Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are you willing...

Sometimes I think the Lord just wants to know our willingness to be obedient to His Word. All the while we know what He has left us in His Love Letter is for our good, but we have so much pride and rebellion, we rationalize just how we can bypass such instruction.

Over the years I have had quite a few experiences where I was convicted to 'do the right thing' - hard as it was because of certain circumstances. I buck and brawl, fret, whine and try to determine different outcomes...none good, of course. Why me? Why not someone else? Why now; it's so not good timing for me. Me, me, me, me. The Lord just doesn't stop the conviction either, it seems to get more pressing. My spirit isn't still and works inside me to finally know what I knew from the onset of the conviction...."Yes, Lord. I will."

One example which may seem silly to you but really hit home to me in this vein was when I worked as the church secretary. For the couples retreat I put couples together into the cabins etc. People would request to be with friends they already had; most of it was easy work. But there was always one couple that no one wanted to room with. She was difficult..and she really was. Eventually everyone said they didn't want to be with this person. Usually there were four couples to a cabin...sometimes three.

So you see what's coming? Yep. "Karen, you can have these people in a cabin with you." NO NO NO not ME Please NOT ME!!! I want to be with MY friends not some difficult woman and her poor husband. PLEASE NO. Yea, we did the drill, pleading, begging, promising..and the same result...ahem missy! YOU. Bending, crying, seeing my selfish self for what I can be...okay,Lord, okay. Whew. Done deal. I cant say I had peace LOL, but was fine with it in the end. THEN guess what... they ended up not going because of something that I cannot even remember today. God just wanted to know if I was willing to follow His ways.

To obey is better than sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:1-23

Funniest thing is that I truly think six times out of ten, He then doesn't require the action from me at all. Evidently He just wants to know if I will bend my knee, die to self and move through the 'right' thing. Some things seem silly, some are HUGE to me. In retrospect in 35 years of having the Lord deal with my heart one would THINK that I'd get with the plan and just bend quickly. HA! You'd think I'd learn. Evidently I am still being shown how stubborn I can be, how much I do not want to put myself out there unless its really comfortable, and how selfish that really is.

Obedience is following instructions.
Obedience is submitting to authority.
Obedience is the humbling of pride.
Obedience is the response of love.

I want to share this weeks experience so you see how it works with the Lord and me. Don't think this is easy to do either, but some little conviction thing is resonating in me that I should share, so I will lest we have to go through yet another week while I fight with Him about doing so.

You all know my house has been for sale since January 3. You all know I've had to lower the price by $70,000 since then ...finally get an offer. It's a lawyer and then after his name on the contract it says.. "OR ASSIGNEE". I thot how interesting, he must be buying the house for someone else. Then it hit me! Wouldn't it just be like my son's ex-wife to want back in here now that it's all fixed up. Kind of like getting the last laugh on my son.

Boy did that kick in a lot of emotions...things like anger, annoyance, judging, bitterness, stubbornness and more. I told the Realtor the situation and said I want to know who is buying the house because I will not sell it to her. Gave him her name and her parent's names. I was vehement about this. So it was written into the contract that within five days of acceptance the name of buyer would be given to me.

There was a counter offer, another counter to that and then yet another one until finally I signed the last one. In the meantime of course the Holy Spirit was working on my attitude. I 'reasoned' with Him that sure, if she had tried to buy it before all this money was put into the remodel, that would have been fine with me. My grandson would live in the house he started out in, attend the best grammar and middle schools in Santa Rosa. BUT, no Lord,not now. Nope, nada. Aint gonna happen. Oh really? What about that little Kevin. What would be the best thing for him, not you and your bad attitudes and judgments? What about that? What about your stubborness, bitterness, anger? What about that? He called my bluff and reminded me that even if she had tried to buy it before the remodel, I would still have had the same bad attitudes. I would have said the same thing. Of course, He is right.

