Have you heard the saying that ‘God does not speak to be heard but to be obeyed’? Let me give you a little background.
Matthew Henry: “Love is the root; obedience is the fruit.”
Now, I come from a place where traditional authoritarian regime is the order of the day. This is where a child will always be a child despite your age. He or she should be seen and not heard. A child’s opinion is null and void 99.9%, the 00.1% is for Yes and No questions. The authoritarian figure at the given time is never wrong (I have grown up to learn that we are all human, some skills do not come with manual rather owning up to our misjudgement does not make us weak and that man is to error). As a result, we grow up hating authority. This is because at the end of the day, what was the use of being subject to it when your voice is stifled. What was the use when judgement has already been tailored beforehand. Eventually we yielded to the rules not because our spirits were wiling but because the consequences of not abiding to the last letter were very dire. Our actions may have obeyed but our spirit was never in the rules, it was rebellious all through. Being a follower of Christ I have come to learn that submission lies in the heart, and because our actions are contrary to the spirit within us. Eventually, what is within begins to manifest in the outward and our actions start betraying us. So, when we grow up we separate from the authority and charter our own paths. What we don’t know is whatever was instilled into us during the tight fist regime always come back to haunt us. Because no matter how far we run or where we hide we are never too free.
So, I spent my years planning to run and hide far away from any kind of authority. These include anything where I would be subjective to anyone as I felt like any kind of authority over me would be oppression and slavery. I wanted to be free, as my aunt would describe like a chicken which walks out of its chicken coop in the morning and comes back in the evening. Don’t get me wrong I was not planning to do anything illegal or ill-mannered, I just felt rather oppressed by the system. Adhering to orders has never been a problem to me, it’s a robotic move that I mastered to survive. People love that robotic side that takes commands to the latter and executes them as said. But it was not until I encountered God that He stripped off this survival mode side of me. God did not want to deal with my robotic side just observing his commands and feeling obligated to follow them. For this meant that there was no relationship instituted but Master -Servant relationship. John 15:14-16 You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
My heart had to yearn for its saviour, an open heart ready to receive from him. A heart cannot submit to authority when it does not desire to please its Ruler. When it comes to pleasing God the body and the heart must be in tune. So, when He speaks, and we obey the heart is already in motion eager to please its creator and not just masquerading in our actions. It was through Jacobs story that God showed me my fear of being under authority. Because the models of what I considered to be authority distorted the idea I had of what authority was supposed to be over me thus leaving me hard hearted. I remember this contributed a lot in my view of marriage, therefore, I was never in a hurry to tie the knot as I was Luke warm about a man being an authority figure over a woman. But God was hot on my trails, He wanted to change my heart in authority and that obedience in him and those he sends to fulfil his purpose through us was different. That He was willing to listen to my voice when I call, and for him to make a move I had to submit and obey his instructions WHOLEHEARTEDLY. A day came two years ago, when God pushed me to a place where man describes between a rock and a hard place. I turned to that Rock of all ages, in that bathroom floor, I fell and surrendered to a point where my heart yielded to its creator who was in pursuit of me. I was in turmoil. I was losing the battle, my only hope and way out according to me and my own plans. God wanted me there, in that home, in that very work place in that very circumstance. Where He would manifest and show Himself to me. That everything that happened all through was to push me to that Rock where I fell and surrendered all to him. No more robotic life but an intentional heart ready to be used by Him. After that is when God answered me and I penned it down gRaCe AbOuNdS .
I used to have many questions about my life though some are not yet answered. God sometimes in his Grace and Mercy points out to me how if this did not happen then you would not appreciate my hand on this or that in your life. For I believe God in His wisdom and predestination of those chosen, makes sure that all that happens to us is for His Glory. Genesis 32:22-32 We see God in pursuit of the true Jacob. A God who provokes calamities in our lives for the sake of revealing our sincerity in Him. The misfortunes thrown in our paths have a way of forcing us to contend with our true feelings and the reality of our faith. Many are the times we go to God, but our hearts are in other things and therefore we miss out on God’s desire to lift us from our misery. Because our destiny lies in surrendering our control to God and submitting under His authority. I love Jacobs story because when God meets us at our lowest and most vulnerable situation our identity is revealed, we cannot hide, for the heart knows the Master. D.L. Moody says that there will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to obey the voice of God. There is beauty in obeying God. Just like the call of Moses everything pointed towards his anointing and commission in leading out the Israelites from Egypt.
“My sheep listen to my voice: I know them, and they follow me.” – Jesus Christ the Good shepherd and His Sheep