By Karen Friday
God wants your obedience, not your help. But what does this look like in real life? Why does it matter? Let’s explore this today.
Doesn’t He Need My Help?
Mama, can I help you make the cookies?
Mimi, I want to help you!
When my kids were little, they wanted to help bake sweet treats and sometimes even clean (well, that changed after a few years).
Now, my grandchildren also find pleasure in offering help for various tasks. And we always have little helpers to take our dogs outside on leashes.
While there are times I’d prefer to do these things myself for the sake of time and so I can control the end result, like how the cookies look and taste or how the bed is made, I enjoy my helpers.
My heavenly Father is different, never requesting my help or desiring my assistance. Still, I often pray with a Plan A and Plan B written on my heart and under my breath, hoping the Lord reads between the lines unless I’m bold enough to say it out loud.
Writing these words and admitting them seems a bit ridiculous on my part. Because who am I to give help to the great I AM?
Yet, I know in my heart and thoughts, I want to be God the Father’s little helper. It’s seen in my actions, attempts at controlling my own life and circumstances and in my lack of full obedience to God’s Word.
I know this to be true, but I struggle with breaking the helping-and-controlling cycle.
God Wants Your Obedience, Not Your Help
Are you used to having control? Or, do you jump in to fix a situation in your life or a family member instead of patiently waiting on the Almighty God?
Truth is, sometimes we strive to manipulate the outcome of our circumstances and perhaps the people in our lives. Even our Christian walk and full obedience to God may become things to control.
When we know the Lord is high and lifted up, sitting on a glorious throne and managing the details of our lives from heavenly places, trying to help only affects our greater good and best outcome.
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about it.
Obey for Your Wellness
“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’” Jeremiah 7:23 (ESV, emphasis added)
- Obedience leads to the abundant spiritual life the Lord intended for you.
- Obedience was crucial for God’s people in the past to inhabit the Promised Land, and it’s crucial for you to inhabit God’s promised life.
- Obeying helps you thrive on the Christian journey, not just survive.
- Obedience unlocks God’s power and amazing wonders in your life.
- Obedience is always for your good and God’s glory.
Know God and Reset Your Heart
“Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100: 3 (NIV)
- Posture yourself before a Holy God who is worthy of worship.
- Stay within earshot of the Shepherd’s voice by praying and reading the Bible.
- Be aware of your weaknesses, vulnerabilities and temptations.
- Let go of self-importance and bow before God in humility.
- Examine your heart. Realize your natural disposition for control and ask the Lord to create in you a new heart, a changed heart.
Walk After God and Hold Fast to Him
“You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 (ESV)
- Walk in God’s ways, in obedience in your daily life. Children often have selective obedience, obeying one time and not another. As God’s child determine to walk in full obedience to God’s commandments and plans.
- Have a reverent fear—an awe—for God’s utter holiness and majesty. But do not be afraid of the enemy or in the midst of difficult circumstances. Both pale in comparison to God’s power and glory.
- Hold fast to your heavenly Father by clinging to Him and His truth. Like children who are clingy physically or people who cling emotionally, cling to your Father in every way.
- Move forward by following after the Lord. Obedience often hinges on moving. It’s hard to follow after God when you are resistant to move or following after your own ways.
- Quit limping between two different opinions—the world and the Word.
- Serve the Lord whose voice you obey. The natural outcome to obeying God is serving under His direction and then idols won’t be an issue in your life.
Wife Step: Determine to stop offering God help by evaluating if you know God, hear the Father’s voice, obey for your wellness, walk in obedience and hold fast to God.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com
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