I was reading in Proverbs this morning, while at the same time mulling over a large decision we have laying in front of us. Suddenly I have this question in my mind–one that is not at all my own style or voice. I wrote it down, and then sat in silence, because it was a difficult one to answer.
“Obedience to the Lord is easy when his wishes line up with your wishes. It costs you very little to agree then. The true test is when he asks you to sacrifice something big; to take a giant leap outside of your comfort zone; to make a giant leap of faith. When radical obedience hurts, when it costs you something you love dearly, what then will you do? That is the question God is asking me now. Will I follow, even though it costs me many things very dear to me? Will I yet follow?”
I hold obedience to God’s calling very dear. It is something that I have learned to trust and to treasure. But what I heard this morning is a challenge–have I really had to give up anything all that important to be obedient? In some ways, yes. But in so many ways…no. Most of what I’ve been called to be obedient in are things that I sorta kinda already wanted. I had to give up something to get them, but nothing ever hurt so bad.
This thing, this thing I feel he might be calling my family towards–it will cost us. There will be a lot of sacrifice of things dear to us to follow it. There will be a lot of work involved to make it possible. A lot of things we are comfortable with now will have to go. I can’t say yet what it is we are considering…but it is there. We are praying for his clarity, for his plan. I guess I should add to that prayers for his strength to follow through in obedience as well.
I guess that’s the “radical” part of radical obedience, eh?