Don’t Be a Half-Way Obedient Believer

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Blessed are they who hear the word of God and obey it. (Luke 11:28)

“Yesterday’s partial obedience creates staggering consequences for today’s experiences.” – Priscilla Shirer

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I recently started Priscilla Shirer’s “Gideon” study and wasn’t expecting to be smacked in the face on the first day. I’m an independent person and don’t like to be told what to do, just ask Eli (sorry, babe). It’s something I know about myself, and while I think being independent is a good thing at times, it also can bring out a stubborn attitude that is not fun for anyone. (Again, sorry Eli!)

This independent, stubborn nature can also bring about an attitude towards God that is very dangerous. When He asks me to do something, more times than not I am only half-way obedient, or not obedient at all. Most of the time, I’ll just go about my day and not think too much about it.

But then there are times where I look back and see what I’ve just done, or not done, and am filled with instant regret. I’ll never forget working in college at a gym whose owner was a believer and had centered the place around Jesus. Someone came in one day and asked what the name of the gym meant and what the logo stood for, so I began explaining, feeling pretty good about the fact that God had so easily placed an opportunity right in front of me – one that I didn’t have to work hard for at all.

I casually said to this person, “Yeah, all of the staff here are believers.” Working behind the desk with me that day was a guy who turned to me after the conversation was over and said, “Just so you know, I don’t believe in that.” And I just stood there. All I said was “Oh, okay,” and went about my business. I still kick myself for that interaction. God placed an easy opportunity in front of me to talk about the gym name and explain simple things. Only now do I see He was gearing me up for a HUGE opportunity to share Jesus with my co-worker, and I chickened out! Even if the conversation wouldn’t have led to anything, I had a chance to ask him what he believed in and share the Gospel with him, but I froze. I wasn’t prepared and I wasn’t ready to be fully obedient to God.

I often think about when God began speaking to Moses from the burning bush in the book of Exodus, telling him that he would be key to rescuing the Israelites from Pharaoh, and I get so frustrated with all the excuses Moses begins to make. From our point of view, it’s easy to say, “If God’s calling you, He’s going to equip you.” But when it’s our turn, we turn into the babbling idiot making all the same excuses that Moses did: “Who am I that I should go? Who do I tell them you are? What if they don’t believe me?”

I’d like to say that after that failed opportunity at the gym, I took every chance God gave me to share His word. But alas, here I am, still the same stubborn and selfish girl who feels too scared and inadequate to be God’s spokesperson. I don’t have the end-all magic answer to remedy this plague of disobedience. The only thing I know to do is ask God to forgive me when I am disobedient, and help me to become less dependent on myself and more dependent on His Spirit. That’s the only way I can dive into the obedience pool and be courageous enough to do what He has called me to.

Perhaps you feel God calling you to do something right now, during this time of coronavirus-induced uncertainty and, at times, what feels like downright panic. And perhaps you, too, are coming up with the excuses of a half-way obedient believer. During times like these, being obedient also means not giving in to fear. When it comes to God’s calling for our lives, especially during times when the world may not understand why we’re going right when everyone else is going left, fear is not something we can let get a grip on our lives.

Pastor Matt put it so perfectly during last Sunday’s service (check it out here). He said there is nothing more that the enemy would love than for us to live in fear and panic – an active state of disobeying God’s call to put our trust fully in Him. But, as 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love, and sound judgment.”

While I do think we need to take this virus seriously and follow the leadership that God has placed over this country, I also believe we must trust in the Lord, take hold of the Holy Spirit, and not let fear overcome us. I pray for safety and health over your families and trust that the Lord will provide for us during this time.

Kristi Laughlin

Interested in becoming a Women’s Ministry blog contributor? Contact Jenn Dennard (  ) for details.

Interested in joining the Women’s Ministry team? Visit our Teams page to discover our various committees and which one might be the best fit for you.

In need of prayer or a fellow woman in Christ to chat with? The Women’s Ministry team would love to be there for you. Email Kim Edde (  ) to connect with one of our team members.

Connect with the Women's Ministry via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bhbcsistersoftheheart)

 

Posted by Krisiti Laughlin with
in Joy

Are You Willing to Get Dirty?

