September 10, 2018
"Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Philippians 2:4 (NLT)
It had been a long drive, and my stomach was growling like a bear. Since I'm a don't-stop-until-you-get-home driver, I decided to enjoy the drive-thru dining experience. I called out my order into the bulky box, drove around the building and received my meal from a kind lady. Before I drove away, she said, "I just love your scarf!"
With an "Aw, thank you," I prepared to drive away, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to give the woman my scarf. Rather than immediately obeying - and in total disregard for the patrons behind me - I took my sweet time and put up an argument.
Why, Lord? She doesn't need this scarf. It won't even match what she is wearing. Please. No. It's my favorite.
Despite my stalling, I eventually came to terms with what God was asking me to do. Like yanking a bandage off a wound, I pulled my scarf from around my neck and politely handed it to the cashier. With a forced grin and clenched teeth, I said, "Here, I'd like you to have it."
I was secretly hoping she'd say, "Oh no, I can't," so I could get credit for the obedience (pitiful, I know). But she smiled and said, "Thank you so much." I drove away with my food and without my scarf. But the sacrifice of a scarf was nothing compared to what I'd deposited in my "Memory Bank of Faith."
Building Spirit-filled trust works like receiving money. Each time we receive funds, we deposit the money in our bank account, where it remains until we need it. Our Memory Bank of Faith works the same way. As we obey, we experience God's faithfulness.
We deposit His acts of faithfulness in our bank; then, when He asks us to do something we don't understand, or maybe don't want to do (like give away a scarf), we can make a withdrawal from our Memory Bank and confidently obey. Having previously experienced His faithfulness, we know that what He has asked us to do is completely trustworthy - even if it involves something unexpected.
You might be thinking, If obedience means giving away my favorite things, then I'm not sure I want to participate.
Yet as we begin to naturally respond to God with yes, we will realize that what we sacrifice or give away doesn't mean nearly as much as obeying God. I wrestled with my initial reactions and desires to obey. I was tempted to hold on to my wishes rather than harness myself to God's ways. It's okay to wrestle with our reactions, but God longs for our final response to be yes. We can never go wrong when we say yes to God.
In the drive-thru, I was given the opportunity to obey the Spirit's nudge and follow God's Word, "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too" (Philippians 2:4).
The next time the Holy Spirit nudges your heart to help a senior adult move her groceries to her car, assist a mom in carrying her family's food to the restaurant table, or drive past the close parking space so another person can park near the door, obey. Each time you do, you make another deposit in your Memory Bank of Faith and experience God anew.
I'll be the first to admit, trusting God through obedience can be fearsome, because we never know what He will ask us to do ... even while ordering lunch at a drive-thru.
Lord, I long to participate in the work You are doing around me. Quicken my ears to hear You. Stir my heart to obey You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 14:15, "If you love me, you will do what I command." (ERV)
John 13:35, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (NLT)
Sometimes when life feels routine, it's easy to succumb to the weariness of every unfulfilled dream and unanswered prayer. In Yes, No, and Maybe, Wendy Pope invites readers to discover the call to live the life Jesus died to give - the "immeasurably more" life. Along the way, they'll discover three words that can revitalize their relationship with Christ: yes, no, and maybe. Wendy Pope's newest book releases in just a few short weeks. Pre-order your copy of Yes, No, and Maybe: Living with the God of Immeasurably More today.
Connect with Wendy on her website, wendypope.org, and enter to win a Yes, No, and Maybe book bundle and learn more about the exciting things planned for the book's release.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Pray today's prayer for one week. Write down all the opportunities God gives you to obey Him as well your responses. Praise Him for the opportunity to experience His presence.
Join the conversation! Let us know in the comments how God has asked been asking you to trust Him lately.
© 2018 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105