It Took Me Years to Learn this Lesson in Obedience

Margaret —  June 25, 2014 — 28 Comments

It Took Me Years to Learn this Lesson in Obedience

I recently heard a story of a woman who had the same vision for 45 days straight.

And it was an odd one.

In the vision, she saw herself doing a handstand in the middle of a gas station convenience store.

Of course, she thought this was ridiculous. Why would she ever want to do a handstand? Let alone in the middle of a convenience store?

The vision continued until one day when she was standing outside of a 7/11 filling up her tank. She peered through the windows and saw no one inside except the cashier.

What’s there to lose?

She went inside and snuck into a side aisle, hoping the cashier couldn’t see her.

Bending down, she placed her hands on the crumb-filled floor, and hoisted up her weight. She did a handstand in the middle of a convenience store.

Satisfied that she followed what she thought was God’s prompting, she stood up and began walking back outside. On her way out, she noticed the cashier crying.

“Did you just do a handstand?” he asked her through sobs.

She nodded.

“Just twenty minutes ago,” he continued, “I prayed that if God was real, he would have someone stand on their head in front of me.”

The woman probably thought that doing a handstand was downright ridiculous. Yet, God used her obedience in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

Most of the time, we don’t see the whole picture of what God has in store for us when we follow him.

And sometimes following God doesn’t look how you think it should.

Caught up in what everyone else is doing, we can miss out on our true calling: Simply to follow Christ. To press our faces into the shoulder blades of Jesus so that wherever he leads we will follow. It took me years to learn that lesson in obedience.

You follow me.

It’s a sacred echo I’ve heard again and again in my own life. And sometimes we all need the reminder:

Don’t be distracted by what others are doing. Don’t worry about the speed, productivity, or efficiency of others. Stay the course. You follow me.

This week on Facebook and Twitter, we asked this question:

Fill in the blank: My favorite passage or verse to pray when I don't know where to begin is ___________.

BibleVerses

(Psst... Stay tuned. Because of the incredible responses we received to this question, we're working on compiling all of your suggestions into one easy to read PDF: 51 Verses to Pray When You Don't Know Where to Begin).

Gather. As we gather for the Summer Bible Study, let’s discuss this question (click here to leave your response as a comment):

In what ways is God challenging you to “follow me” right now? What is stopping you from responding in obedience?

 

*REMINDER: Next week is a BREAK WEEK from the Summer Bible Study. Go on a fun outing with your small group, enjoy the holiday weekend, spend time catching up if you’re behind. We’ll see you back here on Monday, July 7th.

*Original Photo Source

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28 responses to It Took Me Years to Learn this Lesson in Obedience

  1. Right now my husband and I are very much in the “in-between” and it feels like God is saying, “Just keep taking steps until I tell you to stop.” We’re not sure of the direction, but life can’t stand still, right? So we just keep moving in what we pray is obedience.

    • Meredith, I loved how you described that. So many people can get caught up in over-analyzing their situations they are stuck. Thrilled that you are stepping out in faithfulness!

  2. I was in an in-between – and obedience is the issue. Obedience to
    Christ. In all my ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. It’s the unseen tiny issues
    that trip me up. Then when others would say: “Your over the top.” with
    how you view life – it has also taken me through the dessert, to learn
    when God brought His people through the Red Sea, trust in his echos has become a major green light no matter what others have said.
    I had a vision that took 5 years to
    Happen! It utterly blew my socks off.
    It was however telling me to lean in
    and be obedient, that he had gear gifts for me. That came true. However, it took more sand walks
    I have called those “sandals of Grace”
    and yet some days I find I slip back
    to letting the tiny issues trip me up.

  3. I love that: “Sandals of Grace.” Let’s all slip on our sandals of grace and respond in obedience to our great God. Thanks, Mae.

  4. Margaret,
    Another powerful post! I am so encouraged by your words to follow God’s leading even when it doesn’t make sense — LOVE that!

