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Power In Obedience...

Greetings, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog, so leave a post, share an insight or story, and bless lots of people! Maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

I've been thinking a lot about the power of the will, God's will and ours. God's will is a powerful, raging river, full of grace and mercy, strength and provision. Our will is a disjointed, smooth path - easy to walk on, but leads us away from our appointed destiny. 

When God's will crosses your will, what do you do? What's your first response? Do you go your own way and do your own thing, or do you - in spite of your emotions and your feelings - jump in the river? 

God's Word reminds us, "I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me." We can. But so often, we don't.

Read this great excerpt from by John Henry Newman (written in the 1800's - taken from "Joy & Strength):

"Why is it that we in the very Kingdom of grace, surrounded by angels and preceded by saints, nevertheless can do so little, and instead of mounting with wings like eagles, grovel in the dust, and do but sin, and confess alternately? Is it that the 'power' of God is not in us? Is it literally that we are not 'able' to perform God's commandments? God forbid. We are able. We DO have a power within us to do what we are commanded to do. What is it we lack? The power? No, the will. What we lack is the simple, earnest, sincere inclination and aim to use what God has given us, and what we have in us." 

I've learned that obedience to God brings power to my faith. Every time I've forsaken the smooth path of selfishness that I might  jump in the raging, unpredictable river of obedience, I've gained momentum in my walk of faith, I've learned on a new level just how powerful God is, and I've learned to mistrust my selfish inclinations on a whole new level.

Even Jesus submitted His will to His Father in Heaven. He came to earth specifically to do the Father's will (See John 6:38). Likewise, we are here to do the Father's will. 

How is it that we so easily take the freedom He offers us, and use it to go our own way? All around me I see people walking away from their commitments to love and to forgive and to live as Christ-followers. Not that we can do anything on our own, but as we stay closely linked in fellowship with the Father, He will move in us to will and to act according to His beautiful purposes for us (See Phil. 2:13). 

What comes up when God crosses our will with a command to obey? All too often it's stubbornness, selfishness, entitlement, pride, excuses, explanations, etc. It's not easy to obey, but it's critical to our walk with Jesus.

What does God want us to do when faced with the opportunity to take the easy path or the raging river? He wants us to trust Him and jump in! May we leave our imagined rights and false security on the river bank and trust God to take us to that next place of purity, of promise, of provision. His ways are always best.

Every time I've chosen to obey - even when it cost me dearly - I came out the other side far more grounded and strengthened to stand in the next place God assigned to me. When we forsake the risk obedience often requires, and we choose our own comfortable way instead, we miss out on the blessing of this adventure of faith. And, we reap the consequences of our unbelief and disobedience.

We must not take our cue from the masses around us. Many are running down the path of least resistance. May we have the honor and the humility to trust God more than we trust ourselves; to love Him more than we love our personal comforts; and to submit to His will more than we do our selfish ways.

If we say we love Him but don't obey Him, we don't really know Him. If we say we follow Him but we repeatedly walk away from His invitation to jump in the river, we really aren't following Him. Even if we perform miracles in His name and are in the center of one supernatural act after another, but continue to disregard His will and voice, and refuse to obey Him, we will not enter the Kingdom (see Math. 7:21). 

We are saved by grace, but we are identified as His own when we listen to His voice and do what He says.

"My sheep listen to My voice: I know them and they follow Me" (John 10:27).

Want His will? Here it is:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in ALL circumstances, for THIS is God's will for those who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

Obey Him today, even if you don't feel like it. God's will for you is always your best-case-scenario! And on the other side of that obedience waits blessing, power, and provision.

Be blessed!


Reader Comments (13)

Thank you so much for you words today. I was at the day set apart this past weekend and it was encouraging. I recently lost my husband of 38 years and have been so lost and lonely without my best friend. Please pray with me for the direction God has for me. Your testimony puts wings on God's promise that He will never leave us and that we can do all things through Him.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I struggle with really knowing what the will is that God has for my life. I feel like a fish just swimming around in circles in a pond of sand-not moving forward in any part of my life.

I crave that strong relationship with God, but I know that I am far from what that looks like. Thanks for your posting today-it just spoke to me-listen to and trust in him....