The heart starts to melt under such a conviction. The tears come, the sadness at my own behaviors and rebel-type ways. After 35 years of following Christ, how can I still have all this in me? Ashamed, I repent. Called to a higher place, I feel peace. I want Kevin to have his house back if she is the 'assignee.' I want Kevin to go to a good school and live in a very safe neighborhood if she is the 'assignee' on the contract.

I called my best friend and shared. Totally affirmed it to me. When the Realtor came that day I told him, I don't really care anymore if it is her, God and I were doing business this morning - of course I got tears in my eyes - and his filled. He said that morning he was taking his usual early morning walk in the vineyards by his home and was praying about the house and it came to him that he needed to share with me about forgiveness in this matter regarding her. We both just sat there with tears coming down our faces. I said I was glad God dealt with me alone first LOL. Another Christian affirming the work God had done in my spirit that morning.

Obedience is greater than sacrifice, but I often see it the same way. Obedience to God's ways is often quite sacrificial. We sacrifice our pride, our rebellion, our bitterness, our sin. Dying to self seems like a huge sacrifice at the time. Only later do we realize the wisdom of God's ways and conviction into these little or large crevices in our heart. Yet another heart surgery is performed. Yet another miracle of the supernatural way God works thorugh the Holy Spirit. Healing occurs. Peace at last..lifted UP by Him.

Keith Green wrote a song: To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice ~ It really says it all.


To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return
Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words

Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed
To obey is better than sacrifice

I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can't come to Me every day
Then don't bother coming at allLa,la,la etc.
To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I'm coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done


Janeen said...

WOW! You are on FY-YAH! This post is smokin' with the Holy Spirit. Excuse me while I get my hankie though because I just love you my friend!

My favorite line... "Dying to self seems like a huge sacrifice at the time. Only later do we realize the wisdom of God's ways and conviction into these little or large crevices in our heart."

Just the spiritual spanking I needed too. So relevant, so relevant.

By the way... Thank you for your sweet comments on my Beauty Treatment post. :) Yes I did get my face shield at Sally's Beauty Supply store here in town, they are a chain so you can probably find one near you too. I remember it being inexpensive at the time too, like $8 or something. Saves my face from more acne than I need at 40 years old - geeesh, when is it going to stop! ha ha

Cocoroo said...

I am so glad that you finally found peace in the matter. Now when you find out who bought the house, you might be disappointed to find out that it is someone else besides her. Wish all of the Lord's lessons can be so easy to resolve (an I know it has been very hard on you to come to this).

KARNA said...

Cocoroonio....I am fine with whomever the house is purchased by. All resolved over the time spent. Yeah, not easy on me this whole deal with her. Not easily resolved either. I hate dying to self..its a difficult process for one so proud as me. It doesn't come easy; quickly maybe, not easily. :) loveya,k

Lori Stilger said...

You are RIGHT ON POINT. The ESTHER Bible study I just finished (SOB!) talked a bit about it, too - Esther had to come to grips with her fears, and finally laid it ALL on the line - "If I perish, I perish." And God continued to keep His promises to His people through HER obedience.
Big or small, we never know what god will do when we LEAVE ourselves on His alter and let Him do what He's gonna do! I love this thing Beth Moore said in one of her videos: You're GOING to do the "what" God has for you to do. The HOW is up to you - with a happy heart? Grudging? Up to YOU.
LOVE YOU, woman!!!

Stan said...

Wonderful post K. To end it with a Keith Green song was wonderful. I remember (way, way back) when some friends brought a young woman to our house. She was hysterical and crying and shaking etc etc. Both Judy and I tried to talk with her to no avail. I put on some Keith Green music and held her hand as she lay on our couch. The first song that played was "The Shepherd Song" (Psalm 23). As soon as the music started the young lady started calming down and by the end of the song there were soft tears and many words. We were able to get her the help she needed.

Peace flowed through that music that night - and many others.



Anonymous said...

Very poignant Karna.