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On Obedience Over Sacrifice

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I have so much to tell you about my time at She Speaks and I hope to get to all of it in the coming weeks. The main thing about the conference is that although it’s called “She Speaks”, He (as in the Lord) is really the one doing the speaking.

Personally he spoke three very specific words into my life and the first was obedience.

A few weeks ago I found myself wrestling with guilt. I had decided to participate in a fast and wanted to be really intentional about it. I was praying hard for several things and thought fasting would add an extra measure of “umph” to my prayers. Right, like I was kind of trying to earn extra credit with God. Bad idea.

I know, I know, what was I thinking because although I have participated in fasts before and have had great experiences where they really helped me focus on the Lord; this one was a total failure. I just could not do it and after a few days I gave in and felt wretched.

While at the conference I just kept thinking, “I’m such a loser Lord”.

But He is so kind and good to me and didn’t make me feel like a loser because instead He very gently pointed me to this verse:

Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

Y’all (cause I’m still fake southern from my trip). I was more convicted by my lack of obedience than I was from my fasting failure.

I had to sit with this and process. I had not been doing a great job with obedience in several areas of my life but the first thing that popped into my head was this blog.

If you’ve been here since the beginning you know I started blogging not because I thought I’m such a great writer but rather out of a sense of obedience because I truly and clearly felt the Lord say, I need you to “write down what I am doing.” And so out of reluctant obedience I did and have now had this little blog for a few years.

Somewhere along the way though it totally became about me rather than about the Lord and His word in my life. I started worrying about “branding” and SEO and taglines and everything. And I hesitated to press “publish” far too many times.

There are other areas in my life He’s calling me back to obedience but I think this blog is definitely one of them. I want my words (spoken and written) to align with my faith and the values I seek to live out.

Now, while I definitely plan on revisiting my fasting flop; because I do truly believe there’s a heart issue  there that I need to deal with like the fact that there’s nothing I should crave more than Him and I shouldn’t be looking to food or Cokes to satisfy me. I also want to be obedient in this space, with work as I coach with authenticity and integrity, in my family as I want to love and serve well, in my community where I want to be His hands and feet and in my personal time as I seek Him first thing in my day and dig into His Word before getting sucked into the noise of the world.

Oh friends, I think we often “know” the things we need to do. It’s just the DOING that’s the problem.

I don’t know if you struggle with obedience too but maybe you’re having a hard time with an unhealthy relationship or habit that needs to be let go of or maybe it’s loving someone who is acting less than lovable lately. Or perhaps, it’s being intentional about spending more time in prayer or just watching our words and not speaking the first things that pops into our heads.

Whatever it is that the Lord might be impressing on our hearts, can I encourage you that He’ll take a heart of obedience over an obligatory sacrifice any day. And if it’s an area that is truly a struggle, like my fasting issues then bring it to Him and ask for His grace to get you through it. I know He will.

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

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4 Comments

  1. What a great reminder to trust and obey Him! ️Praise the Lord for His unending grace for us in those moments of wavering obedience. Well done, Zohary!

  2. So much truth here! I, too, have had a fasting flop! And I’m still peppering my conversations with “y’all!” But obedience is where it’s at! So happy I had the pleasure of meeting you last weekend!

    1. Liz! Thanks for your comment. Isn’t obedience really the place to start? It was so great meeting you too! I just love saying “y’all”. I don’t know if I’ll stop!!! 🙂

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