This entire move to Tennessee has taught me a lot about obedience, but this past week the Lord has really been emphasizing the point and testing me to see if I will truly be obedient or give in to my feelings and flesh.

When we first moved here, the Lord told me to find a church and join a small group. That was back in September. The first two months we did try different churches, but none of them seemed to fit. By December we basically gave up and stopped going to church until March. Then Justin found a church about 15 minutes away, we went and ended up really enjoying it there. Soon after, the Lord kept it in my heart that we needed to join a small group. So, I filled out their online form and was emailed by the leader of one of the groups of people our age. The leader said they met on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm. I received that email on Tuesday and told Justin we were going to check out the group the next night.

We got ready and headed for their home using GPS. We got lost but finally found it – and there were no other cars there. With a sinking feeling, we went to the door and discovered that group that night had been canceled and the leader forgot to tell me. My first thought was that this was a mistake and I wanted to turn around and go home – maybe try a different small group. But they insisted we go inside and talk for a few minutes (they were extremely friendly) and finally I gave in. The whole thing ended up being a divine connection because they invited us to an event that night and later the wife’s leader invited me to an all-women workout group that met three times a week.

This workout group was meeting the next night for a social get together for new members and was located at a restaurant I’d never been in and an area I have never explored. Using GPS I found it but there was no parking so I had to squeeze my way into a place and pray I didn’t get ticketed or towed. I went inside and couldn’t find the woman who had invited me anywhere. Again, I wanted to give up and go home. But the Lord told me to be obedient and to stay. Finally, I found the group upstairs (I didn’t even know there was an upstairs) and had a great time!

On Fridays, I volunteer at an assisted living facility. More often than not, when Friday rolls around, I don’t want to go. I think to myself, “It’s not like I’m being paid for this. Am I even helping anyone?” But I make myself go because I made a commitment, and when I leave I’m always glad that I went. Even though the women I visit can’t really respond to me, I believe in my heart that I’m encouraging them and that they may even look forward to my visit. But, in my flesh, sometimes I just want to quit.

The first workout with this new group was on Saturday morning so I woke up at 6 am. Now, I work from home so normally I don’t get up until 8 am or later. For those of you who work outside the home or have kids, you probably don’t see 6 am as a big deal – or maybe you do and you loathe getting up every day. But when I got up at 6 am, I was furious. I didn’t want to go, I wanted to get back in bed. Justin kept telling me I would have a great time and meet wonderful people, but I didn’t want to hear it. Still, I had committed myself to being there and I made myself go. Just as my husband had promised, I had a great time and met wonderful people! But I had wanted to give up.

Then again on Sunday morning, we got up at 6 am because we were going to the early Easter service. When that alarm went off, neither of us wanted to get up. We figured we could just go to the later service. But God spoke to my heart and reminded me that we can’t live by our feelings. We told ourselves we’d go to the 8 am service and we needed to stick to it. So, we went and ended up being glad we didn’t sleep in as the next service was PACKED, but the service we attended had fewer people which made it more enjoyable.

My point is that it is clear to me that God wants me to be obedient. When I say I’m going to do something, whether to God, to myself, or to others, I have to keep my word even when it hurts (like getting up at 5 am). He is teaching me to not live by my feelings but to live by faith, obedience, and trusting Him.

I wanted to share this with you guys because there may be areas of your life where God is trying to get you to be obedient. Maybe it’s in your health, your finances, your job, your family – whatever it is, as followers of Christ we need to learn how to be obedient and always keep our word, no matter how we feel.

I pray this helps you guys as it is helping me. If you want me to pray for you, please post your prayer requests in the comments below or use the contact form! I love to hear from you guys and I would absolutely love to pray for you!

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  • Karen

    I too am learning the exact same thing. I’ve gone by my feelings for too long. I don’t even ask myself if I feel like doing anything especially exercise; I just do it! No question asked! When I make out a schedule for each day I just follow it or get whatever is on my list done no matter what I feel like (unless I’m sick of course). I have learned the hard way and it’s taken many years is: not to ask myself how I feel; it doesn’t matter; things need to be done and I need to do them. I would have to say for me obedience, self-control and discipline have been the hardest lessons to learn in my walk and still learning them each and every day but I can say I’m doing so much better than I used to. Praise God! I’m so glad you are putting these things into practice way earlier than I did; it will be such a blessing in the upcoming years. Please pray that I will continue to. Thank you so much for your blog and honesty; it is so refreshing and inspiring!

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