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Hi Susie, this is my first visit to your blog, although, I do listen to your radio show each afternoon and am tremendously blessed by your ministry. This post spoke to me. Taking the path of least resistance can seem appealing, it requires less of me and is just plain easier, from a selfish perspective. God has been showing me for quite awhile that I need to extend grace and forgiveness in a strained relationship that I have with a family member, and I have resisted. Selfishly, it seems easier to sit in my hurt and judgements than to actually show love, kindness, and grace, and yet I know the truth, that it is NOT easier; God's way, God's will is the better way. I also know, because I know that God is faithful, that my obidence to God will propel me forward in my faith, as you mentioned. So, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this, it spurs me on to obey what God is asking of me. Thank you Susie and God bless you.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

It is a very scary thought to let go of the illusion of control and go the path of God's will. This is something I continue to struggle with. Thank you for your encouraging words.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Dear Sharon,

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. As you may have heard, I lost my dad in January, and as painful as that is, I know it doesn't compare with losing a spouse. May you know the comfort and power of the Holy Spirit in a way that ministers deeply to your soul and assures you during those lonely times that you are not alone. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in abundance.

March 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

Dear Becky,

I pray that God gives you a strong sense of His next steps for you. May He break through any cloud of confusion and give you absolute clarity about His promises to you. May you have faith to walk forward, faith to rest, and faith to run when He requires it of you! May He give you a vision for His next place of promise for you. Peace to you, my friend.

March 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

Michelle, you are such a brave soul! It takes a warrior to be teachable. May God overwhelm you with such grace that you know only love and forgiveness for the one who has hurt you. May God give you wisdom as to how to relate to that person from this point on. May you know--beyond the shadow of a doubt--that you serve an audience of One and He will vindicate, justify, and make all things right in the end. You can trust Him. Bless you!

March 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

Kat, I like how you referred to it as an illusion of control. Isn't that the truth? May God bless you greatly as you take the steps to trust Him fully. He has a great plan for you.

March 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

I recently purchased your book "Uncommon Woman," and the topics speak right to me that I keep re-reading it, using a chapter for my morning devotions. I've just started reading your blog and find the spiritual truths you share so insightful. I especially like this post about stepping out in obedience. A year ago, I felt God telling me to step out and leave my place of comfort to take a risk with him. Although it was bittersweet in many ways, I can't believe how God drew me near and led me out of a hard place, just like he promised. Thank you for writing and sharing!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterValerie


So nice to meet you! I'm grateful God is speaking to you through the Uncommon book (and through this blog). May God continue to revive and restore you in every way you need it. May He fill you with faith and tenacity to lay hold of His promises for you. And may He overwhelm you with a renewed sense of His great love for you! Be blessed, my sister!

March 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

I read your post earlier in the week and I've come back to chew on it some more. It's been a tough week for my husband and me. We've been serving in our new church for almost six months now and I've seen the tentacles of doubt and fear creeping in recently. We've walked in obedience to God in the past but obedience doesn't guarantee a smooth path, often it draws resistance. I can see past hurts and fear of criticism overshadowing us in this new ministry. As we've talked and prayed we agree we want to live in the truth, firmly rooted in God's word and power. Sometimes that takes a will of steel, to look at the opposition and weigh the cost, and then obey anyway.

I've been studying unity lately, particularly in Ephesians and John 14-18, and I was struck by the truth that obedience has strong implications on our unity as a church body. Choosing to obey or not to obey isn't just a personal decision it will affect the body we're a part of. Our obedience has direct consequences on the well being of others.

Thanks once again for spurring me on Susie!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeck Gambill

Dear Valerie,

So nice to meet you! I'm thrilled God used the 'Uncommon' book to minister to your soul (and this blog too)! I agree with you, there's something so powerful about our obedience to God. I don't think we fathom the half of it. :) Bless you for trusting God and following where He leads. Peace in Christ to you, sister!

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

Oh Beck,
Do I know how you feel! Bless your heart. It's so scary to step out in faith and step into a new community of Believers, hoping and praying that you find your place there (especially when you still have wounds and fears that need to heal). May God Himself be your very real comfort and peace and may He bring you several friends who get you, who love you for who you are and for where you're at in your journey. We're all works in progress. None of us are 'there' yet. Bless you, dear one.

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Larson

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