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Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Remember the story Jesus told of the good Samaritan? I see myself in that story. Unfortunately, I was more like a Pharisee than the Samaritan. If you remember, the Pharisee wasn’t necessarily bad. Jesus never said the Pharisee was a murderer or even that he was the one who robbed and beat the man on the path. No, He said the Pharisee was so busy with his “doing” church that he forgot about “being the Church.”

Go with me here. As he traveled down the road to serve at the temple, the Pharisee saw a man who had been robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the side of the road. And what did the Pharisee do? He crossed to the other side because he couldn’t get dirty on his journey. If he had gotten dirty from the bloody, beaten man, he would have been considered unclean and would not have been able to serve at the temple.

That was me. I was so busy doing within the walls of the church, that I wasn’t willing to get “dirty” by the hurt and broken world around me. And let me tell you when I was convicted of that, I became broken! Broken for all that I had missed, missed opportunities to share the love of Jesus. But thank you, Jesus, for forgiveness and the opportunity to start brand new every day!

A few weeks ago, several women in our church took advantage of the opportunity to serve a family – it was a last-minute call to clean and tidy a home, to turn it into a refuge from hospital visits and busy days at work. They definitely got dirty! But oh, were their smiles at the end sincere. They got to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

In the month of March, we, too, can get dirty to serve our community. We, too, can be His hands and feet, taking the love of Jesus and His forgiveness to the broken world around us. Through 3-2-1 Serve, we are sending the Church into our “Jerusalem” to be His witnesses. Just today someone challenged me by asking, “Are you achieving a vision or completing a task?” and I immediately thought of 3-2-1 Serve. The Pharisee was doing a task — serving in the temple. Ouch! Yes, I could totally use 3-2-1 Serve as a “mark it off my list” task, but that is not the goal. It’s time to be the Church!

He asked a follow-up question” “What is your vision description?” He said, “Finish the statement, ‘The 3-2-1 Serve I see is….’” so, I grabbed a pen and began finishing that statement. After I had four pages, I knew it was more than a task; it is truly a vision to achieve.

I am not going to share all four pages with you, but I do want to share a few of the statements. You see, 3-2-1 Serve should not be us completing pharisaical duties, but rather being the Church and loving our neighbor. So here we go….

The 3-2-1 Serve I see …

  • Has individuals that reach out to friends and neighbors
  • Has individuals engaging in spiritual conversations
  • Has individuals who serve the lost and broken
  • Has individuals who grow a passion for missions
  • Has individuals actively sharing the Gospel of Christ with their friends, family, community, and the world
  • Has individuals taking hold of the Great Commission and the call to share Jesus with the world by going on mission locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Has families growing stronger together as they serve together
  • Has families that grow a heart and passion for serving their community and ultimately the world
  • Has families that want to share the hope of Christ with all the broken families they meet
  • Has families that develop disciples and servant leaders
  • Has groups developing a heart for our community
  • Has groups that serve our existing local partners with great joy
  • Has groups that draw our members out of the “four walls of the church building”
  • Has groups excited about talking about Jesus with our community

I pray that at the end of the month, those who accept the challenge are sharing Jesus more, are serving the broken and hurting world we live in and developing a heart and passion to live on mission. So, I challenge you — how will you serve three times as an individual? What two mission activities will you do as a family to reach out to those who are hurting or lost or just need encouragement? What will you do with a group, whether it’s your LifeGroup, care group, D-Group or Bible study group, to show Jesus to our lost and dying world? Will you accept the challenge?

Check out 3-2-1 Serve opportunities here.

Kimberly Reed

Interested in becoming a Women’s Ministry blog contributor? Contact Jenn Dennard ( ) for details.

Interested in joining the Women’s Ministry team? Visit our Teams page to discover our various committees and which one might be the best fit for you.

In need of prayer or a fellow woman in Christ to chat with? The Women’s Ministry team would love to be there for you. Email Kim Edde ( ) to connect with one of our team members.

Connect with the Women's Ministry via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bhbcsistersoftheheart) or Instagram (bhbc_women)

Posted by Kim Reed with

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