Tag Archive | submission

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 58 – Full Obedience


Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 58

Full Obedience

Father God, the word ‘obey’ is perceived so negatively in society, and is so contrary to the ways of the world. Sometimes we fear what you will ask of us. How do You see obedience?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, do not tremble at the word ‘obey’. I will always enable you and empower you to do whatever I ask of you. I know what is best for you, and I would not ask you to do anything outside of My will. I am the sovereign ruler of the universe (Psalm 103:19). I have the power to do what I promise (Romans 4:21). You can trust in Me to do what is in your best interest. Submit yourself to My authority and My instructions. Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Me, and I will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Do not let your fear keep you from listening to My voice and obeying. As I commanded Joshua, so I encourage you, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Your obedience may cause you to face some challenges in unknown places, but I am with you always, leading you on your way. I will fight for you and die for you. You have seen My promises fulfilled.

I am the omniscient Father. In all things, I know the perfect timing. There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Do not rush ahead on your own, in your own timing, but wait on Me. I act on behalf of the one who waits for Me (Isaiah 64:4). Tune in to My Spirit within and be sensitive to His voice. He will show you when to move and when to stay.

Seek Me in the morning, and I will show you My will for your day. Put your trust in Me. I will lead you each step of the way in the plans I have for you. I may not show you more than the next step ahead. You may not have full understanding of the course I lead you on, but I will guide you down the path I have marked out for you. You may experience conflicts or objections from others as you seek to obey My will. You must obey Me rather than men (Acts 5:29). I am Lord of all. I see and know the future. I do what is best for your future. Trust Me with all your steps, even when you know not one of them. Be sensitive to My Spirit within. He will guide you in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).

On the other hand, disobedience brings consequence (Genesis 2:17). Continual disobedience is rebellion. This is not a good path to walk down. When you fall short of My will, be quick to confess and repent. Partial obedience is also rebellion. Full obedience is to do what I ask, how I ask you to do it, when I say to do it. Anything less than this is not obedience. I am not pleased with partial obedience. I love you and I want you to receive the blessings that follow your full obedience to Me.

Take the same attitude as Jesus did when He said, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) Where would you be if Jesus had not obeyed My will and gone to the cross? There would be no escape from the payment of your sin—the death penalty. There would be no reconciliation with Me. You would remain in your sin and reap the just punishment, eternal separation from Me. I do not ask you to do anything I have not done Myself. Be obedient to My will and see it through to the end.

I hear your prayers and petitions because of your reverent submission; you will learn obedience from your suffering (Hebrews 5:7-8), even as Christ Himself learned obedience from what He suffered. You know Me if you keep My commands. If anyone obeys My Word, love for Me is truly made complete in them. Whoever claims to live in Me must live as Jesus did (1 John 2:3-6). When you love Me, you will obey Me. When you obey Me, I will love you and make My home in you (John 14:23).

Meditate on My Word day and night and be careful to do everything written in it (Joshua 1:8). Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:22). Let your food, the nourishment of your soul, satisfy you in doing what pleases Me (John 4:34). I reward those who earnestly seek Me (Hebrews 11:6). Find My joy in your obedience; I always bless you when you follow My instructions. Show Me your love by the act of obedience to all I command you. I want only the best for you in all you do.  

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, not My will, but Yours be done. I know You have my best in mind, and what You have planned is best. Lord, I submit my will to Yours, and ask that You will help me and empower me to carry out whatever You ask of me. Lord, please speak to me more personally right now, and allow me to see the next step in the path You have marked out for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Sovereign God, You see the big picture; You know the future. What is Your will for me? What is the next step required of me to be obedient to it? (Record everything you hear Him say.)

