Heart of Obedience

I woke this morning thinking to myself, “I am gonna write today,” as soon as I get my kids off to school, straighten the house, grocery shop, prepare tonight’s dinner…wait, what was I gonna do today?

I love my family and know that in serving them, I am serving the Lord. But in doing so, does that mean I have to place my hopes and dreams on the back burner? I don’t think it does, and if I’m honest with myself, most of the time I use the list of “to-do’s” as my excuse to not write because fear stops me and sends me in the other direction.

The same thing happened to Jonah.

God commands Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and tell the rebellious people to repent of their evil ways. Instead of obeying God, whether out of fear or hatred towards the Assyrians, Jonah runs away and boards a ship heading for Tarshish. Little did Jonah know, he would be thrown into the sea and swallowed up by a great fish because of his disobedience.

What I find most interesting in this story is how others were affected by Jonah’s rebellion to God’s calling. To stop Jonah, God caused the urgent winds, the fierce storm that threatened to destroy the ship.

People’s lives were at stake all because Jonah didn’t listen to the Lord’s command. And what about the city of Nineveh? God was sending the prophet to preach to the people to turn from their wicked ways and repent because He loved them.

So what about us? How does Jonah’s disobedience apply to my not writing or another’s pursuit of purpose? I believe God calls us all to ‘go’ somewhere or ‘do’ something. And if we ignore Him, out of fear or anything else, not only are we missing the blessing, but others may be as well.

With lots of love,

Today I’m linking up with God-sized Dreams, Tea and Word, Porch Stories, and Heart Encouragement.

  1. Eugenia Howell

    June 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Very good devotional and so very true. As God ‘sWord always is.

    1. Mandy

      June 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you, Eugenia!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    June 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    First, I think my previous comment got deleted. I’m hoping this one survives. 🙂 Mandy, your post resonated with me. There have been many times I’ve had to come to God and confess my fear. To admit I haven’t done what He’s given me to do because I was afraid. I’m so thankful God is patient and gracious as I look to Him and beg for His strength (again) to walk in obedience. May we both choose to trust Him on our writing journeys, rather than give in to the fear-driven tasks that always call to us.

    1. Mandy

      June 5, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Oh, Jeanne, you are such a blessing to me!! Choosing to trust, friend. Glad to be on this journey with you. xoxo.

  3. Debbie Brown

    June 5, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    I love reading your page, Mandy. Thank you for the uplifting words of encouragement and of GOD’S love for us.

    1. Mandy

      June 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you!!! xoxo!

  4. mbethany

    June 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    What a humbling conclusion, Mandy! Thank you for writing this and pointing out what happens when we ignore His call!

    1. Mandy

      June 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Happy to share, Bethany! Glad you are here 🙂

  5. Meghan E. Weyerbacher

    June 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Oh yikes wow. This is why I am so thankful he nudged me again to go to the retreat. I tend to find excuses (even thoughtful ones where it seems like I am putting others first) for every opportunity that comes along. Thankful for this reminder, Mandy!

    1. Mandy

      June 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Right?! That is awesome that you are attending. I will miss but am praying for you all! xoxo!

  6. Lureta

    June 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I love your perspective on the story of Jonah. It has allowed me to ponders other than myself, who else is deprived of God’s blessings when I am disobedient to my call.
    Thanks Mandy

  7. Gretchen Fleming

    June 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Wise words Mandy and thank you for reminding us of our responsibility to God and others!

  8. Gayl

    June 8, 2017 at 4:03 am

    “…if I’m honest with myself, most of the time I use the list of “to-do’s” as my excuse to not write because fear stops me and sends me in the other direction.” I wonder if that’s what I do, too. I know there are things I need to write and I just find other things to do…. Just need to push past that fear, I guess. Thanks for the reminder.

    Blessings to you!

    1. Mandy

      June 8, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      That’s right, Gayl. Fear will not hold us back for with Christ anything is possible! xoxo.

  9. CrystalStorms.me

    June 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Powerful reminder to cultivate a heart of obedience, Mandy. Praying we serve wholeheartedly, remembering the call is not just for us.
    Sweet blessings!

  10. Kristin Hill Taylor

    June 13, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I think one of the hard things with obedience for me is discerning seasons and how sometimes God calls us to lay down things (ministries, commitments, etc.) that He once called us to. But I love seeing how God’s faithfulness prevails. Thanks for sharing this, Mandy, and for linking up at #PorchStories.

    1. Mandy

      June 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Oh, Kristin, you are speaking my language! I couldn’t agree more. It’s not that I feel guilty about leaving what I once was called to, I just want to make sure it’s God’s will. I’ve learned over the years that peace is the revealer. If I’m not at peace over the thing or issue, then something is wrong. Thank you for your comment!

  11. mareedee2016

    June 16, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    We do need to listen for God’s calling. It is hard when we feel like sometimes everything we want has to be put aside. His way is always best.

    1. Mandy

      June 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Yes it is!!

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