Immediate Obedience

I love the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. There are so many lessons to learn from the whole story. One that sticks out in my mind is a lesson I want to remember and implement on the “Back 9” of life. A lesson I desire for anyone to know and realize in their own life.

The simple principle is this: when God tells you to do something, do it! Do not waver. Do not let grass grow. Do not hesitate.

Just OBEY–FULLY and IMMEDIATELY.

Take your eyes off of man, put them fully on God, and do not let man talk you in or out of acting on the command of God. I did this for years as a “people pleaser” when I should have been focused on being a God pleaser.

We learn by the example of the Israelites what happens when you fail to act upon what God has told you to do. In Deuteronomy chapter 1 we find that the Israelites sent in 12 spies to scope out the land. They came back and said in verse 25, “…it is good land that the Lord God is giving us.” Verse 26 goes on to say, “Yet you would NOT go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.”

If you continue reading, later the Israelites decided they would finally obey and this is what the Lord said in verse 42, “…say to them, Do not go up or fight, for I am not in your midst, lest you be defeated before your enemies.” From a lack of immediate obedience, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness 38 more years before God led them into the Promised Land. Millions lost the opportunity to cross into the Promised Land because of a lack of IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE.

As I apply this in my own life, I now know there were times where I wandered in the “wilderness” because of a lack of immediate obedience. I feel now, especially in my own life, that in some ways I have entered a “Promised Land”. I have learned to obey immediately and completely without questioning God, or being on my own time frame, or people pleasing.

One example of wandering happened in my early 20’s. Right after the Miss America Pageant I traveled thousands of miles speaking of my faith and love for Jesus. Even after I was married, I continued to travel and speak. For years though I let man/woman take me out of what God had called me to do. Allow me to share.

I spoke once at a Christian women’s club in South Carolina. Later in the week I received a letter from a lady who was in the audience. She urged me to know the Bible better and pointed out that I had referenced the wrong scripture while speaking. Her letter was less than kind and, for a lack of better words, was very critical. Being the people pleaser that I was, I chose not to listen to God who told me to learn from it and move on. I allowed her words to keep me home for almost 25 years.

Looking back now, especially in the last seven years as I have prepared to do all that God has called me to do, I have realized that I have wandered in the wilderness, ignoring the “Strength Zone” of my life.

The Strength Zone is what I call the “anointing of God” on one’s life. Whether you are a Christian or not, God has a call on your life. He gives you strengths and abilities that are unique to you and He wants you to obey Him by living in that Strength Zone. For the unbeliever it is to take the first step to invite Him into your heart.

Christians, seek your “Strength Zone,” that which God designed for you to do in life for Him. Once He reveals His will, ACT!! Keep obeying. There will always be adversity. In fact scripture says that if you are not receiving “push back,” then you probably are not in the “strength zone” or the will of God for your life. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Understand, God is a Holy God and He knows the number of hairs on your head. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you so that you can find your Strength Zone and live in not only the “Promised Land” of heaven, but the Promised Land on earth as well. If you feel you are always swimming against the tide, or you feel lost or empty, go to God. Ask Him to show you how to obey. Hear His voice and heed His call. It is a “walking on water” experience.

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:33-35).

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