It isn’t until this season that I’ve accepted obedience and really learned to love what it means.
The funny thing is I didn’t choose it.
The Lord has been stripping me. For months now. Taking things away. Slowly, painfully. One by one. Teaching me a hard lesson and then another. Pushing me to discomfort and more reliance and then further again. Testing me, solidifying me.
And it’s here that I can finally see clearly the Father’s heart for me.
I was on a path to destruction. I was so lost. Attempting and failing at living this life in my own strength, my own way. That one sin I thought I’d just keep safely clasped in my closed fists became my whole life. I set all these plans around it, and when everything would repeatedly fall apart I’d scramble and scrounge up all the pieces to force them back together.
I was a shadow of the woman of God He desires me to become. I was ready to run down a life path that was a fraction as abundant as the one He has planned.
And He saw me. In my trying-to-control-it-alls, keeping-it-togethers, make-it-look-okay-so-maybe-it-will-be days. He was watching, and He didn’t just say, “oh well.”
When I still believed I knew best and I could do it on my own, when I knew about Jesus and what He did for me but still chose myself, when He didn’t need me a bit or owe me a single thing, He came after me again.
So I lost it all. I drove myself down a road that only lead to death and it was all taken away.
My Father swooped in and saved me again.
And I finally surrendered. Not even because I chose to, but because I came to the very end of my rope and had to let go. I finally gave Him a real shot and gave up my one thing, in turn, giving Him room to work.
And it has not been easy. I have had to re-surrender and re-re-surrender again. I have had to fight going back every step of the way. And just when I shed off a layer of that old self, God calls for another. I am merely skin and bones at this point but I have never been more obedient in my life, never been more at peace.
See for me, obedience is the answer to that hole. I finally opened up my hands and lifted them up to Him. I gave up a burden that was so long overdue, and in it everything has changed for me.
Whereas I used to pray back into a connection with the Lord and then separate myself again with my sin in a vicious cycle, I now walk in constant communion with Him. More than that, whereas I used to ask God to give me opportunities to be a light, to share Him and be an example, He now orchestrates radical change in the people around me without me even realizing what’s going on.
He has people approach me and compliment me on attributes I’ve never even possessed before; He’s changing me for the better and blessing me on top of it.
He is whispering truths over me about what my purpose is in this life, where my gifts and passions lie, and the direction in which I should go. —Things I haven’t had a clue as to what the answers were my entire life.
He’s changing what I want in friends, He’s changing what I find attractive in people, He’s changing what matters to me, He’s changing everything.
And the thing is He hasn’t changed. Only I have.
My Father has always wanted this abundance for my life. He has always been right by my side. He has always been chasing after me. He has always had the same attitude toward me, wanting to give me every good thing.
But it’s only when I was positioned to trust Him completely that I could receive them.
I’ve realized obedience isn’t an obstacle I have to avoid in order to not miss out on the fun of life, it’s a practice I get to take part in to receive the Father’s fuller life for me.
Obedience, truly, is the Lord’s love for me. He wants what is good for me. —Not what makes me feel good or included or popular, but what leads me to life. He knows. He knows that my own way only leads to a self destruction. He sees how it ends and He wants to save me. More than that, He wants me near to Him. —Not only does He want my heart out of harm, He wants my heart for Himself.
And it fires me up. I obey, the Lord meets me. I see more of his character and become more like Him. He blesses me. With opportunities to disciple and friends to do it alongside, and with glimpses of my future. And then, to top it all off, He reminds me that even this future isn’t the end because He prepares a place for me at His table and this world is not my home. He ushers me into eternal life and we dance in glory together.
I am experiencing the best life I’ve ever had, and now I only wish I’d known this obedience thing was the key sooner.
My words are not going to be the things that make you overcome your one thing. Only Jesus can do that. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t let Him unless you have no other choice. But when that does happen, because it will, I hope you embrace it wholeheartedly. Through the stripping and the hurting and the changing, knowing He is faithful, He is better, and He is right.