Monday, December 31, 2012

The Cost Of Obedience

Has God ever asked you to do something, that lit a fire under you; only to loose or fail? Well… it looked like you had lost or failed, in the eyes and ears of your family, friends or peers.  The emotional and spiritual devastation is amazing…

You were so sure you were doing what God wanted, that you sacrificed everything, gave up a career, or even let that relationship walk away. 

90% of the time, God does not reveal the miracles and victories you uncovered, and lives you touched, while obeying, loosing or failing at a task ordained by God… yet judged by culture, community, the church, family and peers.

Then, like a steam roller, the health, finances or relationships are crushed;  right in front of the world; adding fuel to the condemnation and judgment of others.  It isn’t long before you are getting sick of “You just have to…” whatever.

My favorite is, and its said in many ways…“God is punishing you, so I am stepping away until He has finished, and you are prospering again”.  Oh yes… I’ve been there… and lived it… it is amazing, the horrible things people say, and even make up; after the great fail or loss. At least in their eyes, it is a fail or loss… but great battles and victories were achieved during that time, that no one knows about… yet. 

Then every sort of evil, comes out of the woodwork, to kick you, while you are down. You want to runaway, get away from everyone that knows about this.  But that still small voice says, Stay Put… We are not done yet… But the devil can see the impact you are having, just being there.  He will do everything imaginable to get you to run… heck, your own humanity will start screaming RUN get out of here. I cannot take it anymore…  But the Holy Spirit says STOP… stay put… we are doing far more than you realize. 

Well, I guess I’m suppose to stop there.  Please read on, to the devotion that inspired this… or lit my fire this morning.  

I receive these devotionals on a daily bases, and every once in a while, one jumps out at me; and I am compelled to forward it or repost here. It is usually something that has already been on my mind, and I had not written it down.


The Cost of Miracles
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Sunday, December 30 2012

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit'" (Matt 1:19-21).

There is often a cost associated with a miracle. Mary carried a miracle in her belly. No other woman in history had the distinction of birthing the Son of God. It was a one-time event in history. However, for 30 years she was viewed as a woman who was often judged, shamed by public opinion, rejected by her own, and thought to be an adulteress by her townspeople.

I can only imagine her cries at night, "You are God, you can help them understand I am not an immoral person. I am doing the will of God! Why must I be shamed and judged the same as a prostitute!" God's silence must have been difficult. She would not be accurately viewed for years to come. In many ways, she was called to the same path as Jesus was. He was rejected by His own people too.

Her finance Joseph was going to break off the engagement when he discovered she was pregnant. Had he not had a visitation from an angel, he too would have rejected her. However, he married her and also carried the stigma associated with a pregnancy that most assumed was immoral.

Sometimes we are called to experience rejection for the Son of God living in us. When we carry the cross of Christ, the world and even our families sometimes look at us as though we have a few marbles out of place. Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace. Even our families would judge us and think wrongly of us.

Yes, a miracle often has a cost. But that miracle is the seed for something imperishable. It is the seed of eternity in our hearts.