Faith breeds obedience. And obedience to the right thing (God), leads to peace.
The most important thing I've learned through my trials and tribulations over the past two years is that the valley between where I was and where I wanted to be could only be crossed through fully committed faith and obedience. I had to take a leap of faith to believe that whatever God was calling me to, was far greater than my current situation of comfortability.
My first test of obedience was the hardest. The first thing God asked me to give up was the thing I least wanted to – men. I don't mean that God asked me to excommunicate myself from the world, but he asked me to give up any romantic ties, relationships, or “situationships" that I had with anyone possessing a Y chromosome. This of course included giving up sex, but deeper than that, God asked me to let go of my false gods:
My worship like infatuation with love (or the idea of it), and the need to be validated and wanted by men.
After men, God asked me to remove everything else that I had put before him. For me, that included social media and secular music. Although these were both difficult to abstain from, the funny thing about obedience is that shortly after you begin to be obedient to God, your obedience is rewarded. It's not rewarded in a worldly way, like the way we reward children by giving them medals or candy if they do something well. It is rewarded in that soon after being obedient, you begin to see why God asked you to do something or stop doing something in the first place - to move you in the direction of God's purpose for your life.
After giving up the key things that pulled me away from God, two things began to happen: 1) I begin to realize WHY those things were damaging me and, 2) I began to hear God more clearly. I'm sure God was always speaking to me throughout the day, but I was now able to feel his presence more distinctly. It was like listening to someone talk through a closed door for years, and then finally letting them in the room.
Once I got good and clear about what I needed to STOP doing to hear God, He began to tell me what I needed to START doing in my life to build a closer relationship with Him.
Simply put, He wanted me to seek Him and Him alone, with everything in me.
Specifically, He told me to pray more, read His word (the Bible), and begin volunteering my time in the service of others. For the first time in my life, I wrote down bold prayers for myself. I prayed for others. I wrote down lies that I had believed for years, and next to them, I wrote the truth of the scripture that invalidated those falsehoods. I gave my time without expecting anything in return, and in return, I was humbled by realizing all God has blessed me with that I never had to ask for.
Although I still fall short daily, I look back in astonishment at what God has done in my life. This year alone, I've received two new job offers, a raise, formed new lifelong friendships, learned to really respect and value myself, and most importantly, learned to surrender and trust God with every little detail of my life. The peace that has brought me was worth tenfold everything I left behind.
Faith breeds obedience. And in the end, this faith and obedience to God is the only mode of transportation to take you from where you are right now, to where you need to be.
LeNette Battle is a teacher by day, writer by night, Jesus lover all the time. She resides in Houston Texas, home of the greats (Queen B), and loves to empower others through writing. You can follow her on instagram at @lenettemb.
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