This passage addresses me.
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”
The following is one of my personal stories about obedience. I share it in hopes that it will help others to apply Gods Word in their own life.
Most of my life has been in service to others, I’m comfortable with it. Always it is seemed natural for me to want to assist others, even strangers. This desire has led me to seek knowledge and learn ways to give of myself. In this pursuit, any study I undertake is intense. To scratch the surface is never enough. God has given me a thirst to absorb more of the information. This has led to some colorful names (i.e. bookworm, Mr. know it all, etc.) over the years, but it has also placed me out in front of most of my peers. Often I have been given to serve as teacher, tutor, and or leader among them. I find it less of an effort to assist, mentor or encourage others to strive for their very best. The one drawback, as I see it comes with my sometimes imposing on others more than is sometimes wanted. I guess you could say that I’m preachy in a lot of ways. Having both preached and taught as it relates to the church, I know that I will minister in this way again. I didn’t arrive at this suddenly or with ease. As a matter of fact, for a good part of my life I think I have been trying to avoid the responsibility. The more I turn away, however, the more I find myself faced with this calling. God has molded my life with his skilled hands. He knows what He is doing and how to get His point across. I must be obedient… the direction of the Spirit is the only thing that now makes any sense; I stand ready to listen and follow.
I remember a young man, a kid really, back in jail. He came in full of anger and rage, not wanting to listen. Often he was at odds with the jailers and others. There was nothing good to come from his behavior. I saw a lot of myself at an earlier point in my life being a part of his makeup. I made the decision to reach out to him.
The more I tried to reach him the more resistance I met with. Still, with patience, and the help of the Holy Spirit, I kept at it. I shared from the Bible, told him about my own life and troubles, and let him know that God not only loved him but had a plan for his life. While trying to reach him I also attracted others. They were all eager to hear and study the Word of God. I started a regular Bible study and prayer circle. What started with one, took on a life of its own. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”(Matthew 18:20) This all because I listen to the call of the Spirit, and answered with an act of love. I was transferred from that part of the jail, as is often the case. I spent over a year away from that area, continuing to follow the call and minister where I was located. After all that time I found myself back in the same area, again. The same young man was still there, I had almost forgotten him. To my joy and the Glory of God, he had taken over both the prayer circle and Bible study, keeping them going. He told me that he had also started attending the visiting ministry service. The young man had given his life to God and continued the ministry in my absence. There was a visible change in the way he conducted himself. The anger and rage was gone. In its place was a spirit of giving mixed with a thirst to study the Word. I take no credit for this. It’s all the work of the Holy Spirit, but still it makes my heart glad like nothing that I can describe. As long as I am able to follow the call of the Spirit, I will be glad to do so. It matters not where or how, only that I remain obedient to the will of God.
I leave you with this reminder…
“Obedience is better than sacrifice.”