Following God’s Orders
I have been telling you that our relationship with Jesus is not a one-way street. Following orders is part of the “Ask” category in the Blessing Blocker Test. I know that if we do not obey God’s instructions, the opportunities He creates for us to disappear, and we mess up our blessings.
However, for the last few weeks, I did not fully live up to my very own advice! One of the things He asks of me is to write. But the only thing I put out lately was the code for the new Blessing Portal with the improved Blessing Blocker Test. Of course, this task is relevant, too. But God also wants me to write!
While I failed to comply and glorify God, I noticed the consequences of my disobedience. I became restless, lost my peace, put the spiritual lenses aside, moved towards the secular perspective, and even started worrying!
It is crazy. I recognize these dangerous effects, and still, I could not open the word processor. Instead, I started micromanaging stuff that did not need my attention, turning in circles, and becoming ineffective. I needed God’s jolt to get me out of my stupor.
I am taking this Bible class studying the gospel of John. The pastor dissects every word and mixes the whole story with his and our own experiences. It is a remarkable class! Fruit punch. Better yet, Sangria! God’s words run through my veins like red wine. They warm my heart. The sugar not only sweetens the drink, but it also boosts the magic of the potion! God’s promise is seductive, inspiring, and, yes, addictive!
The fruit wedges represent the stories of the lives of the participants in the class. Initially, they taste sweet or sour, depending on our stories. As time passes, their flavors become the sum of all the ingredients in the drink. In the real world, the longer and closer people live, work, or serve together, the more their values and behaviors tend to converge. I noticed, being part of a Christian group decreased my need to spread the word about God. Since the thrill of a new thing disappears when it becomes routine, I did not miss writing about Him. And so I became complacent without even being aware of it. Luckily, God knew what was happening.
As a side note, the Sangria has other effects as well. During Bible study, I sometimes feel the prickling bitter taste of the ginger ale. Feelings of regret briefly cloud my thoughts. However, they never last long. The past is past, and I cannot change the mistakes other people or I have made. I can only learn from them and ask for and offer forgiveness. Since I have actively forgiven the people who have harmed me, my big hurts are now old and cold. It is the reason why these feelings quickly disappear. Forgiveness has set me free.
The Sangria recipe also calls for brandy. I remember the burning throat when I drank real Sangria the last time about twenty years ago. It surprised and jolted me. This memory reminds me that God always knows how to get my attention. And so, while we move through the chapters of John at the speed of snails, God used His spiritual brandy to give me a jolt.
I finally understood the cause of my discomfort once the pastor discussed John 4:34. “My food,” said Jesus in this passage, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”
I know what Jesus ordered me to do. He told me one evening several years ago. I still remember the place. I was sitting in a restaurant and silently complaining to Jesus while waiting for the food to arrive. While I cannot remember what I grumbled about, His answer is still loud and clear in my head: “Just write!” I was astonished by his response. I had a mixed relationship with writing and often wished to be better at it. I had never considered it something God wanted me to do.
As for the Bible class, it surprised me when the pastor stopped at verse 4:34. I have read John 4 before but never paid attention to this part of the text. When the pastor explained its meaning, it finally hit me. Sharing Jesus is my food!
I need to be writing! Not only for God but also for me. The symptoms I experienced when I stopped were the symptoms of spiritual hunger. I recognize now that I was spiritually starving! Amazing!
I also know now that it is not enough to breathe Him, to read about Him, to learn about Him. I also need to do His will, to write, and to share God to feel well.
God has guided me for a long time now. By obeying him, I gain insights that lead me to new adventures. I love it. I am grateful for His inspiration, for His guidance, and for His help. As a result, I try to be obedient and to live a life pleasing to Him.
There are times, however, when I am not even aware of my disobedience. But God always knows how to get my attention and brings me back on the right track again. I appreciate His nudges and jolts. It shows me that He cares.
While it is many years since I last enjoyed real Sangria, I discovered the spiritual Sangria when writing this post. I relished using it as an illustration of the topic. Of course, I do not need any drinks to make progress. Jesus is and provides all I need.
The key to me, however, is the knowledge I gained that writing and sharing God is my spiritual food. It is an eye-opener and will have a lasting impact on me.
Now that I have written this post, I feel good again. I am thankful for the pastor taking his time explaining every detail of the gospel of John. As I said, it is an extraordinary class. Well done!
Moreover, I am incredibly grateful for having God in my life! I hope this post glorifies Him. He deserves all the credit.
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