If you haven’t read the first three posts in this series, I really recommend you reading them before you read this post (because it will make more sense). You can find the first post by clicking HERE.
In this series I’m talking about what it looks like when your dreams don’t turn out the way you thought they would, and what happens when the journey gets really hard. Last time we talked about what it looked like when you choose to take the “easy way” and today we are going to talk about what it looks like if you choose the alternative – obedience.
I want to share a picture God gave me, when I wrote this series, about what happens in the spirit realm when we choose obedience. What I see is you standing in the middle of an empty room. You have a choice to make and you choose to follow the Lord – to be obedient to what He’s asking you to do. After you make the choice all the walls of the room start to roll down and suddenly you’re not alone anymore and there are a million things pulling at your attention.
The enemy is so excited because he’s going to make this journey as hard as he possibly can because he can’t wait to watch you fail. He can’t wait to make your life harder.
But, at the same time, the Lord is standing there with you and He can’t wait to make you stronger. He can’t wait for the burden to get heavy so you turn to Him, and ask Him for help.
You are NOT in this alone, but it is going to be very hard.
As an example, for me, obedience has meant being told, by my dream, I’m failing over and over again.
It has meant being lied to over and over again, but still trusting the Lord and listening for Him to speak truth.
It has meant pouring out our lives for our daughter (my dream), making sacrifices for her, choosing to parent her in love and being rejected.
It’s things like this that make me want to give up on my dream. These moments make me wonder if the visions and dreams I’ve had about her will ever come to pass.
But it’s also moments like these where I have to make a conscious decision to keep trusting the Lord and continue to be obedient because I don’t ever want to be the reason my dream doesn’t come true. If I give up on my dream, who is going to pick up where I left off? Probably no one, and then what was the point of it all?
People ask me all the time if I would go back and adopt all over again, now that I know what we’d be getting ourselves into. The funny thing is, I say “yes”. Even after all the pain, all the lies, all the rejection, I would still go back and make the same decision because I know it would mean being obedient to the Lord. Let me tell you why.
God is faithful and so good.
My relationship with the Lord is far beyond where I ever imagined it could be. In a moment when I’m faced with an impossible decision for how to parent, God shows up every. single. time.
For you the attack on your dream might look different, it might not come directly from your dream – remember the room full of distractions and the enemy waiting for you to fail? For you the struggle might start affecting your marriage, it might affect friendships, it might be work that blows up, it could be your health, honestly it will come from every direction. But every time it gets hard, or confusing, or stressful, (don’t walk) run to the Lord.
When things got really, really hard I struggled spending time with the Lord because I was hurt and confused, but I continued to be obedient, so God started pursuing me. And out of His love for me, He met me where I could hear Him best, worship.
I remember worshiping at church one Sunday, and the song “You’re a good, good Father” came on. I was so broken that I couldn’t even sing. I didn’t feel like God was being a good Father because I was under so much attack. Something really hard was going on and it was impossible for me to say the words, “You’re a good, good Father”, instead I just cried.
But the next week, God showed up in so many ways – He comforted me, He helped me get through the pain and my brokenness. By the next Sunday, not a lot had changed in my situation, but my heart had changed. God had showed me that He really is a good Father, and when we sang the song the next Sunday I was singing it with all my heart – crying tears of joy, tears of gratitude, so thankful to have such a good Father.
I have always been able to find the Lord in worship so when I’m struggling I put on worship music (I’ll list some of my favorite songs at the end of this post). Or when things are in total chaos, and I feel like I just can’t take any more, I have found so much peace in laying down to rest and just asking God to speak. It’s usually right about the time I’m about to dose off, when my mind has finally quieted down, that I hear the Lord.
Last summer we found out our daughter had been making some really poor life decisions, and things with her got really bad. That first night, as I was going to bed, I wanted to be angry but my spirit wouldn’t let me. So as I laid in bed I asked God, “What should I feel? What do you feel?”, and in that moment the Lord spoke so clearly and I was up for hours hearing what His heart felt. The best part is that He also gave me detailed strategies for how we should handle the situation because He knows her heart, and His dream, better than I ever will.
This is how I hear the Lord but how do you hear Him? You need to find what works for you, and once you know what it is, I guarantee you’ll find yourself there a lot throughout your journey of obedience.
The beautiful thing about going to the Lord, and hearing from Him, is that He knows our dreams better than we do.
We need to remember our dreams were His dreams first, He just trusted us with them. We don’t know the outcome, but He does, so if we try to carry it on our own we will probably make a big mess and make it way more complicated that it needs to be.
When you choose the path of obedience God wants to empower you and give you strategies, but you have to go to Him and allow Him to speak. Every time the Lord gives me a strategy it blows my mind, and even in the hardest situations, it seems so easy to carry out His strategy because it’s so clear it’s the best possible solution.
When you are obedient to carry out what He has given you, then the weight is off your shoulders. Even if everyone around you – including your dream – continues to make bad choices, and it still feels like your dream is destined to fail, you will feel freedom knowing you did the right thing.
What this does is build trust, and a deeper relationship, between you and the Lord. God will start blessing you and calling you to places you never imagined possible.
Never in a million years would I have ever thought I’d be writing another blog. Or that I would get to write about what God has done and what He is doing. But what the Lord showed me is that He trusts me.
He knows I will carry out His message and do exactly what He asks me to. How does He know? Because I’ve shown Him over and over and over again that obedience is so important to me, and I want a deeper relationship with Him so I will continue to say “yes” to Him, even though I know it’s not always going to be easy.
Have you chosen the path of obedience, and things are really hard right now? Please don’t lose faith, I promise God is strengthening you through this!
Are you at a crossroads and not sure which way to turn? Obedience is hard but I promise you it is SO worth it! Where are you at on your journey, I’d love to know, I’d love to be able to encourage you and speak truth to your situation.
The most important thing I want you to take away from this post is to always remember, our dreams were His dreams first, He has just trusted us with them. He trusts you. He sees you as trustworthy. He is there for you on this journey so run to Him, He’s waiting for you.
To read the next post in this series, click HERE.
Here are a list of the worship songs that God has used to speak to me, encourage me and strengthened my faith to continue to trust Him (click on the song and it will take you to it, in a new tab)-
- 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman
- Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin
- You Make Me Brave – Bethel Music
- It is Well – Bethel Music
- You Alone – Lauren Daigle
- Have it All – Bethel Music
- In Over My Head – Bethel Music
- Sinking Deep – Hillsong Young & Free
- Closer – Bethel Music
- Anchor – Bethel Music
- Be Still – Bethel Music
- We Dance – Bethel Music