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Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening.
I know this post delivers at different times of the day, so I wanted to cover them all.
Happy Summer! I love saying that. I think I will say it again....Happy Summer!!!
Summer is my favorite. For many reasons. Mostly because I get to see my children's faces more. I get to hear their voices. I get to hear them argue constantly with each other. Oh nevermind. That's the thing I don't really like about Summer.
Each Summer the kids and I make up a theme. This year's theme could not be more timely or on target. I had suggested, "Summer of Adventure!". Both of the kids did not like that one. Why? I have no idea. Something about it sounding nerdy. Whatever.
Shortly after discussing what our theme should be, my daughter nailed it.
"Mom, I really think our Summer needs to be Summer of Obedience. We can all work on that. Especially "you know who"." [as she points to her brother's room]
I get a ping in my heart. Obedience. The exact thing that the Lord has been talking to me about for the past couple of months.
How could my daughter have known? Man, God sure speaks through our children. Count on it. Every single time.
I hugged her and told her "Summer of Obedience" would be the perfect theme. With a lump in my throat, I whispered under my breath to the Lord. "Here we go".
My mind quickly went to the book of Jonah. I can so relate to this man. We are related somehow, I just know it.
God has told Jonah to go to Ninevah to preach to the people. Jonah didn't want to. He fled the opposite direction. He fled to Tarshish. Seriously, Tarshish even sounds like the wrong direction, doesn't it?
You know the rest of the story. Jonah was swallowed up by a whale and endured some hard times until he finally said "Yes" to going to Ninevah.
Why do we do this? Why do we flee from God's plans for us at times?
I know the reason I flee.
Pure and simple.
Fear that God must have it wrong. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of messing it up. Fear that there is no way on Earth that this could be God's plan for me. Fear that I am not equipped.
Fear has kept me running in the opposite direction of God's call for most of my life.
The times when I have pushed through the fear, and walked in obedience have been the most exhilarating moments of my entire life.
Obedience is hard.
It takes trusting God over your human instinct and flesh. It takes trusting God over your "feelings".
I have had so many conversations with God over my feelings. "I do NOT want to do this Lord. I don't "feel" like it's what I should do."
Then, I think of Jonah again. He didn't "feel" the people of Ninevah deserved to hear him preach. He thought his way was better than God's.
Our way is never better than God's. In fact, our way can lead us into danger and wrong, very wrong paths.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Maybe it's spending too much money. Maybe it's hoarding too much money. Maybe it's your health. Maybe it's forgiveness. Maybe it's your marriage. Maybe it's stepping out to disciple someone. Maybe it's reaching out to a loved one. Maybe it's teaching a class. Maybe it's cooking a meal for someone. Maybe it's walking in JOY. Maybe it's reading your bible. Maybe it's your prayer life.
Whatever it is, God will help you discover. He's good at answering when we just ask Him.
As you begin this Summer, stay obedient in your bible reading and your prayer life. Summer is easy to slack off in these areas. I urge you, I urge "us", to stay the course. Keep reading your bible. Keep in tune withe the Father.
The bible plan we are on here at SHINE is really good. Pick back up if you have dropped off. Sharpie marker a time during the day to sit down and be with the Lord. Mornings are a really good time. Seek Him before seeking anything else.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
As we go through our obedience journey, I will post things that the Lord is working with me on. I want to encourage you that you are not alone. Obedience is a pursuit. We must pursue obedience in order to walk in it. It will not come naturally.
If you can, leave a comment letting me know you are in with me on this journey of obedience this Summer. I commit to praying for you daily as you discover the fruit of a life of obedience. Would you kindly pray for me as well? I am gonna need it.