 

  • Jesus, You are the ultimate model of submission and obedience to the Father’s will. Please share with me how to have the same attitude that You achieved in the most difficult circumstances. (Write down all the words and thoughts He brings to your mind.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to do the will of the Father. Teach me to hear and know Your voice, so that I might be able to understand what is asked of me and rely on Your power to accomplish it. What do You want me to hear right now? (Journal all ideas and impressions the Holy Spirit gives to you.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Father God, Your ways are higher than my ways, and Your thoughts are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). I trust Your will and plans for me are perfect, no matter the cost or difficulty. I submit myself to Your will. I ask you to prepare me, equip me, empower me to be obedient and accomplish all that You created me for. I want to bring glory to Your holy name. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Genesis 2:16-17, 16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Deuteronomy 4:2, Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 5:27, “Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33, 32So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

Deuteronomy 6:3-9, 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lied own and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on your doorframes of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 30:2-3, 2and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, 19This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob .

Joshua 1:7-9, 7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not urn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 27:14, Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 103:17-19, 17But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children—18with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts. 19The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 119:57, You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey Your words.

Psalm 139:23-24, 23Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Isaiah 55:8-9, 8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 64:4, Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Jeremiah 7:23, “But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be My people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”

Matthew 28:19-20, 19“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 11:28, He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke 22;42, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

John 4:34, “My food,” sad Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”

John 8:51, “I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys My Word will never see death.”

John 10:2-4, 2“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15, 14“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me—15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 14:23-24, 23Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.”

Acts 5:29-32, 29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging Him on a cross. 31God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Romans 4:20-22, 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 23May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

Hebrews 5:7-9, 7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. 8Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered 9and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.

Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

James 1:22, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

1 John 2:3-6, 3We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. 4Whoever says, “I know Him, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: 6Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 18 – Serve One Another in Love

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 18

Serve One Another in Love

Lord, how would you have us serve others? Submitting ourselves to one another is a difficult task. You are the Lord of the universe, and yet, You set a serving example for us by washing the disciples’ feet. Lord, do you really require that of us? Furthermore, You submitted Yourself to the Father’s will and died on the cross to pay my sin debt. You laid down Your life in exchange for mine. Thank You, Jesus. You are the ultimate servant leader.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Serving one another in love fulfills the second greatest commandment under the new covenant: Love your neighbor as yourself. This is second only to the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It’s that important to submit to one another in love, as Christ submitted Himself to death on the cross, giving Himself up for His bride, the church. You are able to love, because He first loved you (1 John 4:19).

Don’t get hung up on the words ‘servant’ and ‘submission.’ To submit yourself means to be obedient, surrendering your will to another. I, first, require that you submit yourself to Me. You will be obedient to Me as you submit yourself to another and serve another in love. I am King of kings and Lord of lords, however, I did not come to earth to be served, but to serve. I am a servant King, and I require no less of you.

When you serve another in love, you will be blessed (John 13:17). I modeled serving the Father, as I served My disciples by washing their feet. I humbled Myself and the Father exalted Me. I do not ask you to do more than I, myself, will do.

Perhaps you need to complete a pride inventory. Do you carry pride in your heart? If so, do what you must do to quickly get rid of all pride, haughtiness, and arrogance. Pride is detestable to Me (Proverbs 16:5). Humble yourself and I will exalt you (Matthew 23:12). Those who are greater should become the lesser, and those who rule should become the ones who serve (Luke 22: 26-27). Take up your cross and follow Me (Luke 9:23-24), then follow My example. Whoever loses their life for Me will save it. Let go of your pride.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:21-27). Be obedient to Me and submit to one another in love. Lay down your pride and serve one another, as I have served you by the laying down of My life. That is how much I love you.

Prayer:

Lord God Almighty, thank You for humbling Yourself by leaving Your throne in heaven to take on the flesh of mankind. Thank You for submitting to the Father’s will by laying down Your life for Your bride, the church, to make us spotless, holy, and blameless. I am so grateful that You paid the full debt of My sin, by death on the cross, to make me presentable to my Heavenly Father. Thank you for making the way for me to be reconciled to Him. I appreciate the opportunity You give me to communicate with God as His child and friend. Please allow me to hear Your voice clearly in these few moments I spend with You in the secret place. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please share Your heart with me; share Your desires for how I can best serve others. (Record all thoughts and ideas He gives you right now.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior, please help me know Your heart for serving others. Teach me to be willing to follow in Your footsteps and the example You set for me. Please give me ideas of how I can bring glory to You by serving others.

