When I was headed into 2019, I wrote out my goals for the coming year. I was very intentional about my goals being about my character. There were very few things I wanted at accomplish. Instead, I really wanted this year to be about God growing me in some major areas where my growth was stunted.
There were areas in my life that didn’t grow for a variety of reasons: either I was unaware, I was being lazy, or it hurt too much and I just flat out told God nope. Growth happens with intentionality, not just because time passes. You have to be engaged in the process of growth. As much as we may want it to, it doesn’t just happen.
“Growth happens with intentionality, not just because time passes.”
So this year has been about major wins and major losses. Major highs and major lows. Major successes and major failures. And all these things have been God’s hand at work in my life to do the things I asked Him for, to help me with the goals He inspired for me for 2019.
One of the goals I wrote down was about obedience. Because obedience is such a broad topic, I wrote a subpoint to clarify.
“Fully obey the things God has shown me. Don’t hesitate to obey, like Abraham.”
Guys – Be careful when you ask God to work on your character because He will. Don’t ask Him unless you’re really ready for Him to do it BECAUSE HE WILL!!!!
I didn’t quite know what situations I was about to have to walk through when I asked God to grow me in obedience. What I learned was that the real issue to my lack of obedience was a lack of faith. When God began to challenge me in areas of obedience, He showed me that the root of my disobedience was that my faith in Him was crippled.
Whenever we disobey God, it’s because we don’t fully believe Him or it’s because we don’t know Him in the ways that He’s asking us to trust Him. One of the biggest lessons I learned in this year was that there are some ways that you’ll never know God’s character or His power intimately if you don’t go through certain things. You may have cognitive knowledge, of who He is and what He can do, but cognitive knowledge and experiential knowledge are two different things. Cognitive knowledge is surface. Experiential knowledge comes from depths that no one can take.
“There are some ways that you’ll never know God’s character or His power intimately if you don’t go through certain things.”
In order for me to have obedience like Abraham, I had to grow in faith like Abraham. Abraham is known as the “Father of faith” because he’s the first man that we see in the Bible that really really really lived by faith. All of those reallys are really necessary!
It’s one thing to say you trust God, but to live by faith requires an obedience that is beyond you. It comes from an understanding that your life is not your own and that God is in control. In order for me to grow in faith and obedience to God, I had to lay aside some things I didn’t realize I was holding on to.
For the next couple of blog posts, I’m going to share the things that God showed me He had his finger on: Anxiety, Control, Comfort. I’m positive there are more but those are some of the major highlights.
It’s amazing what God will show you about yourself when you ask Him, when you begin to look at yourself through the mirror of the word. Anxiety, control, and comfort were my guides (read gods). They colored everything that I did and more so what I didn’t do. I had to get put in some hot water and some sticky situations to first identify them and to challenge them.
As we get close to the end of this year, I can say that in spite of the ups and downs, the good, the bad and all the ugly, that growth happened. In order to get to the point where I could obey God in the big things, I had to learn the importance of obeying Him in the “little” things. It’s been like bootcamp, but a good one. I am not the same person that entered this year. And I can’t wait to share the lessons with you.