  5. God is challenging me to simply allow Him to love me. To be obedient to His call to spend time with Him so that I can know His love and grace. My impatience is what stops me from being obedient & following Him: I just want to know that love & grace NOW, I want it to take 2 seconds or 2 days, but God knows better than me! He knows that there are walls built up around my heart that need to be successfully ruined, broken down, and rebuilt before I will allow His love to take permanence in my stubborn heart. For now, the obedience He is calling me to walk in seems like the “being led to water stage”. It’s a time of learning, seeing, discovering, understanding, and falling in love with my Savior and King! And I believe my heart will be opened in the process.

    Thanks for the post!

  6. WATCH AND NOW THAT I AM GOD. This is what God spoke to me after I was crying out to Him about my son, who had just been suspended from college and there were criminal charges pending. I was so excited to hear from God. I, of course, started making my own plans to help the situuation. That is when I hear a very still small voice say, JUST. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I repented right away. This has been the hardest thing God has ever asked of me. As long as I “jus watch” there is Pease in my house but as soon as I try to get involved things get messy.
    It’s been years now and I still believe God is in control and I am not.

    • Hey Kathy. Oh yeah, it is hard giving up control and not doing when we’re programmed to go do. There is comfort though, in just watching when you know with certainty that it’s what God wants you to do.

    • I love that reminder: HE is in control, not us! Thanks, Kathy.

  7. Barbara WIllems June 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    My favorite verse has always been the 23rd psalm. It will always be my favorite. I shall never want for God is always with me and loves me.

    • Barbara– Others mentioned that one, too. Such a great passage to have in your tool belt when you aren’t sure where to start.

  8. “Don’t be distracted by what others are doing. Don’t worry about the speed, productivity, or efficiency of others. Stay the course. You follow me.” Margaret Feinberg

    This particular quote spoke volumes to me. Last week I believe you spoke of comparison but this quote is perfect! My husband and MIL are so much faster then I am with certain things and it would frustrate me. Yet my husband would say but you’re methodical and like things done correctly the first time. Except with 7 kids who has an hour to wash dishes and it took them five minutes?
    So I learned not to compare cause it was depressing. Thanks!

    • I saw this on twitter today. It will resonate with you, Jennifer:

      “Morning swims are great reminders for the day: Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity & joy.”

  9. What a story!! I passed it on to others who I know would benefit from it. Not that any of us will be standing on our heads anytime soon. I know I can’t and neither can the ones I sent the email to. But….that doesn’t mean that God won’t do something equally outrageous in our lives either that we will be able to do.
    Thanks for sharing that.

  10. My verse that helps in time of trouble is IPeter 5:7, “Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.

  11. Margaret, a few posts back I mentioned echoes and not know
    what they meant. One puzzled me
    And today I heard it again: “money
    Changers” like mentioned when Jesus overthrew the table of money..
    I just noted 13 acts of kindness & blessings I received this past week
    each one was out of the blue,!!
    Last month a special one as well.
    when I just began to say” Lord, I haven’t heard any Echos lately, am I not listening or maybe it’s quiet I had told friends, I’m on a Hiatus. And I said; I’m listening.. Then popped up
    All 14 as I began noting them. I’m knowing His Fulness. So happy!
    Honestly, the blessings & kindness
    were over-the top!!

    • I just love seeing how God is moving in your life, Mae!

      • Thank you, Margaret!! Today I
        add one more to the list
        Sacred Echos, every one had the same blessing!! In 5 days that’s over 3 a day. I read on line your intro to
        Your book, SE’s brought stenging tears to my eyes .. I could so relate.. What a beautiful blessing we are all gleaning..
        Thank you.

  12. Matthew 4:4

  13. In letting go of my negativity about myself. Listening to Him concerning my marriage; believing He does have a plan and purpose inspite of how it feels. Believing that He has blessed my business and i am not to give up. Stepping out in ministry where I know He wants me to go.

  14. Debbie Salmonson June 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Psalm 27: 13-14, “I would have despaired if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.”

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