Foreknowledge, Discipline, and My Disobedience

This morning I woke up feeling horrible (I would love to say like crap, but I have a feeling that those of you who know my mentor would quickly snitch on me LOL). It is one of those days that you struggle to do the basic things for the day like get out of bed, get dressed, walk, talk, start your car, everything feels like a chore. There is a characteristic of God that I find incredibly fascinating and yet probably the one I often give the least credence to. That characteristic is the foreknowledge of God. He is all knowing. He is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, He perfectly understands tomorrow as well as He knows yesterday.

I have been praying to see souls saved in this school for over a year. Around three weeks ago I was sitting in my office praying during my lunch break and God began to speak to me about what I needed to do personally to be a witness. I had over a page of notes when He was finished with three main points. I needed to be fed (spiritually), led (by the Spirit), and Rested.

God gave me scripture for each of the three points and I begin to think about how to put more implementation of these points into my life. Obviously being rested is the one I found to be the least spiritual and consequently least important. In Mark chapter 6 Jesus had sent the disciples out to do ministry and in verse 31 we see that Jesus forced the disciples to go take some rest time.

Last week I begin to finally see fruit from my times in prayer, fasting, weeping, evangelizing, etc for these students.  By the weekend last week I was built up and encouraged as I saw many students begin to ask spiritual questions, asking about Jesus, church, and also changing. Several students came to me for prayer and asking for help to get their lives right with God. HALLELUJAH!

It is no longer surprising to me that when I see great victory, immediately following will be great attack. Thank God, that He who is in me is greater than He that is in the world. I had a busy weekend along with some of life’s rough moments and started this week off already seeing that it would be a FIGHT for faith this week.

Tuesday started and I could tell that my body was not running at 100%. I figured it was just from having a tournament Saturday, busy Sunday, games on Monday, and perhaps I was just a little tired. Wednesday I woke up and once again I felt a little rough, a cough had developed, headaches, and slight runny nose. Yet again though, I paid no attention to it. We had games Tuesday night and church Wednesday, I kept on with life as usual.

Thursday I woke up with a slight fever and achy. I begin to pray. Father, I declare scriptures over my body every day, multiple times a day, I’ve been praying, I’ve been taking vitamin C everyday like crazy, what’s going on with my body!?! And the Holy Spirit in His great mercy reminded me of three things I need to be a witness. Fed, Led, and RESTED. I had taken no time for rest.

This is where God had to put things on my level. As disciplined as you want to be about Bible study, prayer, exercise, nutrition, cleanliness, that is how disciplined you need to be about rest. OUCH. Rest does not seem spiritual AT ALL! I strive daily to be disciplined in my life, in fact I love the journey of self discipline, but rest does not seem to fit into my idea of self discipline.

You can see clearly something God was trying to do and let me show you my response. Thursday is my afternoon off every week. We practice all of our volleyball teams in the mornings and I have off from 2:40 ish until college and career bible study at 7. When I first got off from work I went for a 2 mile run with a co-worker. Then I got home and paid bills, then I cleaned my house, then I washed and cleaned my car, then I went to run an errand, then I finally got home about 6 o’clock with an hour to get ready before Bible study. However, I heard my neighbor walk outside and saw she was going for a run and decided to join her. So, by the time we were done it was 6:30 and I needed to shower and go to Bible study.

As I stated earlier I woke up this morning feeling terrible and I began to whine to the Lord (Yes I often whine to Him and then He puts me in my place). “God I don’t feel well, I don’t feel healed, I feel terrible” (I know there is a lot to say here about faith, healing, feelings, etc but we’ll save that for another day LOL) The Lord gently reminded me of what He had been saying to me for 3 weeks now (actually quite a bit longer). He had told me just yesterday morning that I needed to be as disciplined about rest as I am about other areas of my life, He had told me that to be a witness I needed to rest, and I chose to disobey Him. I made the decision to do the opposite of what He had told me. James says to confess your sins to one another that you may be healed, so I have to be honest.

I often think that I know what is best, that I know what I need, and I get to decide what is expected out of me. I think the best is to be disciplined, to work hard, to push yourself, to be effective in everything you do, don’t waste time, be productive, etc. but God knows my future, He knows tomorrow, and what He expects is OBEDIENCE TO HIM.

Yesterday doing those things made me feel productive, they made me feel disciplined, they made me feel like I was doing what needed to be done, but all of that was what made me feel good, it was what I wanted to do. Simply put it was disobedience, it was sin.

God knew three weeks ago that I would need to be Fed, Led, and Rested to continue being the witness that I need to be for these kids that are so hungry for the Lord right now. He told me what to do and I chose to do what I thought was best. Thank God He is merciful, full of grace, loving, and forgiving.

When I was in college I was mentored by an amazing woman of God and she often said something to me that God brings to my remembrance many times in my life. She always said “Jess sometimes taking a nap is the most spiritual thing you can do”. I hated that. I hated that she said that and I never wanted to listen to her. Taking a nap, “resting”, relaxing, does not sound, look, or seem spiritual. It does not seem like “discipline”. Over the years of life, mission field, ministry, job, etc. I have seen God confirm her words hundreds of times. You are right Annette, sometimes resting, relaxing, napping, is not only spiritual, it’s simply obedience.

Perhaps today you just need to take a nap and REST. Perhaps you just need to be reminded that God knows what tomorrow brings. Perhaps we all just need to remember that we don’t have every answer. Perhaps we just need to be reminded who does.

Be Blessed, J. Tate