I’m thrilled to have Poppy Smith as my guest today. This post is adapted from I’m Too Human to Be Like Jesus: Spiritual Growth for the Not-So-Perfect Woman.  I sure can identify with that. Welcome Poppy!

Poppy Smith“Lord, give me patience,” I prayed silently. “She is so irritating that I don’t think I can stand it!”

Driving to an event with another couple, I sat in the backseat with my companion, trapped and forced to listen to her non-stop monologue. She repeatedly jabbed her finger toward me, reinforcing her outrageous assertions. Apart from one brief challenge, I remained silent.

Staggering out of the car at our destination, I moaned to God, “I can’t face this again on the way home. I hate this and I don’t like what she’s saying or how dogmatic she is. But I know You love her. Please show me how I can love her, too.”

Much as I want to please God, it can be a challenge to do what Jesus commands and love others, especially people I’d rather avoid. In all honesty, I have to ask myself, “Does my willingness to please God depend on my circumstances or moods?” Too often, it does.

"I'm Too Human to be Like Jesus"In I’m Too Human to Be Like Jesus, I write about finding the spiritual P.O.W.E.R. to become more like Jesus. (This acrostic stands for: Prayer. Obedience. Word of God. Examination. And, Relinquishment.)

Obedience to Jesus—doing what He asks of us even when we’re irritated, frustrated, and ready to blow—is foundational to a life that reflects Him. It’s something we can’t do in our own strength, but we can do it in His. Difficult as it was, Jesus did what pleased His Father (John 17) and that’s what He asks of those who follow Him. Here are three reasons why:

1. Obedience proves we love Him (John 14:23). Words are easy to say but the genuineness of our claim is demonstrated by action. When Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi, he specifically complimented them on their obedience to God (Philippians 2:12).  Why were they obedient? Not for appearance sake, but because it was their heart’s desire. They longed to please God first, to do what made God happy.

Question: Has God shown you some action or attitude that needs changing? Join me in praying for the patience, understanding and love we need to do what He asks.

2. Obedience proves we trust Him (Joshua 1:1-2).  Doing what God says can be tough. When Joshua was told to get the Israelites ready to cross the river Jordan, the proof of trust was their obedience. When God asks you to do something difficult—to restore a broken friendship, to forgive a father or husband for betraying you, to wish the best for someone who got the promotion you wanted—your obedience proves you trust God.

Question: Do you listen to your feelings that scream, “I can’t do this”? (As I did!) Or will you say, like Joshua, “God, I know you love me and mean this for my best. I trust you and believe that you will help me to act as your child, regardless of circumstances.”

3. Obedience proves He is Lord. We live in a world that says, “Don’t let anyone tell you what to do,” but as Christians we’re called to willingly let Someone else do just that. When we say yes to Jesus and obey what He says, even if it’s costly, we’re declaring to those around us that following Him is more important than putting our preferences first. To obey says: Jesus is Lord.

Question: How do you show that your life is yielded to Jesus?

 

Bio: Poppy is funny, warm, and passionate about helping women grow spiritually and personally so they experience the love and power of Christ in life’s ups and downs. A former teaching leader with Bible Study Fellowship, Poppy has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and ministers extensively as a retreat and conference speaker both in the US and around the world. For more information about Poppy’s heart, her books and ministry, please visit her website at www.poppysmith.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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