Sometimes there is a fork in the road with two paths. One path is logical, esteemed, and seemingly fulfilling sprinkled in with some noticed altruism. The other path is not as popular, not as logical, and is a death of earthly ambition, but it is infused with peace and a luring that this is the path to choose. One path is sensible, applauding, and relevant; The alternative appears like a waste of gifting, like going backwards, but clearly the path where the Father is calling. This is the path of obedience! This path requires surrender to understanding and control. This is a path that sometimes hurts.
Why would the path of obedience have to hurt? Doesn’t God remove and heal hurts? Why does He sometimes lead us down paths that hurt…No, actually CRUSH? I didn’t know that choosing the obedient path would crush my heart so deeply, shatter my ambition, and press out of me so much for so long.
All I desired is to do what was right, but in exchange, following the path was pain. Pain in the night, night after night; The other path seemed right. I was too far down this obedient path to jump ship. I was so tempted to jump to the other path. The other path brings security, visibility, and relieves the pain. Oh, that crushing pain that doesn’t go away with the next season. As the seasons connect, the pains actually increase – like birth pains. This obedient path feels like birth pains. It’s unbearable with mild reprieve between between contractions. But this obedient path also leads to life-giving BIRTH. Birth to something so special, so supernatural, so anointed.
This crushing, obedient path is not designed for everyone, but for those He ordains and calls to walk along it’s lonely curves. This is not a common or understood path, but a path of greater testing, purification, and proving. Proving that a heart is wholly His. Proving that trust and obedience to Him are chosen over pain and comfort. Proving that you will follow no other god or idol. Yielding logic for faith. Being unknown and unseen by others, but seen by God. Yes, this is the path of obedience I didn’t know would cost so much, but this is the path that leads to more of Him and more trust by Him.
Abraham lived a life of obedient testing and he became a Father of many nations. David was forgotten, uninvited, and chased down for years, but he lead the people of Israel and was known as a man after God’s own heart. Hannah wept bitterly as she was mocked, misunderstood, and moaned in pain, but she gave birth to a prominent prophet of the day. Joseph had a dream and his dream was shattered when his brothers rejected him and sold him into slavery while being misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misrepresented for following the obedient path. He became a means to feed and save his nation. The list goes on and on of Biblical examples who followed painful, obedient paths that prepared them for a specific purpose involving His people. The greater the assignment; The greater the tests; The greater the crushing.
Do you find yourself on an obedient path that is beyond difficult? Be encouraged in your soul and spirit today. You are not alone. Many have gone before us and followed the unlikely, misunderstood, obedient path. Stay the course, for in due time you will give birth to something bigger than you. Something that feeds His people and brings life to the world.