Restless Obedience

In case you haven’t figured it out by now…

I’m an “A-type”.

A control freak.

A planner and strategist.

A cross all my t’s and dot all my i’s type.

And currently I’m wrestling with God because he is not letting me be those things in a particular area of my life.

The only way I know to describe it is that He’s given me something to steward and he’s gently place it in my hands.  It’s fragile.  It’s undeveloped.  It needs nurturing.  It needs prayer.

My natural instinct would be to put a death grip on this thing and take full control as soon as He placed it in my hands.

But I can’t.

This thing won’t be controlled right now.  As much as I want to I can’t get my hands around it.  I’m holding it so tentatively that I’m afraid the slightest attempt to contain it will cause it to implode.  And I don’t want that.

It’s a gift.  It’s precious.  It’s a remarkable responsibility.

And I don’t know what to do with it.

I just hold it gingerly praying for clarity and direction.

I love this feeling and I hate this feeling.

I love the feeling of trusting God with it because it’s His.

I hate the feeling of inadequacy, fear and loss of control.

So for now my hands are open, gently cradling it, listening carefully and moving slowly.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar place of restless obedience?

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  • Marni January 6, 2011  

    Oh, yes! I so know the feeling you describe here. I felt it, and at times still feel it, with the ministry I was given to lead. I know I was called to do it. I know God gave me this opportunity – for Him (not me). However, no matter how much I know this – it terrifies me because of what I want to do with it at times.

    Through it, I have simply learned that if I fear it – and I fear me taking control over it to guide it how I want it – then I know I am going in the right direction. As leaders, we need that kind of fear to keep reminding us of Who is really in control.

    I firmly believe that is what is meant as “fearing God.” We fear of falling out of His will, His calling on our lives for the sake of fulfilling our own desires, feelings and needs. This is a good fear – and it has taken me entering into ministry for me to understand this (in turn, understanding not *all* fear is bad).

    This has lead me to coin the phrase, “do it scared” in my life. The more I do it scared (scared of falling out of the will of God), the more I am kept in line and doing what He wants (not what I want).

    Thanks for addressing this this morning! This is a great reminder to really think about and keep at the forethought of all our minds.

    • Jenni Catron January 6, 2011  

      Marni, thank you so much for adding to this discussion. I love “do it scared”. Thank you for the encouragement and confirmation of the importance of letting it be His!

    • Cindy January 6, 2011  

      Marni…the first time I ever saw Joyce Meyer back in the early ’90s, she made a statement very similar to yours. You’ve probably heard it: “Do it afraid”! And boy have I done a lot snce that time “much afraid”! Do you know of Much Afraid from the book Hind’s Feet on High Places? 🙂

      my answer to your closing question as you can tell by what I said to Marni, is YES, YES, YES most definitely! I relate to all you said!

      Keep those hands open, keep that cradling gentle, by all means keep listening carefully and intently and you probably won’t have to do too much moving…whatever it is you’re gently holding in those open hands and open heart will in God’s time take off and fly, fly, fly! Like a butterfly!!!

      God bless you and thanks!

  • TJ January 6, 2011  

    We are two peas in a pod! I was once told I was a Type A to the type A power–ummm Thank you?!

    Funny though, I just got off the phone with my husband and we had this EXACT conversation and he said the same thing that Marni said “do it scared” His phrase is “Courage comes with fear.” Yikes!

    We also talked about how obedience takes great belief that God is going to promise to do what he says he’s going to do. An act of obedience that pushes us out of our comfort zone always makes us re-evaluate what we truly believe about God as the Promisemaker and about God as the lover of His children. When I pray for “being still and knowing that HE is God” for me…I will pray for you. Even though right now I respond with, “But i don’t wannnnnna” in my whiny voice, of course…I know that God is patient with me–even when I’m not patient with Him. Praise Him for complete grace and mercy.

  • Jason January 6, 2011  

    “My natural instinct would be to put a death grip on this thing and take full control as soon as He placed it in my hands.”

    That’s me. I’ve been praying many days about things that pop up and ask God why and get the impression “because you’d dive in and go 1,000 miles an hour and it’s not time for that yet.” This is a lesson I need to learn and I think God’s been trying to break me of this habit. I hope you have much more success than I’ve had on this!

  • Sherie January 6, 2011  

    A few years ago God gave me an image of holding something that is in pieces in my hand (we were talking about building/creating things, and about broken people who need to moved to wholeness). He showed me holding sand, and if you close your hand and hold tight, you actually push some of the sand out of your hand. When you close your hands, you actually hold less than if you leave them open. One open hand only holds a certain amount, but your hands cupped together hold more, and a community linked together holds even more. That lesson was incredibly powerful for me and changed the way I hold on, let go, and lift up.

    I am type B, but there still times that I want control, want direction, and want to move things forward my way. I have been thinking of Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Follow” a lot lately and how the Israelites moved when the cloud and pillar moved. Waiting is hard, but sometimes it is exactly what we need to do.

    Where you go, I’ll go
    Where you stay, I’ll stay
    When you move, I’ll move
    I will follow you
    Who you love, I’ll love
    How you serve I’ll serve
    If this life I lose, I will follow you
    I will follow you

  • Jenni Catron January 10, 2011  

    Love the discussion on this post. Thank you all for encouraging me and each other!