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09 December, 2012

The School Of Obedience

 A few months prior to the Holy Spirit leading to my wilderness wanderings, I was led to a little book that changed my attitude drastically and really helped me grasp what God had awaited for me in the wilderness, which basically were trials after trials and trails inside of trials. My church was selling books that were of no used in the library, as I walked in there, there was this little book amongst all the other books. While I did not know the author yet, I felt compelled to buy the book. As, I got home, I started reading it, to my surprise I could not put it down because I found myself drawn to the writer’s words which felt as if all of it were meant for me specifically. The way I read the book felt as if I was drinking into it. My mind was so open and was capturing each data. What felt mesmerized to me was the fact I understood each word at a level that made me desire this life and I could see it all with the eyes of my heart.

By the time I reached the last chapter of the little book, I knew God was speaking to me, I knew something much deeper was about to happen in my life and I needed to remain alert and sober. The funny thing about this experience is that I did not know God yet, and I did not have an intimate relationship enough with the Holy Spirit to truly capture the experience. So, I still smile when I remember how I was so looking forward to what was to come, because I was so sure it was going to be good. Don’t get me wrong, I understood Christianity comes with trials but I never expected what was coming next. I never expected to reach the bottom where there was nowhere else to go. Even when I reached the bottom, I had no idea that it could actually fall off and I would find myself facing an abyss where I knew from that moment on, that life would never be the same again.

The little book in question is “The School Of Obedience” by Andrew Murray. When the bottom fell off my life and I found myself face to face with the abyss, the pain in my soul was overwhelming, by then it was almost three years since I read Andrew Murray’s book, and I was in the wilderness for a little over two years. I do not want to talk too much about what happened next because this is going to be part of my third book. But suffice to say this life with God is the most adventurous and awesome life one will ever know. Understanding the content of the book was God’s way of preparing me for my walk with Him. It was crucial to me to understand it was not up to me to claim His promises in time where I needed these promises the most, but what was important was finding and possessing the truth. And if at times like that you are focusing on the wrong promises, you might miss the boat, change the course and never even know it.

As Christians we have become professionals when it comes to putting shows on, conferences, and hold elaborate theories about the truth. We feel good when we use our big boy’s words to show off what we think we know, all the while through our own intellect. We get so puffed up and get on with those temporary sugars high in our empty pursue of the truth. I wish we could hold the press, hold the shows, and hold the conferences. Stop buying time, stop acting like one more show, or one more conference is going to make a difference. We are seeking for the truth as if it is out there, as if it is an unidentified object, or to some it seems the truth has done a good job at hiding itself.

I am not saying we should not go on putting conferences and shows to reach God’s people, not at all. But, I know with the gift of wisdom and discernment that have been given to me by God, a lot of us put on those shows as substitute to hide ourselves behind it all. We hide and spin our tails, because we know we have reached the point where a deeper commitment is to be made but the road, the uncertainties and the pain that could come with it are not palatable to us. So, we get busy convincing ourselves that God does not know what we are doing.

The School Of Obedience
The truth will not be found in one more conference or one more show. If we Christians we are tripping over it and we are no wiser, how do we expect the others to find it? What exactly are we offering them? – In essence we are saying to them “come and fail miserably like me”. The truth calls for real commitment, real surrender, and real obedience. Not in words but in actions. It is the life where the Church music has stopped, the testimonies stopped and everyone disappeared because the curtains have come down. Then you go home facing your own life. You face the uncertainties whether you will have a roof over your head tomorrow, or having children to feed yet you have no one to ask, or two red pennies to rub together. Try a life where you have been out of a job for so long you have no idea what is next, whether to give up to keep looking, you still have to provide for yourself and you are not old enough to retire. Try being a mother with only one child and you end up losing this child tragically in a senseless accident that could have been avoided. Try being a parent who lost few children all at once. Try being close to retirement and all of the sudden you lose even the shirt on your back.

If life has not taken you to places where you have more than one of these situations being your lot all at once, then it might make sense why you are still looking for the truth. When you are in situations where you stand there you have no idea whether your feet are touching the ground or whether you are cold or hot or if all of it is a nightmare. In your mind you want God to explain to you where exactly is He. How come all of the sudden when you need Him most, He is silent? You are trying to make sense of those promises in the Bible where you know for sure He says He will provide for you. You know for sure He says He will never leave you nor forsake you, yet, here you are, none of these promises seemed to apply to you. You start trying to understand where did you go wrong? Why you? And how do you continue when you have no idea or strength to put one foot in front of the other?  When darkness has become your life, the last thing you want to hear Him say to you is “I am the way the truth and life”. You feel like saying, yes I know that by heart God, but this does not tell me where I am going to sleep tomorrow.

When darkness surrounds you, then you find the truth, when you stop all anger, you stop trying to understand, you stop feeling sorry for yourself, you stop trying to work it out, and you have to bring yourself to a point where you even stop thinking about tomorrow while you are in the midst of an emergency for tomorrow. You throw yourself at Him and break down because you realize you made it all about you when all this time it was about Him. You repent and find refuge in His arms while telling Him take this life it is yours, lead me and I will follow. Now, this will not take the pain away from what the rest of your life is going to be. You might still have to find a shelter or your priority now might be which corner of the street you are going to sleep tomorrow and how you are going to survive your first time out there. But this time your WILL has become His will for you.
Is it easy? No. But as you find Him who is the truth, you find peace, and love. This, my brothers and sisters is just one example of how we find the truth that is nothing less than our Christ, our redeemer, our Master and Savior. The truth is Him. It is not an elusive thing and He isn't hiding either. On the contrary, He is in plain sight and we trip on Him every day. The truth has been revealed to all who wants Him, thousands of years ago and there is no need to decipher it either.  We still stumble on it, because we are as blind as the unbelievers. We find Him when we are ready to throw the towel and ready to embrace the adventure He sets us on. Good or bad, intense or dull, long or short, you will find yourself needing to surrender in obedience like Christ did. It is one thing to say that you surrender, but it is quite another thing when He leads you to a place where you live it out. It is quite another challenge to keep living a life of surrender. But it is doable, because your obedience has become His obedience.

Andrew Murray’s book “The School Of Obedience” will be ready for download tomorrow of course for free. I will have it for you in all formats