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Choosing Obedience Over the Fat of the Ram

I have a presentation to give in two weeks. I am to stand before members of my church congregation and some guests and share how God’s hand has been working in my life (even when I didn’t want it)—how He has been faithful despite my initial resistance to Him.

And I am excited … and terrified!

I can sympathize with Moses when God tells him to confront Pharaoh (Exodus 3 and 4). The same questions pop into my mind that he voiced.

Why would anyone listen to me? What do I have to say that is of any importance? Isn’t there someone else who can speak more eloquently?

My two biggest fears are rambling on about inconsequential things, thus, not getting my (His) message across, and wondering if I made a mistake in His calling on my life in the first place.

Perhaps I misread His message. Maybe instead I was supposed to get a nice, safe job and share with those in the office or simply minister through my blog and Facebook for a while longer.

Understanding God’s will for my life has long been a struggle for me. I’ve often thought (and prayed) that He should smack me over the head with a 2 x 4 to get my attention and put a flashing neon sign in front of my eyes explaining what He wants of me, what direction my life should take. Maybe then I would get it!

How wonderful it would be if God would just come near to me and audibly whisper (or yell because I probably still wouldn’t understand) His plan, like He did on many occasions in the Old Testament.

That is not likely to happen.

However, truthfully, I have been feeling God’s nudge in the direction of communicating to others the peace, strength, and joy available through Christ for a number of years. But I have been resistant to His will, certain I heard Him wrong.

He was speaking; I just wasn’t listening because I was hesitant to obey. In fact, a book could be filled with the excuses I invented to convince myself He wanted someone else for this job.

Eventually, His gentle persistence wore me down.

I began to realize our earthly purpose boils down to giving of our lives to glorify the Lord—to directing the spotlight on the Alpha and Omega. If we are doing that, we can’t help but be in His will.

And as Angie Smith writes in her wonderful new book What Women Fear: Walking in Faith That Transforms, “as long as I am listening and odedient, I will bring Him glory.”

I’m still not sure God made the best choice in me as a communicator, but I am certain I cannot fail if I move in obedience.

That truth will be tucked firmly in my pounding heart as I step before the audience in fifteen days.

 “Samuel replied, ‘What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.’” (1 Samuel 15:22, NLT).

Have you struggled as I have in discerning God’s direction for your life? Have you been offering the “fat of rams” instead of listening to Him? I would love to hear of a time you stepped out in faith to glorify the Lord and the outcome of that obedience.

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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