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Careful Obedience

Careful Obedience
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of January 21, 2018

"Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, 'O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.'”  -Judges 13:8 NASB

        Such was Samson’s father’s plea to instruct him on how to raise the son whom God purposed to be a great, anointed leader of Israel. Just as Samson’s father desired to be obedient and desired an accompanying instruction manual at the outset of the Lord’s directive, we, too, desire all the answers when God sets us on a new path, in a new season or in a new dimension.

        But I’ve learned that God doesn’t usually give us all the answers in the beginning. Rather, our levels of faith and obedience are tested at the outset and throughout the journey, moment by moment, choice by choice.

        As we read in verse 4, the angel of the Lord warns Samson’s mother to “be careful,” and later in verse 14, He again warns her to “observe all that I commanded.” These directives are key.

        The angel warns her to be careful because He knows the enemy, who knows her weaknesses, will try to tempt her into partial obedience, or disobedience.  And He uses the word “all” to reiterate careful obedience because this high calling would not only change their status from married without children to parents, it would affect nations. In other words, God’s plan wasn’t just about them.

        Like Sampson’s parents, will we be carefully obedient in God’s extraordinary callings, even though we do not have all the answers? God is in the unknown. If we remain in Him throughout the journeys He sets us upon, especially when we do not fully understand, God is greatly honored, and we are privileged to serve His purpose sacrificially. If however, we choose disobedience, the wages of sin are death; and although we are forgiven, we suffer consequences.  

        I once received a Word from the Lord in which He said to me it was essential that I do what He tells me concerning a very specific area of my life; because it would make my path for the rest of the year. 

        I have no doubt that what the Lord is calling me to do is bigger than I alone and that it will affect others, as do all of our choices. I realize the only way I will be able to accomplish what He directs me to do is to consistently choose faith over fear, choose trust over temptation and to carefully remain in Him all along the journey in order to hear His voice, know His timing and be able to step into His strategies.  
        As the Lord takes us from glory to glory, as He increases our knowledge, wisdom and accountability, may we be careful to follow His plan so that His greater purpose will be fulfilled through us, affecting our families, the marketplace and even nations.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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