Shout out to Grandma Marji, Happy Birthday!! May 1st was her birthday and I sure do miss her wisdom and our very long phone conversations! I imagine her sitting on the golden steps of her mansion, healed from all the world’s afflictions, with the saints gathered all around her as she shares her story. “When I wake up in the Land of Glory, With the saints I will tell my story, There will be one name that I proclaim…” (Big Daddy Weave). Love you Grandma and we cherish your sweet memory. 🙂
It’s May!! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and new growth can be seen everywhere you look, including here. Over the next few weeks my blog will be evolving–becoming more interactive and conversational. Still figuring it all out, but as you recall from my last post, “No Condemnation Construction Zone,” I am being changed from the inside out (painful, but soo good for me!) so it will be reflected here. On board? Good! Glad to have all of you coming along side me!
I started writing this post on the first of May, as you may have guessed from what is written above. I was several paragraphs into a message about world values compared to God’s values and I stalled. Nothing. Not one more word came to mind. I prayed for guidance from the holy spirit. I stepped away from my desk and took a break. I tried to look at other resources to gain insight and inspiration. No matter what I did I could not continue with what I had started. At this point, the best thing to do is let it go and come back to it.
Today, while I was reading my daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, I felt compelled to read a day ahead. God spoke to me in a powerful way in the May 5th devotion:
“If Jesus ever commanded us to do something that He was unable to equip us to accomplish, he would be a liar. And if we make our own inability a stumbling block or an excuse not to be obedient, it means that we are telling God that there is something which He has not yet taken into account. Every element of our own self-reliance must be put to death by the power of God. The moment we recognize our complete weakness and our dependence on Him will be the very moment that the spirit of God will exhibit His power” (Chambers).
The moment I read this I felt convicted and felt a strong need to be in prayer, and in complete surrender to God. My doubt is not in being obedient to God, it is the stumbling blocks that I am allowing to get in the way of complete surrender. In all honesty, I am broken. My natural tendency is to be shy, introverted, and to myself. In large groups, especially around people I don’t know, it may take awhile for me to warm up. I don’t put myself out there easy. My personality seems to be the opposite of what a blogger should be, at least that is what I believe.
This is where my stumbling blocks come in–it is not natural for me to talk about myself, be on social media, or to encourage others to read what I have written. However, I feel as though I should do some of these things and then, when I do, I question my motives–because I feel uncomfortable. Boy, the enemy loves that!! Then I get off balance and question what God is doing in my life, “that we are telling God that there is something which He has not yet taken into account” (Chambers). God knows me and all of my shy/awkward tendencies. Yet here I am, pouring out my heart to the world and sharing all of my brokenness. Praise God that He alone knows my heart and how much I desire to do His will. At least I am in good company. One of my favorite books of the bible is Hebrews, especially Chapter 11, which I call “the hall of faith.” All the people featured in this chapter had enduring faith in God and relied on His promises. However, many of them initially questioned what God was speaking into their lives.
1) Moses doubted the way he could speak (Exodus 4:10) and was concerned about conveying God’s message so God allowed his brother, Aaron to be his spokesman. “He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say” (Exodus 4:16 NLT). The power of God was unleashed when he stepped out in faith and relied on the promises of God. Not only was Moses the author of the Pentateuch, he set the Exodus in motion. Obedience and faith in action!!
2) Sarah and Abraham laughed at God’s promise that they would give birth to a son in their old age. Abraham and Sarah had been faithful to God in the past, but this revelation brought about by three visitors, was almost too much for them to believe. One of the visitors, speaking to Abraham said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah will have a son!” (Genesis 18:10 NLT). With the birth of his son Isaac, Abraham’s faith in God grew so much that he was willing to sacrifice his promised son if God asked. Obedience and faith in action!!
Those are just two of the amazing members of the hall of faith, and I encourage you to read the whole chapter. It is all very inspiring and profound! God knew all of their concerns, limitations, everything about them, and called them to do mighty things for His kingdom. Faithfulness, obedience, and faith in action. I am so very thankful that the holy spirit called a halt to what I had began writing this week. I needed this breakthrough and the time I spent with God this morning. While I was in prayer, God also reminded me of something my Pastor Mike shared during his sermon last Sunday, “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that being uncomfortable is being out of the will of God” (Sumner family Church). Between my blog last week and what I am writing this week, God has blessed me in so many ways and showed me how much I need Him and I am right where He wants me to be, flaws and all. Thank you Jesus, for all that You do and all that You are!
I would love to hear your story. Have you ever been where I am? What scriptures motivated you the most?
I love, love this song. We sang it in church last Sunday. I think of those who have gone to heaven before me, and I think of the day when I meet Jesus face-to-face and tell My story. Big Daddy Weave, “The Only Name (Yours Will Be.)
Big Daddy Weave. “The Only Name (Yours Will Be). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1ETEv-NWpc
Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” Discovery House. Updated edition, 1992.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
5 thoughts on “Obedience and Faith in Action”
I’m late reading this but thought about her on her birthday! We’ve been on a road trip. I always remember her words of ‘may angels surround you’ and say that every time we travel. She was a wise and loving person!
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Hi, Cheryl. “May the Angels surround you” came to my mind as I was writing this and quite frequently when we go places. Love her. It is so true that the way people loved us or their character is what we remember MOST when we think of them.
It truly shows what lasts…and it isn’t the material things we are given. 🙂
Amanda R Smith
I love your transparency Shanon, I think if you listen/watch you will find we all have a similar story, even those who seem outgoing and the center of attention, have things that they second guess at times. And more often than most of us want to admit we feel so much less. I am so glad to be on the journey with you and encourage you to keep going, step on those blocks to get you closer to God, don’t let them trip you up.
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Thank you, Amanda. Your words are encouraging. I write what God puts on my heart to share, hoping to be an encouragement to others as others have encouraged me. All the glory to God!
No tripping, one block at a time. Lol.
Thhanks for this blog post