Yesterday on a cold and snowy morning, curled up with my coffee, Bible and journal I began to read Exodus 8. I got no farther than the first verse, when clear as a bell I heard the Lord speak these words to my heart “Your obedience or lack of it defines your circumstances. Your obedience defines and refines your character.”
Yes, the Lord was speaking about Pharaoh not letting the people of Israel go and the consequences to his people and land. Straight out the Lord lays out the plan so Moses can tell Pharaoh if he refuses to let His people go He would be sending plagues. The Lord was showing grace to Pharaoh and giving him the opportunity to bless God’s people. Pharaoh’s decision would define his circumstances. I had never seen the verses in that light before, but really, shedding light is what the Holy Spirit does in our hearts so why should I be surprised at the fresh revelation?
To bring it home, it means the outcomes of situations in my life are going to be determined and defined by my obedience to what the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart. My character is going to be refined because self-will is going to lay down and be dead. Remember, Galatians 2 says ‘it is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me’.
A FLUID, SURRENDERED HEART TO LOVE
When I am speaking about ‘obedience’ I am not referring to straight laced, must do this or else I’m in trouble obedience. What I am talking about is obedience flowing from a heart surrendered and submitted to the love of God. A heart that knows the love of God, trusts the love of God, inherently knowing, and is confident that God is good; all the time and His character changes not.
My obedience is going to put me in line with the will of God and His plans and purposes for me.
Obedience also has a connotation that the one who is obedient listens for and hears the Voice of the Lord in order to obey it. ‘Audire is the Latin word for ‘to hear in order to obey, to hearken, pay attention, and hear, listen, accept, agree with and obey.’ Audire is a verb, an action word that means we are supposed to do something!
When we obey the first time, a growing trust in God alleviates fear and doubt. We learn to trust the Voice we hear in our spirits. I have heard Him speak in the night, (He said, ‘Immerse yourself in the love of the Father), as I do dishes, laundry, in conversation with others, in the quiet and in the hurried. He has proved His voice to me, shown me fruit and I have reveled in His love and grace.
My heart longs for you to know His Voice. To practice listening for Him if you aren’t sure just yet that you can be confident it is His voice you hear. To not be surprised at the hearing of it in unexpected places and times and just flow with His life giving words. That is why the title of the Bible study section in Beckoned by the King is ‘Can You Hear Him”, so you too can hone your listening ear.
I know it can be a matter of death or life. I have shared my testimony of hearing the story of Namaan in my spirit that hot summer night when we were desperately seeking God for the wisdom to know His direction. My body was asleep but my spirit was awake and recognized the voice of the Lord. I knew His Voice. I trusted the Voice. I understood the message and direction He was giving us. It didn’t matter that it was not what we (or rather Bruce) wanted to do.
Our characters were being defined and refined by our obedience and we know He is forming the fullness of the Image of the Son in us.
We know and are confident in the love God has for us, confident in the goodness of His plans and purposes for us.
Our hearts are surrendering more and more to His love each day. Promising to keep His words is obedience.
Can you see how the Word and obedience to it forms a hedge of protection round about you?
If it helps, draw a square, a circle, any shape and place yourself in the middle. Make sure you mark the lines around the shape as the Word.
The Word, filled with promises full of hope and blessing are your hedge of protection.
Heth ~ the Hebrew alphabet letter at the beginning of Psalm 119:57-64 ~ the symbolic meaning of this letter is a picture of an enclosure, fence or hedge. Oh, how we each need to learn to live within this hedge of protection.
The Lord is my portion, I have promised to keep Your words,
I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your Word.
I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.
I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments.
The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten Your law.
At midnight, I will rise and give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances.
I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.
The earth is full of Your loving kindness, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.
Defined by Grace,
Linking up with – http://www.3dlessons4life.com/thought-provoking-thursday