Ever since middle school, Samuel has been my bff. Yes - Samuel in the Bible. I wrote about he and his mom a few days ago (You can find that here), but I'm back at it with Sam yet again.
The past year of my life has been interesting. God has been pointing me in the direction of my next steps, and His plan is COMPLETELY different from what I had in mind. For a solid eight months I argued with God. Knowing fully well that He would win, I still put up the biggest fight I had. I tried bargaining with Him, convincing Him that I knew better, and being plain rebellious by continuing to make plans opposite of His... but in March of this year, I conceded.
After eight months of a losing battle, I was at complete peace. I didn't have a single doubt what my next steps were, and I was actually getting quite excited! Graduation was quickly approaching and I was getting the, "so what's next" questions. #theworst For a month or so I was able to give indirect answers or eye rolls (they accomplished the same purpose). After a while, though, the most important people in my life wanted to know a detailed plan. While trying to protect the excitingly fragile dream in my heart, I divulged my plan of moving to a new state. I was greeted with less than stellar reactions. Some people threw a never-ending list of questions at me and proceeded to tell me how moving home was actually the best option, while other people just didn't respond at all (which was a response in itself). I fought HARD to actually WANT God's plan for my life, and now that I was there, it seemed as if the people closest to me were shutting me down. I cannot tell you how many days I cried about it, but then God (being the amazing God that He is) led me back to my friend, Sammy.
1 Samuel 15:22-24
"Then Samuel said,
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing,
not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you
is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God
is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God’s command,
he says No to your kingship.
Saul gave in and confessed, “I’ve sinned. I’ve trampled roughshod over God’s Word and your instructions. I cared more about pleasing the people. I let them tell me what to do."
BOOM! *Sammy with the mic drop*
First things first: you are not responsible for other people's behavior, responses, or reactions; you are responsible for your obedience. Saul lost his entire kingdom because he cared more about what other people thought and said than he did God's Word. It's time to walk away from people pleasing. When you fear man, you posture your heart towards obeying and serving man. When you fear God, you're well on your way to obeying and serving Him.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. God never calls you to less. There is ALWAYS more in Him. Is obedience uncomfortable? Definitely! Is it worth it? Heck Yes!
Someone that I love very much said these words a few weeks ago: "Do you believe in the dream that God gave you or not? God has the plan; you just have to accept the answer and walk it out."
God has not forgotten about you. He's not leading you into the wilderness to leave you there. Whose voice is the biggest in your life? To whom will you choose to listen? Can you do it alone? Can you do it afraid? Your answers - Your dreams - Your desires ... they're in your obedience. Just say yes!