Oswald Chambers once said, “If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us and that is where the pain begins.” Our obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit has a powerful consequence. It can cause someone to become upset, frustrated and to suffer inner pain. On the other hand, the result of another person’s obedience to God might also be the cause of our own pain. The purposes of God are often hidden to those involved and He uses us to affect one another in powerful ways.
Have there ever been times when you have not wanted to obey immediately because you knew that if you said what the Lord wanted you to say, it would cause another person discomfort or even emotional pain? Not obeying might have been so much easier! It would have instantly resolved the situation and brought emotional relief, but it would have grieved the Lord. If you are a parent, you have been willing to incur your child’s wrath for however long it takes, just because you have drawn the line. In the same way we may have to be willing to suffer anger, humiliation, disdain and rejection from others, just because we obeyed. Sometimes people’s rejection is God’s protection! God teaches us that He will take care of the consequences in the other person’s life; we simply do and say what we are asked to. We are not here to win a popularity contest; we are sent to fulfill His purpose for us and the other person. The peace and pleasure that comes with obedience is indescribable.
How amusing it must be for our heavenly Father, when we, His foolish child, try to make a case with Him. How patient, caring and loving He is!
“Lord, would it be ok if I did this next week or next month? I don’t think the timing is right. What if they respond badly? What will they think of me?” “What if I get fired or lose my friend?” And His answer seemed to be, “I’ll tell you when the time is right. To the other person, who doesn’t want to deal with this, the timing may never seem right. It is not important what they think of you. It is really only my opinion of you that counts after all is said and done.”
“But Lord, you know that I have so many issues in my own life that need addressing. I’m not without sin; I should not even say a thing. I don’t think I’m ready.” And He seemed to answer, “What you think of you, doesn’t matter; I’ll look after your issues the same time as I deal with the other person’s. I am in control. You’ve yielded your life to me; now prove your commitment.”
“But Father, I’m not sure my motive is pure and that I’m not doing this for personal reasons. Can’t it wait and I pray this through some more, lots more, until I’m sure of my motives?” “Your side of heaven your motives will never be perfect, ideal or perfectly pure. Don’t just pray; but obey; I’ll take care of the consequences. I’ll turn all the hurts and damages into benefits. Watch me at work. Trust me,” I sensed Him say.
For us to obediently rebuke in love, confront in love, or speak truth in love may hurt someone's feelings, but it won’t harm. It brings the kind of pain that facilitates healing on the journey to wholeness. The heart attuned to God will receive the reprimand or rebuke and will credit the proper Source. The heart attuned to God will realize that the bringer of the message wanted to obey God more than man. The heart attuned to God will respect the other person for having Holy Spirit boldness and a spirit of caring enough to confront. The heart attuned to God will recognize and learn life lessons taught through His Word, His Spirit, as well as those in the body of Christ. Hearts attuned to God will reverence the Lord, because the rebuke revealed meaning, significance and results for them; if they but listen. Stay in tune with God and obey! That’s love! That’s wisdom!
31 minutes ago