What He says, we will do,
Where He sends, we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey!
Often when we’re obedient to what God tells us to do, when we’re obedient to go where He tells us to go, when we’re obedient to give when He tells us to give, exciting things happen because we’re flowing in the stream of God’s purposes. A lot of you were encouraged by the blog post entitled Bye-Bye Bible! I want to share another story in that same vein, from material that is (mostly) someone else’s testimony. She doesn’t mention me by name, for which I’m glad (but you’ll be able to figure out my geeky part in the chain of obedience anyway), and I mustn’t mention her by name, because she is off to the 10/40 Window for some tent-making ministry time.
Let me bring you into her story just after she has felt a confirmation that she was to return to the 10/40…
We came to the realization that I would need a laptop to Skype back home with my family. E-mail is great, but it doesn't come close to talking to each other “for real.” So, we took the need to the Lord in prayer. I counted my money that I had saved, and it came to an amount that gave me hopes of a start towards a laptop computer.
However, while we were at Holiness Camp, I felt prompted to give that money to the Lord. “How about half of it?” I asked. That would still be most generous.
The next night, I felt prompted again. “I think this is not of the Lord, because I've thought of it twice now. I think these are my own thoughts.”
Third night, same prompting. “But God, I’m saving that for a computer! And You’ll have to start from scratch if I give it all in the offering!”
His answer to me was an illustration the evangelist at camp had used. He was saving money for a new gun, but felt prompted to give the money away – and he OBEYED. “Okay, Lord,” I prayed. “You can have it.”
After camp, I was discouraged and felt like there were so many loose ends to the trip at that point, I wasn't certain that I KNEW that I Knew it was God’s will. “God!” I prayed. “I need you to confirm even today that this is Your will by providing for one of these needs I have for my trip.”
We had someone staying with us at the time, and he and Dad were talking. In conversation it came up that I was planning to go back to [somewhere in the 10/40 Window] as a [tent-making occupation] for [a period of time]. I guess during the conversation Dad mentioned that it would nice if I could get a a computer to skype home.
Later that evening our guest was talking to me about my trip, and he said, “I think someone wants to come with you.” I wasn't sure who he meant. But he led me to the dining room and gave me a bag. He had me open it. And do you know what was inside???? If you guessed snacks for the plane…you aren't following! It was a beautiful, practically brand new computer!!! I thought he was going to let me borrow it for the [period of the trip that] I was gone, but he said it was mine to keep!
Here is where we get a glimpse of God’s unfathomable love and care and once again realize that He is answering prayer even before we ask. This man felt prompted to bring that laptop on his trip. Not unusual, except that he already was bringing his own two laptops. The one he gave me was given to him to fix up a bit, and the donors wanted it to be passed on to someone for missions work. He didn't think he’d need three computers for his trip, but he brought the third one anyway. The Lord knew why!
And I tried to bargain with God. Wow. When will I graduate from spiritual preschool? But God is faithful!
Are you following the Holy Spirit’s promptings to obey in areas like doing, going, and giving – even when those leadings sometimes make little sense? If not, you’re probably missing out on the many blessings of obedience. You’re being left out of the adventure! This sister obeyed, not knowing what God had in mind. I dragged along a third laptop on that trip, thinking, “Boy, I don't understand this. I’ll never turn the thing on, let alone make use of it.” (In my defense, I brought the second laptop as a backup, since I was responsible for a lot of the recording work at camp. Computer failure wasn't an option.) But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to take the third computer along with me, so I obeyed.
Bon voyage, laptop! And many blessings to my dear, younger sister in the Lord who obeys when told to go, and obeys when told to give.
Trust and obey,
For there's no other way to be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey!