Tag Archive | obedience

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #7

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Reward #7 – Delight in the Peace

By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I had created a busy life for myself. I had everything I wanted: a husband, a home, a job, a girl, a boy, friends, a dog, God, a church, a ministry, and much more. Why did I feel so empty? I controlled my life—or did my life control me? My life resulted in exactly what I had made of it, not what God had planned. My life was good, but it was not God’s best for me. My life felt full, but I remained hollow. My whole life had left me with a hole in my heart. Our definition of a full life is different than God’s. The life I had created quickly spun out of control and into depression. I was in pieces and had no peace within.

God met me at the bottom of my pit of depression. He stretched out His hand to me. I took hold, and He pulled me up. He set me down on His firm foundation and began the rebuilding process in me. As I learned to trust God more every day, I turned over new areas of my life to Him. When I turned over complete control to God, He rearranged major things in my crazy, busy life to give me the peace He wanted me to enjoy.

After many months of meeting with God on a daily basis to listen to His voice—absorb His healing, find freedom in forgiving, enjoy His encouragement, follow His instruction, consider His conviction, and savor His wisdom—I could now delight in His peace. God had rebuilt my demolished soul through the work of His Holy Spirit inside me. He gave me a newfound confidence in Christ and in myself as a child of God. He gave me a renewed relationship with the Father. He gave me a stronger, more vibrant faith and a passion for serving my Savior. He gave me more spiritual knowledge and a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role of transforming me into a new creation.

Let me be clear. Life did not get a lot easier, but it did become more peaceful as I gave over control to God. That statement seems contradictory. Losing control should not produce peace in one’s spirit, but the things of God are not as they seem. He does not operate as the world does. When I gave up control and surrendered to the will and plans of God, He lifted a burden from me.

As I consulted with Him in all areas of my life, big and small, I turned from being a people-pleaser into being a God-pleaser. I didn’t care as much about what people thought anymore; I concerned myself with what God thought. I did not have to please everyone; I had to please the One. I tried not to spread myself thin going in too many different directions. I focused my attention in one direction—up.

It took many months for God to rearrange my life in order to give me the kind of peace He wanted me to experience by trusting fully in Him. I had obligations I needed to fulfill and positions I had to find replacements for. I had to change the way I operated in my home among my family. As God freed up my time by releasing me from a few responsibilities, I became more available for Him to use in His work.

Doing God’s work generated a much greater reward than anything I might take on myself. With obedience come peace and joy. As I faithfully met with God every morning, our relationship deepened immensely. He did a great deal of intense work with me on discovering, processing, and healing my emotional wounds. I shed many tears along the path to healing. The rough and rocky emotional journey had to be traveled to get to a better place—a place of freedom, peace, and rest.

One of the first observations my Christian mentor made about me all those years ago was that I did not have much peace in my life. It was a very smart—and true—observation. I experienced a full life, yet I did not know what peace-full felt like. Some people do not experience a full life according to worldly standards but have a life full of peace and contentment because they rely on intimate communication with God through the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on things and circumstances. The full life Jesus Christ came to give us equals a life full of His peace when we are in tune with the voice and Spirit of God, not based on material possessions, human relationships, or excellent conditions.

Jesus stood at my door and knocked. I answered and let Him in. I spent time with Him and listened to His voice. I pursued Him, drew near to Him, and remained in Him. The outcome has been a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Savior. The lasting effect is a life full of His peace. I now know the peace of God, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

Get close to God by being in touch with God’s Holy Spirit inside you. Tap into the power of the Prince of Peace, who lives in your heart. Listen to God’s voice and experience a life full of His perfect peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints—but let them not return to folly.”  Listening to God’s voice enables us to delight in His peace. The peace of God is more precious than diamonds, silver, or gold. Enjoying all the rewards of listening to God makes me want to share this excellent practice with the world.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #4

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Reward #4 – Follow the Instruction

God speaks to His people not only to encourage us, but also to instruct us in life. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God shares His wisdom, His commands, and His teachings throughout the Bible. For example, read Proverbs 2 to catch a glimpse of the benefits of seeking God’s wisdom. Also, Jesus sums up the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-38 when He says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These are instructions to live by.

Seeking God’s wisdom by listening to His voice and then following through on His instructions leads to a life of intimacy, peace, and joy with the Lord. When we tune our ears to God’s voice, quite often we hear or feel the Holy Spirit prompting us to do something important. Just as a parent instructs a child and expects obedience, God expects us to obey when He speaks to us. When we do not obey His voice, we miss out on some great opportunities to experience the plans He made for our lives, including the benefits of lasting joy, indescribable peace, and abundant blessing—the kind of full life Christ came to give us.

Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose My instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” In this verse, God compares His instruction to precious metals and reveals a worth far greater than silver or gold. Nothing you desire or money can buy surpasses the rich wisdom imparted in God’s instructions.

In John 14:23, Jesus shared an insight on how to experience intimacy with God: “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” When we love Jesus, we will obey His teaching. When we obey His teaching, God loves us and makes His home with us. We learn and grow in intimacy with God. Jesus didn’t leave us guessing how to get close to God. This verse came in the context of Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit to live with us. God dwells with those who love and obey Him. He doesn’t just visit us from time to time; He makes His home IN us forever. Jesus modeled His love for God by being obedient to His Father’s instructions, even unto death on the cross. It’s not enough to listen to God’s voice. We also must obey.

In Acts 1:1-2, Paul reminds Theophilus that before God took Jesus up to heaven, Christ gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to us so He could continue to teach us and give us instructions after He returned to the side of God the Father. When the Spirit of God instructs us, He does not allow us to forget about what He wants us to do. In my experience, the Spirit does not let me ignore His instructions. He persists until I obey.

When you are obedient to God’s instructions and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you will experience incomparable joy just as Jesus’ disciples did in Acts 13:52: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Don’t put off doing the will of God. When you hear God’s voice and instructions, don’t wait months to carry them out. Confirm what you hear, and then do it! When we’re obedient to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we’ll experience a greater joy lasting longer than any happiness we might receive from the things of this world. In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Listen to God’s instructions, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Three Gifts for Christmas

th3Great things come in threes. God gives Christ followers many awesome gifts, too numerous to mention here, but the greatest are these three: 1) God the Father, 2) Jesus the Son, and 3) God the Holy Spirit—a.k.a. the Trinitarian, Three-In-One God.

God, the Father, sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to: 1) be born of a virgin, 2) walk the earth in the flesh as a man, and 3) die on the cross as a sacrificial lamb of atonement for the sins of all people. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb. He descended into hell to bear the punishment for all our sins. Three days later, God: 1) raised Jesus from the dead, 2) seated Him next to Himself at His right hand, and 3) placed all things under His feet, appointing Jesus to be head over everything (Eph. 1:22).

Matthew narrates the Christmas story highlighting the visit from the Magi in Matthew 2:9-11,

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Again, the number three triumphs. The wise men from the east bowed down and worshiped the Christ child. They presented Him with three treasured gifts: 1) gold, 2) incense, and 3) myrrh.

As you honor Jesus this Christmas by giving gifts to family and friends, bosses and co-workers, employees and charities, think about what three gifts you could present directly to the Christ child. Will it be,

1)     love, obedience, and trust,

2)     glory, praise, and worship, or

3)     tithes, offerings, and service?

Whatever you decide, you can’t out-give God. He already demonstrated the great depth of His love for you by giving the ultimate gift—the birth and death of His Son, Jesus Christ, as payment for your sin.

Perhaps you could honor the Christ child today with these three gifts: 1) your time, 2) your attentiveness, and 3) your discerning ears.

1)     Make TIME to BE STILL with God today.

2)     Escape the crowds and noise, and FOCUS your attention on Him only.

3)     LISTEN to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within.

God loves you more than you will ever comprehend. He wants to spend time with you, showing you and telling you. In your quiet time with Jesus today, bow down and worship the King on His birthday. Present Him with your three gifts: 1) time, 2) attentiveness, and 3) listening ears. It is better to give AND receive JESUS.

My three gifts to God and you today are three FREE Kindle books, 1) Manna for Today, 2) 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, and 3) 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Download your three FREE Kindle books today, in honor of Jesus Christ, my King.

Manna for Todayhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B019T6OWTU

7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017XXKPYM

7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speakhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M10Z420

 

In the love and service of Christ,

Sindy Nagel

Author/Speaker/Blogger

 

 

His Heart will Sing

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).

Beloved one, make it your pleasure to offer yourself—heart, mind, and soul—to Me, in reverence. Do not be as the pagans, who do not acknowledge Me as God. You previously belonged to this world and its ways. However, now you are a stranger to it. Do not imitate the ways of those who do not know Me or accept me. You are My child, I adopted you as My heir. My Holy Spirit, who dwells in your heart, transforms you by the renewing of your mind. Pay attention to His voice within. He teaches you and reminds you of My good and perfect will. You need not question how to please Me. Love Me with your obedience. Set yourself apart from this world, remaining pure and holy as your spiritual worship. Serve Me wholeheartedly according to the gifts I have given you. Live into the purpose I created you for and let My heart sing.


 

The Joy of Obedience

The Joy of Obedience

by Sindy Nagel

 

I cannot hold my heart within

It leaps out from my chest

When I obeyed the thing You asked

With joy, my heart You blessed

 

This is no temporary smile

You’ve draw upon my face

But lasting joy is found in me

As I rest in Your embrace

 

Storms may come and winds may blow

My vessel may be tossed

You take my hand and lead me through

I never will be lost

 

My joy is not dependent on

The blessings or the strife

It comes from deep with my soul

‘Cuz I’ve given You my life

 

Your Spirit lives within me now

He guarantees my fate

Forever I will spend with You

When death knocks at my gate

 

You are my Lord, I’ll follow You

Until my dying day

And when my work on earth is done

In heaven with You, I’ll stay

 

Given the chance to do Your work

I choose obedience

And You reward beyond compare

Great Joy, my recompense


 

 

No Greater Love

Jesus on crossIn John 15:9-14, Jesus says this, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”

You are my child—not only my child, but also my friend. No one loves you more than I do. I love you so much that I laid down my life for you. Will you now lay down your life for me and do as I commanded you? Love each other as I have loved you. You cannot do this without my help.

At one time or another, love requires sacrifice. Whether it’s laying down your life, your selfish desires, your control, your obsessions, or your possessions, love requires sacrifice and submission. In loving each other, you will need to serve each other, submit to each other, and place each other’s needs ahead of your own. This is sacrificial love. I would not ask you to do anything I have not already done.

When you love each other as I have loved you, my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. No greater reward is there for your obedience than a joyful heart. This is lasting joy, not temporary happiness. With joy, comes the peace of knowing that you live a life that is pleasing to me. Abide in me and I will abide in you. Love others and remain in my love. Remain in me and experience the love, peace, and joy of the full life I intended for you.

Phillips, Craig & Dean – What Kind of Love is This Lyrics

Artist: Phillips, Craig & Dean

What kind of love is this that climbs the hill That bears the cross, that takes the nails? What kind of love is this that takes my place That gives His life and clears my name? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

What kind of love is this that gives His Son That bears the sin of everyone? What kind of love is this that cries alone That tastes of death to bring me home? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

It’s wonderful, it’s glorious It’s full of grace and full of mercy Powerful, it’s marvelous That’s what this love is That’s what God’s love is

What kind of love is this that fills my soul That lifts me up and makes me whole? What kind of love is this that gives me hope That dries my tears and brings me joy? Oh, I want to know what kind of love this is?

Jesus, Jesus He’s full of grace and full of mercy Jesus, my Jesus This is what love is That’s what God’s love is

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/phillips-craig-dean/what-kind-of-love-is-this-lyrics/#qO9UHewt5xStwYWj.99

 


 

 

 

Obedience is Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 6)

Children of God, I ask you to walk in truth and love—the truth that I am the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ, and the love that the Father has bestowed upon us. True love is this: that we obey the commands of God. I have asked you to love one another, just as I have loved you. Love is obedience. Obedience is love. One does not exist without the other. When you are obedient to His commands, you demonstrate your love for the Father. When you love the Father, you demonstrate your love through your obedience. I love God, therefore, I demonstrated my love with my obedience, even unto death on the cross. Obey God, and walk in His true love. This love is a gift from God above. You cannot manifest this kind of love from any efforts of your own flesh. You must draw on the pure, unadulterated love of God, in order to love another in His grace. Do not be taken in by the kind of love the world offers, but cling to the love that has saved you from your sins. My blood was shed for your atonement. Claim your victory in my name. Live as I live. Love as I love. Demonstrate your love of God by loving one another. Love from the depths of the Spirit of God within you. When you do, your reward will be great.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Daughter of the King—You are seeing the fruits of your labor. You have been faithful to completing this task I have given you. Your obedience is appreciated. You have done your part for the moment. The next step is in my hands. Leave it to me. I am in control. I am with you. Listen to me and follow my lead. I will make things happen for you in a way that I will receive all the glory. I have chosen you for a reason. Be patient. I will act when the time is right. Keep pressing forward. Do not be overwhelmed. Put one foot in front of the other each day and make progress in the work I have for you. Your reward will be worth the wait. I am in control of all things. You are in my sight. I will not leave you alone to face the wolves of this world. They will bow down to me. Remain humble and obedient to your call. I will produce fruit ten-, fifty-, one-hundred fold. It matters not that you have a small following. You have a great God who is in your court cheering for you. Be faithful and committed to your work. The time may come when your time will go. Remain true to me and maintain your relationship with me. Do not forget who has called you to this. Tune in to me. I will let you in on my plans. My plan is to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. Your future is secure with me.