Obedience Brings Peace.
Those are words I never imagined I would say.
I used to get anxious when someone would use the word obey or obedience. It had an extremely negative connotation in my mind. It was associated with losing control, being taken advantage of, and not being respected as an individual. But thankfully, as I matured, I began to understand obedience from a different perspective.
I rejected the concept of submission to someone else's authority that was tangled up with reminders of slavery and overtones of misogyny. (That might sound dramatic, but when I think about why that word bothered me so much, that’s the honest truth.)
I have accepted the Biblical concept of obedience, which is to submit and surrender to God and His Word because I trust Him and know His plan for me is perfect.
Obedience can be a struggle when you are not confident in the person you are submitting and surrendering to. But we're talking about God here! There is no one I trust more. He is faithful and true, so I can be confidently obedient to act according to His Word and follow where He leads. I can remain obedient and keep going in the direction He has sent me even when things get hard.
I can only speak from my experience, but I have to tell you that obedience, although scary at first, has always ended up bringing me peace.
His Word says that He will go before us, and be with us and never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
His Word says blessings accompany obedience. (Deuteronomy 28:1-12)
Throughout my life, God has asked me to do a lot of things scared.
To make decisions without all the information I wanted.
To choose the unpopular path.
To give away things I wanted to keep.
To let go of things I wanted to hold onto.
To trust Him when He closed the door on certain dreams.
To trust Him when He opened the door on opportunities I didn't think I wanted.
To lean on Him when it seemed like I had no one else.
And I can testify that every single time I have been obedient to Him, He has been faithful to me. He has remained steadfast to His Word.
Because my obedience has been rewarded it has become easier for me to be obedient. I know maybe that's not the way it should be, but you know I keep it real. When we can see that the outcome was good or that it was not what we wanted, but it served His good purpose, it is easier to obey the next time.
So with each new situation, I find myself struggling and wrestling with God less. I am more immediately obedient and able to cast my cares and concerns and fears on Him, because I know He's in control. And when He's in control, I am at peace.
Obedience Increases Confidence.
Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to be in control. Sometimes it's just easier to do than to trust or have faith. Can you relate?
I tend to always be doing something. Trying to fix something or making some plan without consulting God. I guess "doing" is my control. Doing is tangible, it's something I understand, or at least I think I understand. Doing is more comfortable to me than patience or waiting.
If I do this I can predict the possible outcomes and consequences. I can control when something will happen or prevent something from happening. If I do that I can put everything in the context of what I've learned from my past experiences or what I've seen happen to others. Even if He is calling me in a different direction, I can rationalize why my plan is the better way.
But having faith and confidence in God, means I accept that my doing does not necessarily determine the outcome of my situation....especially if my doing isn't in alignment with His Will.
My submission to Him, my obedience, my doing according to His Will are acts of trust, faith, and proof of my reliance on Him.
When I have surrendered my desires to Him.
When I have submitted to His Word.
When I have heeded the direction of the Holy Spirit.
When I have done what He told me to do, even when it seemed impossible...He has been faithful.
Things have turned out, every time, better than I could have imagined. Yes, different than I imagined. Yes, not always how I wanted. But better. Better for me or better for someone else.
Because if I've learned anything about obedience, it's that it's hard, but it's worth it.
Through obedience and surrender, I have developed a confidence in God that brings me peace. I am not saying that it's easy and I'm not saying that I'm never disobedient. But I am saying that when I am obedient, I stop stressing and feel an overwhelming sense of peace even amid struggles, trials, and obstacles because I trust Him above all.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.