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Unfinished

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 by in Fasting, grace | 4 comments

Sometimes I’m brutally honest here.  Other times, I have to be vague. It’s not that I want to keep secrets, but some things just aren’t meant for a public forum.

In my last entry (about fasting) I said, “I feel like I’ve still got more to learn from this experience and it feels very unfinished.  I don’t even know what that part means yet.”

What I found out is that God was totally not finished.  As a matter of fact, so much has went down in the 3 weeks since I wrote that post that even if I tried to document all of it, I wouldn’t be able to.  I wanted to try to flesh-out the biggest lesson I just learned.  The word “bold” keeps coming to mind.  A friend of mine and his brother did this little video and it keeps making its way to the front of my head as I write today.

There was a time many years ago that I was facing a giant trial in my life.  When I pray during these situations, I try to give ample “listen time” and if in that prayer time a verse comes to mind, I cling to that throughout the trial. I consider that to be God speaking to me.  So. In this particular time, God gave me the verse Exodus 14:14 which says,

Be quiet, the Lord will fight this for you.

I took it literally (and am so glad I did!) and I was silent in ways I could have never been without Christ.

God delivered me, humbled me, taught me lessons, and is still teaching me.

but.

have you ever had that one thing? that “thorn in your flesh” that seems to never be removed?  Yeah. that.

The thorn {I have to admit, I really thought it was plucked out} poked me and man–did it ever sting. And worse, it took me by surprise.  Through my shock, I went to God and he gave me another verse. The one that says “for such a time as this.” It’s in Esther.  I looked it up.  It’s Esther 4:14  (similar to the 14:14 of Exodus, huh?) The beginning of this verse is what got me:

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

“Be quiet”  then and now, “If you keep silent at this time…” pretty straightforward.  And this is where the “bold” comes in.

Bold:  Showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

 

What I had to do wasn’t for the world to see. It goes back to the Old Testament “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”  In New Testament terms, I think that would translate, “Obedience is better than repentance.”  One of the reasons I listed for fasting was “obedience” another was “trust.”  This situation God put me in was a test in both.  I chose to take the risk, the risk to obey, and I believe I did so with courage and in confidence.  God whispered instruction into my ear with the verse from Esther and like her, I fasted then I obeyed. I didn’t save a nation as Esther did (and that’s ok) and she knew why she was fasting, I didn’t.

Esther’s risk was much bigger than mine.  I get it.  But victories come in all shapes and sizes.  The obedience, the bold step in the path of following God was the same though.  And in the end, I didn’t “step into stupid” as my beloved pastor would say. I did the next right thing which always carries with it a sense of peace. And instead of looking eleventy-billion steps ahead, I prayed, I listened, I obeyed. (rinse. repeat.)  Each next thing that came about, I prayed, listened, and obeyed.

I sit here tonight wondering if I can make this habit.  Instead of worrying, can I just pray, listen, and obey? What if–hold your hats because this is radical–what if God was actually in control and directed my every step?

This situation (I’m guessing) is far from over. And the new thing:  I’m not worried about it.

I learned that even though I thought I understood why I was fasting, I had no clue (until He revealed it.)  I learned that there’s a time to zip my lip and a time to stand up and be bold and all of it is under God’s direction. I have learned to listen and obey.

What is God whispering in your ear?

Are you bold enough to obey?

 

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4 Comments

  1. Oh, it truly is a radical idea, isn’t it: the choice to pray, listen, and obey even when our impatience and personal desires urge us to run ahead of ourselves. I have the hardest time in this area, but your (unfolding) story –especially about the peace which has come– encourages me that drawing near to Him is never the wrong decision. Love your heart, my friend.

  2. Well said. God is so faithful and so trustworthy. And the way we make our way in this life successfully is by drawing closer to Him, listening, and walking in obedience. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are no formulas – because it’s about the relationship, not following certain steps. Precisely why there will be a time to be quiet and a time to speak up. The only way to discover which is which is in spending time with Him. It still blows my mind that this amazing Creator of EVERYTHING, this Holy and Majestic LORD wants to spend time with little, insignificant me. Crazy, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle! Such a beautiful post. :-)

  3. BTW, I love that it’s titled Unfinished. Because we are ALL unfinished until we’re in the presence of the Lord. And even then, it ain’t over. It’s only begun. But here on this earth, we will never be complete, the work will never be finished, we will never be perfected. But that’s okay. It’s all a part of His glorious plan.

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