Obedience Takes the Lid Off

Rarely do I post personal things anywhere on social media.  I might post a thought, opinion, feeling, etc; but rarely do I post something about myself. 

But today is different. I am seeing God’s faithfulness explode in my life, and I have to share it with you. For years, I have listened to my Pastor say from the platform that “when you are wanting God to take you further, or open new doors for you–Go back and do the last thing He told you to do first.” And while I’ve believed it, I have not applied to every part of my life. I said to myself, “I will walk in obedience in every area that is easy or only slightly hard for me.”  But recently, God brought another nugget to my attention.

Agreement isn’t always Obedience.

In other words, half obedience really isn’t obedience at all. “But God!” I told myself, “Look at all this time I spend in ministry, loving on Your people! I even lead them to sing Your praises. How much more obedient do You want me to be?”

And again, the Spirit spoke to my heart.

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

“Ouch.” (cue shame, guilt, etc.)

So now that I’ve shared the generalities, I will get personal. OK not too personal, but just enough.

For anyone who has ever known me, I am not a small person. Never have been. For a long time I have struggled with my weight. (disclaimer: I am NOT selling anything)

There, I said it. We can argue genetics all day long (my family has a history of this problem), but at the end of the day, I was doing nothing to stop it. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about it. If you ignore it long enough, it goes away. Right? Of course I wanted to do something about it, just not enough to actually do anything. But the truth of the matter is that for as long as I can remember hearing God’s voice, I know that He has wanted me to reject this and break it off. So, every now and again, I would crank up the work out routine, or embark on some other half-baked attempt. And I would lose 5-7 lbs and call it good.

“There. I did it. I obeyed.”

This is like the child who, when his mom took away the video game privileges, angrily shoves all his toys under his bed and called it clean.

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But I am now realizing that God has been lovingly trying to get my attention for years…

 

Here’s another part of me that you may be a little familiar with. I love to create music. LOVE LOVE LOVE to create music. I can orchestrate, compose, score, and whip up a really fun music bed for just about any video project you throw at me. There is one part of me, however, that been dormant over the last 4-5 years. As a worshiper, I long to write songs. Not just instrumental music, but songs that point people to the Love of their Creator. Songs that lead us to surrender and invite the Spirit to take over. But the last actual song I wrote was a long time ago. Sure, I’ve written a chorus to a hymn here and there, or helped improve someone else’s song, but actually sat down, opened my songwriting book (yes, it’s actually paper. not an app) and wrote a song. It’s actually been quite a sore topic for me. I wrote some in 2007 – 2008, but since then the flow of songs just trickled and stopped. I had grown quite accustomed to it, although it still hurt a little when friends all around me were getting inspired to write these heart-to-Jesus songs and I sat down and just got frustrated.

And then came July. Why July? I don’t really know what was special about July, but one day I broke. I was desperately asking God for something new, something fresh. And His reply, “What was the last thing I told you to do?” It took me a minute, or a day to figure it out. But one night at dinner, I realized what it was He had been telling me to do–for years. As I was prepping teaching material for a worship-related trip I was going on, Romans 12:1 jumped out at me from my Bible, and everything clicked. “Present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, this is my reasonable service of worship (to God).” A sacrifice is not something of ease or acceptance, but it is hard-fought.

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In that moment, I resolved to finally be obedient, and offer Him the last part of me I was holding back for fear of failure.

I decided to get by butt in shape.

I’m not going to go into how on this page. This is not one of those websites. I’m not going to try to sell you something. But I will say that it has been based in self-discipline. I invested money in fitness trackers, started watching every bite I ate, and learning the power of the word “no.” Boy has it been hard. And there have been many days where it took everything I had to resist the urge to skip my workout.  And 26 lbs later, I’m not even finished. But I am content in knowing that I am obeying.

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And then God showed up.

Two weeks ago, I was in a staff meeting at church, and the Lord spoke to my heart and told me to start writing. In a staff meeting, of all places. And within 5 minutes, He had given me 3 songs. Not half-baked choruses with scribbles in places instead of words, but whole songs. And since then, I’ve been given about 3 more. The lid has literally been blown off. No longer do I sit down at the piano and stare blankly at my book, my heart is overflowing with words and melodies that only have one source: the Holy Spirit of God. Since taking this faith step of obedience, I am learning a new meaning of the Spirit-empowered life. When we are obedient–fully obedient–He will take the lid off.  In all of this, He has shown me that He loves to respond to our faith and obedience. When we ask for His forgiveness, salvation, love, mercy, power, grace, Spirit, He hears. When we follow with obedience to Him, He shows up.

Which means I can now do the other “last thing He told me to do”… Finally make a record of my own.

So, I’m excited to tell you all that you can look for a record from me in the next year! I am so excited to share it with you all.

Here’s to the next step of the journey.

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// Oh- by the way- I will be posting a part 2 of the “making music is epic” post soon. It’s a work in progress. //

Comments ( 4 )

  • Michael…. Together we have heard the Lord speak over your life. The joy that rises up in me to hear the testimony of God through you makes me want to SHOUT! If it does this in me, I am confident that the God in you is accelerating to higher heights to express His Kingdom through you. Go Baby Go! Run the race that has been set before you. Throw off all those things that would entangle you and set your eyes on the Finisher and the Finish! Hallelujah!

  • Krista

    Thanks for sharing! You can’t hear me but I’m cheering you on from this side of the pond. Can’t wait to hear your new album. You’ve also challenged me to do the last thing God told me to do…learn piano. 🙂

  • Mikey (I can call you that ‘cuz you’re my COUZ’, lol), I just read your blog and I just want to say that I am so excited for you! I can relate, my friend 🙂 to your struggle, in my own way. Thanks for sharing your testimony of your struggle and your triumph. Just goes to show that when we persist in faith God will see to it that we’ll win, and our victory can in turn, inspire others. Thanks for sharing, and God Bless!

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