Why Listening and Obeying Matters

Over the past several weeks we've been learning through the Sunday messages and group study of Experiencing God about joining God in His work, listening when He speaks, dealing with a crisis of belief and then working toward being obedient to that call. And if we're honest, when that moment of obedience comes up, so do our excuses, right? I'm not equipped. You must have the wrong person. I don't feel ready. I don't know enough. It's uneasy and uncomfortable. It's weird...you get the idea.
Sometimes in the back of our minds we may even believe 'God couldn't be asking ME to do that?' It's like we don't think we have anything to offer.
If we didn't respond to the times that God has called us, as a church, to do something, we wouldn't be where we are today. We'd be stuck, and not in a good place.
This past week has been one of God reminding me that what we're doing with the Warming Shelter and Pantry are right where God wants us right now. And, there are things happening that are confirming that we need to move forward with the next level stuff, including a building, in the very near future. Don't ask me what that looks like yet, because He is still at work.
But for where we are NOW, it's clear.
And it's in the little things that God needs to be glorified, just as much as in the big things. Tuesday we were looking for some cot covers for our shelter in order to more sanitary for our guests and to help us keep the place cleaner. After some research and looking locally, I found a couple of great options. But I didn't hit the order button. I felt like something told me to wait. So I did. Within a couple of hours I received a call from an acquintance of the O'Briens. She said each year they adopt an agency, such as Aid for Friends, Salvation Army and others, and this year they would like to support the Warming Shelter. Her exact words, "Is there a need you have right now that we could help with?" So I told her about the covers and the need for some hygiene kits. So guess who is going to be blessed with needed items?
The same day, as I was leaving rehearsal, I was prompted to swing by Jack in the Box. They have serveral homeless folks throughout the year, but especially in the winter. I wanted to go home. So I started that way, opposite the restaurant, but heard that nagging reminder to go and do something. My response was probably like a lot of yours - "FINE!"
So around the corner I went, reluctantly. I went in and ordered some 'healthy' food and waited. When the server called my number I went up and handed him my business card which has a map on the back of it. I told him the shelter was open until 7 am and to let anyone in need know about it. "Is that the church that was just on the news?" he asked. "Yes it is", I replied. Then he floored me..."I think I will go there tonight. I need a place and where I'm at now isn't the best place for me."
Here's the deal: I would have missed out on the opportunity to be used by God to give someone some hope, albeit little to me. It was huge to him. But what if I didn't obey what I clearly heard I was supposed to do?
"If you keep on obeying what I command, then you truly are my disciples." Jesus, John 8:31
You have to know God's Word. You have to believe God's Word. You have to obey God's Word. And when He does speak - by the Holy Spirit through The Word, prayer, the Church and circumstances - you have a decision to make. Obey or not.
Let's be that blessing and give God the glory in the little and big things as we listen and obey!

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