Blessed for Obedience

It’s been a while I know. Sometimes life takes over and you aren’t quite sure what to share or feel safe sharing. I always wanted this blog to be a place of safety and vulnerability. A place other moms could come and feel like they aren’t alone. A ray of light in such a dark world.

One of the things I have been pondering through my study of Colossians is the idea of obedience and blessings. I recently had the honor of hearing Anne Ortlund speak and her message left me hashing and re-hashing my relationship with the Lord. The gist of the message was to commit to discomfort in good times and bad and being steadfast to the end. It was quite convicting in all areas of my life and I soon realized as I began reading over my notes that to many it may seem like her message was kind of a downer. So there’s going to be a whole lotta suffering and discomfort all the time!? Yea, real positive message Anne!

As I began to think more about the discomfort of obedience to God I realized that’s only half of the equation of following Christ. It became clear as I read the parable of the workers paid equally (Matthew 20:1-16). A landowner hires day laborers at different times throughout the day and at the end of the day he pays them all the same. When the laborers who had been working since sunrise complained he says, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong, did you not agree with me for a denarius?” He continues, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?” At first glance this parable seems HUGELY unfair! And rightly so…if we base it on worldly standards. Jesus was using this as an illustration for salvation. Whether you accept the Lord’s gift of salvation at an early age and follow him for 50 years or you finally accept the gift on your death bed it doesn’t matter. We all get to be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43). But what the parable doesn’t include is the benefit for those who follow Christ throughout their life. I know that we get heavenly blessings but what about the earthly blessings? Are there any?

I put together my personal list of what I would consider to be earthly blessings:

  • Beautiful marriage & a spouse that is a living example of God’s love for me
  • Children that seek after the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind
  • Humility, grace, compassion and mercy
  • Love for others
  • Servant’s heart
  • Sense of humor about myself
  • Wisdom & knowledge to guide others to a saving faith in Christ
  • Writing God’s word on my heart that it may pop into my head with any situation
  • A disciplined and obedient heart and mind
  • Money to bless others & help spread the love & word of God

Now these may not be attractive for an unbeliever but for those who truly desire to follow Christ these are worth more than anything this world can offer.

Discomfort & suffering are guaranteed if you follow Christ (Philippians 3:10). But let’s not forget WHY it’s worth it! We have a comforter (2 Corinthians 1:4), an advocate (1 John 2:1), a forgiver of sins (Romans 4:7), a gracious and powerful God (2 Corinthians 12:9). God promises blessings in what we do if we are obedient to His word (James 1:25). Anne’s message wasn’t a downer at all! It was empowering and encouraging! If my desire is a closer relationship with the Lord, than I want to know any and all ways to achieve this. And if that means suffering and refinement for Christ’s sake than bring it on!

So tell me friends, have I missed something? What earthly blessings do you enjoy from the Lord?

Comments

  1. Anna Kia says:

    A few more earthly blessings for you-

    Peace of mind
    Clarity of thought for decision-making
    Confidence
    Joy & Contentment

  2. We as believers have the Holy Spirit!
    In the OT, the Spirit came and went. A person who had the Spirit of God upon him was something of a celebrity. And he never knew when it would leave. What is the value of our status as “permanently indwelt” by the Spirit of God? Well, if you have ever paid $100 an hour to a professional counsellor, think of it as having him or her on the phone with you 24-7. As a business owner I could think of it as like having a very expensive paid consultant at my elbow night and day. It’s even better than that, though, because my Wonderful Counsellor knows my every thought, is infallible, and did I mention, loves me so much He died to have this unbroken relationship with me?

    • Great point! I was reading Colossians this morning and I loved the verse where is says “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (3:3-4) What an amazing blessing!

  3. I agree with all you said!! These are some great blessings from God. But suffering and discomfort is a part of life with or without the Lord. I have had the MOST spiritual growth in times of discomfort. When things are easy, I’m not motivated to grow much. I have had years of good times, but I have years of great difficulties. During the hard times, (the ones where I am tempted to say “why is this happening to me???”), God has taught me that His promises can be counted on if I am obedient and TRUST Him in the midst of doing His will (even if it’s very difficult to do so). He will: equip us, strengthen us, and give us perseverance. After the hardest of times it seems that God shows his character most clearly if I ask “What can I learn from this?” To me, it’s as if God is saying…”Here is a huge challenge for you. What are you going to do? Are you going to trust me, submit to me, and obey me…and then witness my power and benevolence? …Or not?”

    And it is a beautiful sight when I look back and see that all things really do work for the good of those who love God (Rom 8:28). Even wonderful things can happen from tragic situations. I like to say that God can use a hurricane to transform a house made of cardboard into a majestic castle. Each difficulty has refined me (through fire…ouch!) to be more equipped to do the things he has called me to do.

    God also allows suffering to: 1.) draw us closer to Him through prayer, 2.) acquire compassion for others in the same situation, 3.) and to tell of His glory when we come out of it with a story of how God never leaves us and can turn it for good. More blessings!

    I don’t often get this passionate about things. I am truly grateful for past trials…I have resolved to willingly endure any trial God has for me only as a result of past trials where I learned about God and His wonderful plan. So I don’t think we need to be afraid of future hardships if we are obedient. Living without fear is one of the biggest blessings for me….’cause I was a ‘fraidy cat before I knew the Lord!

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  1. […] was the year of Obedience. I even wrote a post about one of my encounters with obedience in “Blessed for Obedience.” When I thought of obedience I always thought of how we are to obey God. I never saw […]

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