God always encourages obedience

This morning as I was spending time with God, I began asking Him questions about this journey. “Is it really you, Father, calling me to take these steps to a deeper relationship with You?” “Did I just imagine or conjure this up in my overactive imagination?” And I confessed, “If it’s You, I admit I’m scared because I don’t know where this will lead. It’s exciting but also scary.” Not the faith and confidence of someone who have been following God as long as I have. But if I am going to learn to abide in Christ, I need to be honest and real with myself, and God, and you.

Well, after this time of praying and questioning God, I turned to “Streams In The Desert,” a devotional my dear friend, Don Cousins, shared while he was enduring his cancer treatment. Now I don’t read the daily entries in this book on a very consistent basis, but today I did. Now in light of where my mind and heart was, the words in today’s reading, here’s how it started.

May 16

“… Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days…” 

Can you believe that! It was my loving Father speaking words of love and encouragement to me! “Do not be afraid, Mark. Since you the first day that you sought to step out in obedience to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God,  your words were heard! And I have come in response to them.”  How is that! One minute, questions and fear clouding my mind and heart. Then in a moment, hope and encouragement fill and overwhelm the questions and fear in my heart.

Note to self: Seek to abide and obey, and when you are discouraged or afraid, God will remind you that He is there! Yahweh Shammah, the God who is there, is His Name. Thank you, Father!

the journey continues…

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