I recently moved back to Florida’s west coast from Louisiana. This is a big deal because I said I would not live in Florida EVER again. You see, I grew up on the east coast but left in August of 1999 to follow God and start over. Florida carried memories of a past I walked away from. I had no desire to come back and that was something I was proud of. But, the Lord had different plans for my family and I.
On the morning of April 18th, 2016 he began to nudge our family to move to the Sarasota, Florida area. He showed me that my unwillingness to even consider the state of Florida had blocked us from hearing His direction. He promised that in our trusting and obeying Him, he would provide and do great things. It wasn’t easy to obey and I had to eat my words but here we are a year later and experiencing miracle after miracle.
Just as Jesus Said
This reminded me of other times the Lord gave instructions and the individuals obeyed. In Mark 14, verses 12-16 (NLT) Jesus’ disciples asked him, “ Where do you want us to go prepare the Passover supper? So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem to make the arrangements. “As you go into the city, ” he told them, ” a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him.’
On a side note, these were very specific instructions but I imagine the disciples were excited to see what would happen! The last three years they witnessed many times what obedience to Jesus’ instructions would bring. They knew his love and faithfulness would not lead them wrong.
He continues.. ” At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘ The Teacher asks, where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is the place; go ahead and prepare our supper there.” So the disciples went on ahead into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover supper there.
As I read this I realized, the more I step out in obedience I will be quicker to obey the next time. As I obey, like the disciples, I get to see God come through. Our obedience gives us the opportunity to see the awesome works and goodness of God and we will eat the good of the land. ( Isa. 1:19)
Now, look at Luke 5: 1-11. Jesus was preaching to the crowds on the shore of Galilee. He stepped into one of the empty boats close by. Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds that came to listen to the Word of the Lord.
After he was done speaking he said to Simon, ” Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish.” ” Master, Simon replied, ” We worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, we’ll try again.”
Simons’ head was probably yelling, we just cleaned all the nets and have been out on the water all night; if we were going to catch anything we would have already done so. Thankfully, he allowed those thoughts to fall by the wayside and he chose to yield to the Word of the Lord.
He was right, because this time their nets were overflowing and began to tear! Soon both boats were so filled with fish they were on the verge of sinking and had to call fisherman from the other boats to help! The disciples obeyed and it happened just as Jesus had said. I’m sure they were so glad that they listened.
The Perks of Obedience
I mentioned only two events in the Bible but there are countless events from Genesis to Revelation. These historical accounts can encourage us today on our journey to obedience. When we seek God’s direction and then obey, we will see provision provided, miracles happen, and God glorified. We don’t need to add to or take away any part of the instructions the Lord gives us. All he requires of us is to simply obey.
Trust me, sometimes (most of the time) it will not make any sense to the mind. When God called us to move to Florida, we struggled because financially it did not make sense. However, I knew what the Lord had said. So I had to shut off my thoughts and be led by the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful I did!
Lastly, obedience takes great courage and sometimes seems foolish, but be encouraged because with God’s Word and His direction comes the empowerment to succeed. God is so good and we need to expect awesome and mighty things to take place as we obey His Word.