 

  • Holy Spirit, please reveal all the ways I am prideful. I confess the sin of pride in my heart and ask forgiveness. How may I do better in the future of submitting my spirit to Yours? Please give me examples of changes that need to be made in my life to be obedient to Your will of serving others. (Write every thought that the Holy Spirit impresses on you.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

 Dear Lord, thank You for communicating Your heart’s desires of how I might serve You and others in ways that bring glory to Your name. Humble me and help me be reverent and respectful to You by being obedient to Your commands to love and serve one another. Help me to submit to You and to others, the way Jesus submitted Himself to You and Your will. May you receive all the glory, honor, and praise. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Proverbs 6:16-19, There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 16:5, The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Matthew 20:26-28, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 23:12, For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Luke 22:26-27, “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

John 13:5…12-17, After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciple’s feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him…When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Galatians 5:13-14, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather; serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Ephesians 5:21-27, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 6:7-8, Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Colossians 3:23-24, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

James 4:6-8, But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.

1 John 4:19, We love because He first loved us.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Roadblock #4 – Worry – The Enemy of Trust

Worry does not add anything to our lives; in fact, it sucks the life right out of us. Worry equals not trusting fully in God. When we don’t trust God for everything, we distance ourselves from Him. Not relying completely on God to care for us, protect us, and provide for us, we detach ourselves from Him and His enormous power. God is omniscient: He knows our every need. God is omnipotent: He is the almighty, all-powerful, invincible Lord. God is omnipresent: He never leaves us; He’s always with us. God is the All-Sufficient One: He is enough. God is trustworthy: He will do what He promises.

God does not ask us to have blind faith and complete trust in a human being. He does ask us to put our trust and confidence in Him alone. We can rest in the assurance that He will take care of us. He is the Most High God. He is dependable, reliable, and faithful.

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? …Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God wants us to be completely dependent on Him for everything. Not depending on God and trusting in Him completely may put distance between Him and you.

God loves children and speaks to them. Perhaps He does so because children are more dependent. Are you approaching God as a child? Are you dependent on Him? Remember the story of the boy Samuel? After God had spoken to him, Samuel didn’t question God; he listened and obeyed. (See 1 Samuel 3 for the whole story.) God spoke to the boy because he practiced humility and willingly served the Lord. He did not have preconceived ideas about how God would talk to him. Samuel did not practice the freedom of self-sufficiency. He enthusiastically listened to God however God chose to speak to him, and then he obeyed.

This story offers encouragement. God speaks to people of all ages and all spiritual maturity levels. He doesn’t stop calling you just because you don’t recognize Him. He keeps pursuing you until you learn the sound of His voice. He will speak to you when you are still and ready to listen.

And yet, hearing Him is not enough. God looks for people who are dependent on Him, ready to listen to and obey Him. When we practice our independence and do what we please, God may choose not to speak to us. Depending on God and obeying His lead will keep the doors of communication open between you and the Lord.

To hear God’s voice, you must become like a child: humble, with a simple faith and reverence for the Lord. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark 10:15, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Become like a child and surrender to the work and power of the Holy Spirit within you. Trust God, and depend on Him for everything. Walk in submission to God by being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and acting in obedience to His instruction.

Trusting in the Lord, rather than in ourselves and others, proves to be the most stress-free way to live. Giving our cares over to God, Who controls all things, prevents us from being stifled in our spiritual growth by depending on our own limited understanding. Put your trust in God today, and acknowledge His supreme influence, power, and authority in your life. Permit yourself to relinquish all control and worry to the One who rules and reigns over everything on earth and in heaven. Purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak today and trade in the following lies for the truth in God’s Word.

#1: God won’t provide for all my needs.

#2:  I can’t trust God because He let me down in the past.

#3: I need to take care of things myself because God isn’t.

 

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series