Sorry I didn't write in the month of January. I've been in a black hole the past few weeks. Don't worry, I haven't been depressed. I've just been consumed--physically, mentally, and emotionally. You see, I began taking a 3-week intensive course on partnership development 3 weeks ago...the same week I'd signed up for an intensive weekend workshop at my church on top of an already fairly busy schedule.
What does this have to do with obedience, you may be asking. Well, the class wasn't my idea. I've had several trainings and previous experience in raising support; and while I'm a believer in life-long learning, it seemed better to use my limited time to actually be doing it rather than learning more.
But my missions' agency (SAMS) had asked me to pilot the class. I knew deep down that I could use the practical help. And bottom line, after dialogue with the Lord, I believed that God Himself was leading me down this dreaded path. So, with the prayer support of a few friends and SAMS behind me, I signed up and made it through 3 intense weeks of training.
So, fast forward to this morning when I have my very first partnership presentation outside of class. Now remember that this isn't really my cup of tea; but I and others have been praying me through this, including my friend Sarah who I'm meeting for coffee. First, I'm thankful to just catch up but also encouraged that it's genuinely fun and exciting sharing my stories with her, especially when she interjects that the "African man" who had greatly influenced my life a few years back is a personal friend of hers!
Then we both get excited as we share different connections and dream about ways that God could bless a potential partnership. But the clincher is when the couple who has been sitting next to us walks over. The lady politely interrupts to explain that she hasn't exactly been eavesdropping, but she's heard enough to know that I'm raising money for something that I"m passionate about and hands me a $100 bill!
Now, I certainly never want my--or anyone's--motive to obey God to be for monetary or other personal gain. I want it to be out of a relationship of love and trust. That said, God does promise blessing to those who obey Him.
"If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments...all these blessings will come down on you..." Deut 28
It goes a lot deeper than today's events. But based on God's own words, I think it's fair to say that it pays to obey, and for me today, quite literally!