“Maybe God is just showing me that I need to cling to what He’s shown me – what He’s called me to – and just OWN it. What if He’s just waiting on my obedience?”
Even hearing the words come out of my mouth made me feel determined and anxious all at once. Sometimes the nudges of God come in tiny bread crumbs, sprinkled throughout a season of seeking. Sometimes, they just smack you in the face like they’ve been there all along, waiting for you to open your eyes big and wide.
For me, it’s calling myself a writer. Even typing that one sentence caused me to hesitate and ask myself if I REALLY wanted to put that out there. The truth is, it feels big; it feels awkward; it feels like picking up a pen to write with my left hand when I’ve been right-handed for 37 years. Uncomfortable.
The truth is, I AM a writer. I write this blog. I write captions and content for my business. I write captions and content for other creative entrepreneurs – and I do it well enough that they hire me to do it. So, why the hesitation? Seems like a legit answer to the question of “what do you do?”, right? This week, I learned where my heart was struggling.
I’m reading through several books this month and one of them is a parenting book that helps uncover the triggers that cause parents to become easily frustrated, angry, or defeated. Some of those triggers are things like selfishness, sibling rivalry, and bad attitudes. The one that stands out to me the most? Disobedience.
The perfect example was this week when one of my kids refused to do something I asked. We’ve started a new routine that when we get home from school, each kid has to complete a few chores/tasks before they can have their 30 minutes of tablet time, tv time, or after school snack. We’re trying to teach that we are rewarded for our work and earn privileges.
She had finished tasks 1 and 2, but then decided she didn’t want to pick up the two Oreos from the coffee table (that she had eaten the filling out of, mind you) and throw them away. Literally, the only thing standing between her and her treasured tablet time was 3 Oreo cookies.
“That’s gross!” “I don’t want to!” “I can’t!” “Whyyyyy?!” “Can’t I do something else?!”
Ultimately, she did get it done, but lost her reward after delaying and ignoring and procrastinating with an endless array of excuses and questions.
The next day, I was chatting with a couple friends about the hesitation we feel in making big moves with our creative businesses and it hit me – is this how God feels about me sometimes? Is my delayed obedience causing me to lose the reward of unhindered obedience? What are my excuses? Why am I allowing myself to question and procrastinate what I feel confident that He has called me?
When I think about the Oreos sitting on the table, as a parent, I can see it is such a small thing – an easy task that my kid is fully capable of doing. Even if it was a chore that was new or more challenging, all she would have to do is ask for my help and I’d come alongside her to show her what to do. Isn’t my God good and faithful and eager to do the same?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” -Matthew 5:7-11
The Bible tells us that our God is a good Father, eager to give us, his children, good things. I’m not saying to ask him for a Porsche or to win the lottery, but I do believe that if we ask for things in line with His will, to pursue His calling and kingdom, all we have to do is ask.
In the fall of 2018, I very clearly felt God calling me to write. I’ve always had a knack for it, enjoyed it, and been challenged by it. I love a good book. I love discovering a great podcast. I love encouraging others. Words are. my. JAM. So you would think that feeling that nudge and hearing that still, small voice would be my permission slip to chase hard after something I already love…
(You know those memes and gifs and images that say “but, God…”?) Insert: But, Kelli…
Doubt. Fear. Insecurity. All the what if’s? All those things we tell ourselves that keep us in a state or season of, for lack of better words – not moving.
I have this mental picture of God lovingly looking down at me, shaking his head with a smile. Seeing me refusing to pick up the Oreos and making all the excuses. “It’s too hard.” “I can’t.” “What if I’m embarrassed?” “What if I get dirty?” “What if I do it wrong?” “What if I don’t measure up to the other people picking up Oreos?” “Whyyyy?”
He sees the task as simple. He knows I am able. He has the reward in place. He is right there waiting, ready to come alongside me if I need help or direction.
The only thing left to step forward is for me to drop the act and move in obedience and trusting that He is faithful.
I remember a line my youth pastor shared from a message when I was in high school. I can’t tell you the passage or anything else about it, I just remember the one line: Delayed obedience is disobedience.
When I think about the fact that I haven’t stepped into what He’s called me to with confidence – that it’s taken 18 months for me to reach this moment – it sure stings. Not because I’m afraid of any reward I may or may not have missed out on, but because I know that the true reward in obedience is a deeper faith and relationship with my Creator.
A friend said to me this week, “I’m just struggling to move forward because I just don’t see how pursuing this looks like the Great Commission.” My response was: “You don’t know who God has lined up for you to connect with through you pursuing that dream. You don’t know who will cross your path or when because of the changes you’re hesitant to make – and their interaction with YOU is what fulfills that. Your obedience and faith are what’s going to lead you in bringing glory to the kingdom of God.”
And just like that, I preached it to myself.
Hesitation, delayed obedience, fear, and worry are all just products of not fully trusting God to be who He is and do what He says.
Who do you need to remember that He is?
Your Good Father? “See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
Your Help? “He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27
Your Creator? Psalm 139:13 says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.“
Your Comfort? Psalm 147:3 tells us “He heals the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Your Peace? John 16:33 tells us “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Your Rest? Matthew 11:28 reminds us “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
If you find yourself needing to be reminded of who He is, of His faithfulness and goodness, open your Bible and spend some time in its pages.
What has God called you to that you keep pushing back? What are your excuses, your fears, your doubts? Name them. Be specific. Call them out. Share them with a trusted friend for accountability and feedback. Dive in the Word and dig up the Truth. Then purpose that the result of your obedience is worth getting uncomfortable for. Your task may not be picking up some half-eaten Oreos, but your reward is far greater than 30 minutes of tablet time.
What is He calling you to, friend? Who is waiting to meet him through you and your willingness to faithfully obey? Let’s make up our minds and purpose in our hearts that there’s no better time to follow where He’s leading. For our good, for His glory, and the privilege of knowing that He truly is a good, good Father.