Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)
TITLE: Obedience and the Fear of the Lord
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I was addicted to the site, and craved the reviews. While a member, I received a vast amount of instruction as a writer, but my allegiance to the site was stronger than my fear of the Lord. From the time my depression began, I became a very frustrated person. I was unhappy and disillusioned with many things, especially the things of God. My quiet time with the Lord diminished and was ineffective. At home, my relationship with my wife was strenuous. At church, I was disinterested and apprehensive. Basically, I was worshipping the gift instead of the Giver.
From the late days of December 2004 to the early days of January 2005, I struggled with being obedient to the Lord. The internet site, in and of itself, was not the source of harm, but my decision to put it first in my life was very destructive. As my refusal to obey continued, I became increasingly frustrated and weary.
On Saturday January 16, 2005, my wife and I attended a conference at Mustard Seed Fellowship in Lawrence, Kansas. The spokesperson at this conference was John Bevere. Mr. Bevere’s subject was “The Fear of God.” As he talked of things that we put above the Lord, I began to have an inner turmoil, to the extent that I became physically ill. My stomach was upset and my prostrate ached for the first time in a long while. I knew the Lord wanted me to release the internet site, but I did not want to. I knew I could not fear God and continue to be active on the site. At one point in the meeting, I became so ill that I had to exit the auditorium and go to the restroom. When I returned, John Bevere continued to talk of the fear of the Lord, and I wanted more of God, but I still battled letting go into complete obedience. Without doing so, I could not demonstrate the fear of the Lord, nor could I draw near to Him.
When it came time for the altar call, Mr. Bevere asked us to leave the thing the Lord was talking to us about at our seat and come forward. The Holy Spirit was actively speaking to my heart as I continued the inner warfare. I stood up to go the altar, but then turned back toward my seat. I could not honestly give up my activity on the internet site. I took one step toward the seat and stopped. I knew what I must do, so I reversed my decision and continued to the altar. There I relinquished my refusal to obey. A true peace came over me for the first time in a long while.
When we arrived home from the conference, it was late in the evening, and we were tired. We went to bed. I awoke at four o’clock in the morning and deleted all my writings from the internet site and asked that they cancel my account. It was an easy thing to do, and I felt the frustration roll away with each step I took in closing the account. God gave me permission to continue writing, and I believe He will open another avenue. The main thing is that I have obeyed God. My frustration disappeared. I drew near to God, and He drew near to me. The stress in my marriage diminished, as my wife and I talked after the conference, and I informed her of my decision.
It’s amazing how it worked. In my refusal to obey, I was deeply frustrated. When I acted obediently, the very thing I thought so important appeared to be such an insignificant thing. I wonder why I struggled for so long to let it go. I am glad that God bestows His grace upon us.
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