I’m a heart-person. My Myers-Briggs continue to insist that I am an INFJ, even if I took it countless times convinced that I am an ISFJ. In any case, I’ve long since concluded that the MBTI can’t totally explain a person’t entirety; and I rest my case.
That said, yeah, I am a heart-person. Quick to react, and sadly at times obeying ‘when the time is right’. I struggle to try anything without a solid settling of my heart. This is not what obedience looks like.
You could probably tell how my monologues to God would go. If not, well, I have an example.
I remember attending services for Missions Week, where pastors and full-time missionaries shared stories on the pulpit about their exciting and sometimes harrowing adventures in the harvest field; and always joyful, being filled with the confidence and assurance of God in their lives. They aren’t just stories for a boring, rainy day; they were their everyday lives, sometimes even their day-to-day experiences, where there is nothing else to do but put one foot before the other. They were glorious; but on the flip-side, also dangerous. It wasn’t something one would deliberately put oneself in without thought.
Yet they obeyed the call even though they were set on something else; just as equally deliberate towards and prayed for for lengths of time. I could just imagine making such choices.
There will be crying and screaming. Haha. From me and my family both, probably.
A friend recently reminded me that making choices also require faith; faith that God will indeed help you come to a point of trust in Him for whatever decision. And while feelings come with some certainty, I realize obedience can sometimes go without ANY assurance. I know what I want and what I don’t want to do. But obedience makes that irrelevant because you’re not pulling the shots.
You simply obey.
One time I was in a mall washroom when a familiar episode happened; a prompting:
God: Liz, thank the lady cleaner for her hard work.
Me: …is that You, Father?
God: No, seriously. Thank the lady cleaner.
Me: (is this God talking to me omigosh whatdoIdo)
Me: (well of course that is God talking to you you don’t do these kinds of things as RANDOMLY as they pop up and the enemy is probably green in the face before he incites you to say ‘God bless’ to somebody)
Me: (just do it, Liz!)
While I had my little internal monologue, which probably played out really weird across my face, the lady cleaner was there, doing her job. I racked my brain for ANYTHING to say; a spiel, a script…
And then she went outside and didn’t come back.
I don’t glory in the fact that God expressly gave me a specific command and I failed to do it because of my hem-hawing. I don’t make excuses for the fact that God puts me on several practice tracks (we – as in God and I – both know I can be a bit hard-headed…in the social sense). Classic example of when I lose time doing what God has instructed because of my feelings. Don’t go there. Don’t do as I did.
So what is the point here? Delayed obedience is disobedience. You obey promptly out of faith that God is, indeed, instructing you to be of use to His purposes, to be a blessing, to bring Him glory.
I sadly did not do so at that time.
I truly pray that whoever comes across this, won’t fall in the same mistake as I did. Sure, it was probably something small; but knowing God of the grand gestures, it means something big. Take up your faith and sow it to people’s hearts (yes, you fellow socially awkward beings). While there is grace given to obey (and I believe that grace involves me being put out on the practice track once again – I learned my lesson now), the end point should be, of course, TO OBEY.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.