• The blessings of obedience

    by  • July 20, 2015 • Faith, inspiration, Rural Ministry • 0 Comments

    As I write, I celebrate with those who have received life-giving spirit-lifting rain I am ever mindful of those ‘still waiting’ and continue to mobilize prayer.

    To those receiving this complementary copy of Word For Today for the first time, I pray you find encouragement and hope on a daily basis within its pages. So many people testify how it just relates in a very meaningful and practical way to every day life – especially on days when they didn’t know where to turn. I personally can vouch for that.

    This month I feel to write on ‘The blessings of obedience’. I am passionate and unashamed about sharing what I have personally experienced and know to be ‘life changing’ truths revealed in God’s Word, the Holy Bible – my treasured ‘handbook for life’. His Word does not impart only head knowledge or tell great stories but actually has the power to transform a human life. His Word is the plumb line, a point of reference with which to align. It embodies great comfort, gives direction and correction as the areas that need to change for our own sake are illuminated to us. Through the power of His Word, He has brought me into a place of deep peace, a peace far greater than I had ever known ‘doing it my way’! I humbly offer to you the benefits of what He has done, continues to do, both in and through me.

    As you read the Bible, you’ll find answers to pressing dilemmas suddenly come to mind like a ‘light bulb’ moment.

    Obedience to God’s Word promises peace, blessing and protection. His warnings are to protect not control or limit, but to the contrary, bring freedom and life. Hebrews 4:12 says, ‘His Word is powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, piercing between soul and spirit and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart’. As we read the Word, it pierces/penetrates/punctures any wrong belief systems we have that are limiting our effectiveness and hindering God’s very best plan for us. It aligns our thinking with His plumb line of truth.

    One of my favorite promises from the Bible is ‘HIS HOLY WORD WASHES US.’ Ephesians 5:25 It says, ‘we are made holy by the washing of the water of the Word’. This is one of the most profound truths I’ve experienced and you can experience it too. Sometimes the word ‘holy’ holds connotations of something way out of our reach or only for a select few. In fact it was a great relief to learn that it actually means ‘made whole and complete without flaw, repair what is damaged, bring to wholeness, ie. (like fixing a broken part as we would repair a flood fence). Every part of our lives, is cleansed, purified We are mentally transformed by this washing process that takes place as we read/muse/meditate those Scriptures that are special to you – the ones that ‘leap off the page’ and settle in your heart as you read.

    In practical terms it might mean that as I spend time in the Word, grudges I’ve carried and held onto so tightly, that have tormented me day and night with thoughts of hatred and revenge, will just be washed away into the ‘sea of forgetfulness’ allowing forgiveness to flow to someone who has hurt me deeply or treated me unjustly. Sometimes, by His great grace, He shows us why a person behaves the way they do and your heart might fill with compassion. We live in an imperfect world, loved ones let us down and can’t give us what they are incapable of giving. It might be that strong opinion I’d fought for, but in the light of God’s perspective, is faulty and needs to change to bring the peace we all desire.

    The Bible exhorts us in many places to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him’! Hebrews 6:5 speaks of those ‘who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God (sampled, tried it, considered it, reflected upon it, mused over it). If we don’t taste, we won’t see! It is only by obedience to God’s Word we can be assured of His protection. Outside the umbrella of His protective wisdom, we place ourselves in danger of getting ‘picked off’. Spiritual principles are like the law of gravity. It is irrelevant that we know or don’t know them, whether we depart willfully or through ignorance of those spiritual principles, they apply to us all and consequences will surely follow.

    To put this in practical terms: God’s Word says to ‘obey the laws of the land’ Romans 13. If I break the law for instance, by speeding, there comes a time when the privilege of holding a driver’s license might be revoked. I can continue to speed, constantly on the alert for speed cameras and lurking police offices (which robs my peace), or I can make a decision (with God’s enabling power) to obey the road rules and drive in peace. Disobedience robs me of that peace. My choice! I can make all the excuses I want, (long distances to travel, must get there by dark, ‘roos will be out, not hurting anyone, not much traffic on this road, such a good road shame not to enjoy it). But TRUTH IS ‘OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND’ ROMANS 13:1-7 speaks very clearly regarding this! (Have a look)!

     Disobedience = consequences and no peace.

    Obedience = peace and a clear conscience.

     HIS WORD COMFORTS! You might be going through some sort of life challenge right now that is robbing you of sleep and causing deep angst. Please go to the Psalms and allow them to comfort and encourage you and clear your thinking. Keep reading until you alight on a verse that seems to speak to you personally – that identifies with how you’re feeling and allow it to bring assurance around your heart and mind. Psalm 4:8 says, ‘In peace, I will lie down and sleep: for You Lord alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust’. You might say a short prayer that goes something like this: ‘Lord I believe you will cause me to lie down and sleep in perfect peace. I release to You all that concerns me (verbalize each concern), I have confident trust the right solution will come.’ Amen

    You may go off to sleep with this thought, Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble/distress.

    I pray that we will all look forward to this year with courage and hope, with an expectation of GOOD things to come, knowing that before you call, He will answer. His heart is towards YOU, longing for you to give permission to take control of the ‘steering wheel’ of your life. I pray for each and every reader that ‘He will perfect EVERYTHING that concerns you’. (Psalm 138:8) May His perfect peace encompass your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, knowing there is NOTHING TOO DIFFICULT for God. May His goodness, kindness, love, justice and mercy abound to each and every reader no matter how isolated the region in which you are living, he is always as near as a whispered prayer.

    With love always,

    Liz

     If you would like prayer for a matter that seems overwhelming please ring me on: 0408 605 003

    About

    Pastor Liz Howland (formerly Liz Collins of “Wandilla”, Marlborough) Liz was born into a pioneering Central Queensland rural family. Her passion is to see our Nation come to the life transforming knowledge of Jesus Christ, to convey the message that God’s life giving Word, (the Bible) is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago, and how to practically apply God’s principles in everyday life.

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