"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, August 26, 2011

FAITH BUILDING OBEDIENCE

Hello Friends! You will be ministered to today by my good friend Jen Guarino. I met Jen two years ago when her family moved to Idaho. Her family connected with our small group and we have grown together in the Lord.
Jen is genuine. She is real about her faith and her struggles. Her passion for Jesus as a young Christian inspires all who know her. Her desire to learn and grow is evident by her commitment to study His word, her obedience in surrendering her will to His, her desire to be in community with other believers and her many ways she serves His kingdom.
Jen will also bless you by her blog where she shares personal examples of God's amazing work in her ordinary life. Please visit her blog site and encourage her as she moves forward in faith.



Obedience is a word that makes me think of children. Mine, yours', her's....it doesn't really matter. Being obedient is something we usually expect from children. When our children are not obedient then we have consequences for them.

In our home when the kids were younger disobedience meant some time in the corner, or alone in their room. We also expect an apology to the person disobeyed followed by a lesson on how to be obedient the next time. As the kids grow older the consequence may change but the expectation of obedience has not.

Do we ever expect our fellow grown ups to be obedient? I didn't used to think so. It wasn't until I began to take my relationship with Jesus much more seriously did I realize that I was going to be called to be obedient to Him. This thought rocked my world! I learned that if I prayed I had better expect Him to answer. Once the answer was given I needed to obey it, even if it wasn't the answer I was hoping for or expecting. Recently, this lesson played loud and clear in my life.

Many months ago God laid on my heart that I needed to start learning about homeschooling. He put people in my path along the way that were already involved with this form of education. I sought out people in my community, in my church and eventually on the internet. I realized that this was no longer an abstract way to raise my children but in my state, it was actually a very common practice.

What on earth was I considering!!!??? I was finally a full time, stay-at-home mom. This was going to be the first year that both of my children were going to be in school all day long. I was about to have most of the days to myself, to do as I wanted. Whether this would be work on blog posts, stamp a new card, take a class at the YMCA or have coffee with a girlfriend, my days were going to be about me and what I wanted. Ha Ha Ha!! Who was I kidding? I should have known that idea was way toooooo good to be true!

Fast forward to this summer when the decision was finally made that this was the path that God desired for our family. As much as I had dreamed of having time each day for God and myself I knew in my heart and from all of the ways God showed Himself that this is what I was supposed to do. When I realized it, acceptance became easy. This wasn't some half thought out plan. This was God's will for my life and I knew I had to obey.

The big day finally arrived. The kids and I finished our morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed and morning chores. We headed upstairs to the school room and were just sitting down to pray and start our day when the phone rang. I set a rule that no phone, internet or email during school time. But before I could utter a word the kids were running for the phone. On the other end was my dear husband.

He called to give me the news that it was his first year anniversary at his job and he was going to receive a pay raise. The amount of the raise he was given is the same amount that I lost by leaving my part time job at the kids' elementary school to home-school my kids.

While I'd like to say I was shocked the only words I could utter at this moment were "I knew it!!! I just knew it!!!" God had this whole entire thing planned out and He just wanted to see if we would trust Him enough to actually obey His will for our life!" I instantly felt like we had been rewarded for being obedient.

Now I have to admit that this is the first time I can say that we have been rewarded monetarily for being obedient to God. Actually this will probably be the first, last and only time this will ever happen to us. And that is just fine! To be given such a tangible reward; for it to be something that we can actually see and use to show how trusting God is, is worth it being a once in a lifetime event.

Do you feel that God is putting something in your heart or is calling you to do? Are you listening to Him and are you willing to be obedient? If you don't, you may miss out on a great reward, a once in a lifetime reward. It may be something that you can share with an unbeliever and use to show that God is alive and well and working in our lives right now. I wouldn't want to miss that opportunity. I hope that by sharing this story with you, you won't miss yours.

Blessings,
Jen