In my last entry I shared with you that I felt God calling me to do something in 2015 that I didn’t really want to do and asked for you to pray about it with me.
I’ve made a decision.
We’ll get to it in a moment.
First, let me share with you how I arrived at this decision.
I received a lot of comments from friends and family about the blog entry. Some were on the blog itself, some on the book of Face, but most of them came in private messages so that explanations could be personal in nature. I truly value every single one of those responses because it tells me there are many of you out there that care even if I don’t hear from you that often on this blog or on social media.
The comments ran the gamut from Christian clichés like “God did not give us a spirit of fear” or “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Solid truth, no doubt, and that’s why they’re Christian clichés at this point. They’re easy go-tos that are filled with tasty truth. They’re like the nacho cheese Doritos of the Christian world.
I had a few suggestions that if I did it, to keep it to myself in a journal. Sound advice for sure, but not what I felt God calling in this situation just like in 2011. The call was to be public with everything, to be bold with it and to be unashamed of the fact I was answering God’s call to total transparency in a world that sees transparency as weakness, folly and something to mocked & used against someone.
To the credit of all my friends, no one told me not to do it if I felt clearly it was calling me to do it. Some shared my hesitation and completely understood why I was pushing back at the idea of a sequel to the year-long equivalent of the Grumpy Cat movie.
Yet the one question that really resonated in muy core is one that came from God. (Which surprised me in that He usually uses some very wise friends of mine to drop big bombs like this…)
What will happen if you don’t obey?
Suddenly the Scriptures just seemed to take on a life of their own like I was living in a PBS children’s reading special. Verses almost spoke aloud to me. The animals swimming in the lake where I was studying started to dance on the water. LeVar Burton appeared out of hole in an oak tree to sing the Reading Rainbow theme.
OK, maybe that last little bit was a dream. But the Word did come alive.
“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be righteous.” – Romans 5:19 (ESV)
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” – Ephesians 5:6 (ESV)
And let’s face it…writing a blog every day is nothing compared to things that God asked of others in their lives. Like, for example, asking someone to turn their son into a nice juicy steak on the altar. And what happened when Abraham obeyed?
And you can find ample examples in the Bible of God sending folks into situations where He knew they were going to be killed for their obedience to Him. And those folks went and God made big things happen through the obedience sacrifice of those people.
And so it hit me…contrary to what many pastors have said, contrary to what many “liberal” Christians have said, contrary to what many evangelists have said…obedience to God is not a choice.
If we are His, if we have truly surrendered to Him, then we have no choice at all to say no when He makes it clear we are to do something. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like it or not or if it might hurt our/someone’s feelings (which is the excuse of many “liberal” Christians) because we are not the one in charge of our own lives.
We have SURRENDERED to Christ. That means we freely gave all our rights to life to Him.
Thus, even though I honestly am walking in afraid that I’m going to get clobbered, I’m going to do the second official Mustard Seed Year starting January 1st at the old domain mustardseedyear.com. I’m working on setting up the website now for it.
And if I’m being honest, in hindsight, I can see good things that came out of the Mustard Seed Year 2011. I’m a healthier person overall than I was that year. My mental status is significantly better. It put me in places to experience new jobs and people and situations that I never would have imagined before that year of destruction came upon me.
“God works all for good…”
I can say the verse is true because it has been true in my life.
But I can also say it’s true that good God brings does not always come through easy times or times of obvious blessing.
So I’m heading into the year with a different mindset than 2011. That year, I was dead sure God was going to pour blessing after blessing on top of me because it didn’t make sense for Him to show one of his children being pounded upon and driven into the ground. (Go ahead and laugh at that…I laugh at it now.)
I don’t know what He has in store. I’m still not connecting into the new church my family is attending (although Eli has connected in a way never before done in any church, which is why we’re going there. He and Dale connected deep and fast.) I’m having to really pray hard over the “Church, Inc.” aspects of going to a church this size and God love them, they are a “Church, Inc.”
I’m excited to see what He may do through my job. We have a lot of work to reestablish the credibility of a network that was run into the ground by the previous ownership. But there is integrity in the new ownership and leadership, and we’re focused on telling the truth, the whole truth and taking out the spin. We’re human, so we won’t be perfect at taking out all spin, but the more we focus on God’s call on what we’re to do I know we’ll go where He wants us to go.
Will I be married by the end of the year? Will I still be single? Will the cat who is coming to live with me kill me in my sleep at some point (because all cats dream of doing that to humans)?
And the most important question of all…will the Phillies finally grow a pair and win the World Series again?
Hey, for all I know, I could reach December 31, 2015 and be tapping out like Urkel three seconds into a UFC match.
But God’s calling me to do it.
And I surrendered myself to him years ago.
So I don’t have to like the order from my commander. I just have to obey it.