Friday, September 27, 2013

Obedience to change

The Meredith clan of ninjas is learning a lot about change.
No one’s favorite word.

But we’re definitely seeing that God intends us to change. He expects to learn to cooperate with him when he changes things. And that everything he does, he, not only does well, but he does it for our good. So, insofacto, change is for our good.

Deep breaths. Even saying “change is for our good” is a change of thinking which makes people who are adverse to change want to hyperventilate and find a Prozac.

Another deep breath. Hear me out.

Us ninjas, came here (to NWA) on a mission. And slightly more subtle than the turtles, I might add. God gave us one thing to obey, and we did. And it got us up here. I have learned recently that God doesn’t give us everything, he rarely reveals more than just the next step in our masterpiece called the Christian life because, frankly, our brains would hemorrhage from his brilliance. We couldn’t handle it. We’d freak out and say things like, “God, how can you possibly expect us to do all of that?”

So he gives us one thing. He calls us. He gives us a itty bitty glimpse into his vision for our lives.  Little did we know that that season would come to an end. Even as that season ended, he asked us to obey. And we did. But well before that we could see that, the reasons that we moved here vastly out numbered the one thing that got us up here. God didn’t give us all that because it would have been too much. We are so thankful for the brilliantly woven relationships and circumstances that he has purposed for us here.

There are so many examples of no-holds barred obedience in the bible. And as this season ended we looked to the Lord’s peace and the Word to help us make sense of our circumstances. Here’s what we learned:

*Obedience is one step. It’s not a road map, a GPS or a mischief map (harry potter lovers got that). It’s ONE step. IF we obey that one, he gives is the next one.

*Not many people will understand. They’ll might even criticize or ridicule you. Even fellow Christians will question the validity of your obedience. But obeying God isn’t frankly about them. God calls us, therefore we answer to him. Obedience doesn’t need a defense. God is our defender.

* There are things that God calls us to that are broad (i.e.: heralding the gospel, taking care of the orphans, loving one another) and then throughout seasons of life there are specific ways that he calls us to work out the broader calling. God sometimes changes the venue in which you are work out the broader, Higher calling. Never view a venue change as quitting. The Higher callings that he gives us as Christians remain constant.
*Obedience is rarely easy. Its counter to our sin nature. Things like pride, comfort, self- absorption are natural for us. But ss Christians we have the holy spirit and we have the word and when those two things combine in our lives, its like a seventh grade science fair where suddenly things are defying the laws of “nature”. Suddenly we have unexplainable instincts about what God is telling us, a resolve to obey him immediately and fully, a peace that surpasses anything a simple human can conjure and finding JOY in obey God. These things don’t come naturally but they make obeying worth it.

* Just like in Matthew 1&2, when God speaks and then you obey without delay…he’ll speak again.

*Our obedience is for us as much as it is for the world who is watching. Our obedience (just the process of hearing from God and resolving to act on it and the peace that follows) catapults our faith. (Which makes obeying that much easier the next time)
But it also does the same for the unassuming people and little eyes that are watching. How fully we obey is important. How we respond to the ridicule is important. The peace we cling to is important. Waiting to hear from God is important.

When seasons change, I get allergies. The older I get the worse they’ve gotten. I know a lot of people who feel allergic to change. Not the weather, ragweed or hay…but just straight change. The thought of “things changing” makes them want to start sneezing and just go to bed for days.

But honestly the change of season that has happened at the ninja compound lately has been invigorating. The peace of God is unreal. Literally. Its not comparable to anything that this world has to offer. It can’t be talked about lightly or blandly. Its impressive, its overtaking and it’s the coolest thing that doesn’t exist on this planet.

And he gives it to us to help us make decisions and also to carry us through the turbulent waters after those decisions.

And just like Mary, when she said, “Let be unto me as you have said.” I want to be the type of person that is so settled in my obedience to God that I don’t even take the time to way the pros and cons or see if it lines up with what other Christians think I should be doing, or even take into consideration what people will say about me. I want to just be so in tune with God that I can just say, “That’s way out of my league, but let’s do this thing. I’ll do whatever you say.”

And leave the results to him.

Because the thing about seasons is that one ends because another needs to begin. Apparently the earth and agriculture need it. Its good for the soil or something? I was passing notes in science class…I digress.
The same is true of obedience. Sometimes he calls you out of something so that he can move you into something new. He asks you to stop something so that you can start something. He asks you lay down something so that you can pick up something. He tells you to put off something so that you can put on something. He tells you to reject something so that you can accept something. He calls you to leave a place so that he can bring you to a new place.

C.S. Lewis said that, “There are far, far better things ahead than what we leave behind.”

For one, God promises to never leave us. He gives us his peace and he left us his helper (the Holy Spirit). And we obey him in the “seasons” of our Christian walk with Him, he is oh so near when we step out in faith. His peace washes over, His Word encourages and guides us, His presence is made more real to us.

And if that were all, that would be enough.

But we know that it’s not. If we are committed to serving him, using every ounce of our God given gifts, heralding the gospel and are recklessly abandoned to HIM then there are new seasons ahead, new “somethings” that he will lead us to.

And we stealthy, lethal ninjas are cool with that. Ninjas have to ready at a moments notice, agile, light on their feet, flexible, armed, trained and able to adapt…

That means change. (see what I did there?)

God is doing really cool stuff with the Meredith’s. We’re excited about it. We want you to know about it. 
(ps. Cant’ believe you still read this blog!) 

Thanks for checking in!

1 comment:

Megan Whitehead said...

I love reading your blog, and cannot wait to see what God is up to in the lives of the Merediths!