Daily Devotional – 10/12/18 “Obedience and Sacrifice”

I was looking over Facebook memories and the devotional, from last year, reminded me of obedience. Not that I needed reminding because I often reflect on where I used to be, when I was out of God’s will and it’s hard not to remember when all I had was struggle. Reality is, it didn’t just start in 2013 because I was out of God’s will long before that. Yes, I was raised in church with memories dating back to childhood but church wasn’t in me. I had the religion down but no relationship with God. (I’ve shared this before.) I was good at dressing, talking and acting the part but I wasn’t living the part. If there was something needed to be done, in the church, I was there. Something going on, I was there. Prayer breakfast, I cooked and served. Yet, I was leaving there bound, confused and struggling. Why am I sharing this again? For somebody who read it last year and still stuck. For somebody who, on this day, is struggling and suicidal. For somebody who is, like I was … using your lunch break, on paydays to renew check advances and still struggling. Paying on title loans and still struggling. Barely eating because you’re still struggling. In over your head and can’t figure a way out. I am talking to you today. Yes, you know you need to be in God’s will but here is what I need to share with you. Getting in God’s will won’t make your struggles disappear overnight because obedience comes with sacrifice. Bible says in Isaiah 1:19-20, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Y’all know my story. My husband and I packed up a 3 bedroom apartment in 2 days and moved without having a new address because God said so. Because we did, our lives changed. However, with obedience came sacrifice. See, before I gave God my yes and got serious about His will, we’d filed bankruptcy (a 2nd time). Yet, here is the blessing. After I gave God my yes and willingly obeyed Him; we converted from Wage Earner to full Bankruptcy. While a tow truck driver waited to pick up our old car, we were getting approved for a new car with the same finance company. While we didn’t have our own address, we weren’t homeless. We trusted God! We obeyed God. We moved by God. We didn’t get six figure jobs, we’re still with the same companies. We didn’t hit the lottery or win big gambling; we obeyed God. Yes, on the surface it looked like we were in God’s will but we were anything but. We had to take a step back before we could go forward. Will you do that? Will you willingly get for real about God and obey Him? Will you give God a yes then take a step back and for real reexamine your life; naturally and spiritually? Will you obey God’s voice even if it doesn’t make sense? I know you’ve been handling it on your own but how has that worked for you, so far? Look, I’m not saying every day since, for us, have been all great, they haven’t but we’re better now. And that came with obedience and sacrifice. Put your life into perspective, stop being mad at God and start being obedient and see if your life doesn’t change. And because you do, others will be changed as a result.

Daily Devotional – 10/12/17 “Blessings in obedience!”

There used to be a time I would spend my lunch renewing check advances, a title loan and juggling bills. Sitting in my car, afterwards, with no appetite because the harsh reality was, we were in over our heads and there really wasn’t much left to spare. No, we weren’t trying to outdo anybody but life happened and it happened fast. We bought our first house young and it was a rip off, so after ten years, we decided to give it back to the bank. Then we moved into an apartment that we would pay more for than it was worth. We were in over our heads. Oh but then God snatched me and got me together and if I can be honest, I was glad because I was tired of running from Him. I was sick of sitting in worship acting like my praise was real when it wasn’t. I was tired and when I admitted it, suddenly things changed. I didn’t get a seven-figure a year job, I was still at the same one I had. I didn’t hit the lottery but I came into an inheritance and God was the investor. I learned how to be obedient. Understand when I write this … Obedience doesn’t take away suffering, pain, heartache, sickness and enemies but the bible says in Isaiah 1:19-20, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

I share this for somebody who woke up, fed up and tired because no matter what you do or how you pray, you cannot seem to make it work. Well, what area of your life are you being disobedient in? Take a reflective look and be honest with yourself and then be willing to change. Yes, I know you’ve been handling it on your own but how has that worked for you, so far? Look, I’m not saying every day since, for us, have been all great, they haven’t. There are times I still try to fix it but then I remind myself that God did it before, He’ll do it again. I get it, your checking account may be low before, between and after pay periods yet God still provides. You may not have a mansion or three overly priced cars in the garage yet God is still able but you’ve got to trust in His promise. Stop taking matters into your own hands. Stop going into debt for things you can do without. Say no, sometimes. Sit your tail down and stay home, some nights. Skip the beauty shop and nail salon, some weeks. Put your life into perspective, stop being mad at God and start being obedient and see if your life doesn’t change.