Obedience From A Weak Position!

If you have been in business long, you have likely found yourself in a weak position from time to time. Maybe key personnel left for other opportunities or a new competitor came onto the scene. Whatever the case, you knew your organization was vulnerable. What if God asked you to do something right then that could potentially wreck your fragile situation? Would obedience be easy for you?

obedience

Fragile Situation

Not too long ago, I had a key, long-term member of our company’s executive leadership team come to me and resign. His reasons were valid and I supported his decision though I did not want him to leave.

While there could have been worse times for this to happen, it was certain to cause massive change within the organization. I was seriously concerned about the ripple effect it would have on others in the company. I knew I had to tread lightly through the transition to minimize collateral damage.

A Choice To Make

Unfortunately, within days of this news I had to face another, more significant issue which violated one of our core values. This issue, if addressed, had the potential to do tremendous damage to the entire organization – especially in its weakened position! If ignored, there was a good possibility that nothing more would come of it – at least in the near term.

I prayed about the decision. I sought godly counsel. I wrestled with it from every angle. God’s answer became clear.

The problem was that certain circumstances muddied the picture. Whenever I looked at all that was involved in this picture, I got confused. It was easy to rationalize actually sweeping the whole thing under the rug without many people even knowing it ever happened. That was certainly the easiest thing to do.

Obedience?

I had the choice between obedience and ignoring the problem altogether.

Based on the feedback I received from godly counsel, the answer was simple. I must address the issue and face it head on. I had sought godly advice and received it. I had prayed about it. The only step remaining was obedience.

Similar Circumstances For Joshua

While the circumstances are not exactly the same, take a look at Joshua 5. The Israelites have just entered the land God had promised them. Unfortunately, it was still enemy territory. They were just miles from Jericho and everyone in that town knew they were coming to attack.

It was at this point that God told Joshua to have ALL the men circumcised! If Joshua followed God’s direction, his army would be incapacitated and completely vulnerable to attack (see Genesis 34). This condition would last for several days. How could he even consider doing this?

Just like me, Joshua found himself in an extremely vulnerable position. God gave him clear instructions. He had the choice between obedience and rebellion.

Choosing Obedience

Joshua chose obedience. God honored that choice.

In my situation, I chose obedience as well.

I truly hated the decision I had to make, but I hated the alternative of ignoring God even more.

God Is Faithful

Now that I am on the other side of the decision, I promise you that God is faithful when we choose obedience. None of the fears I had ever materialized. In fact, I found out my team is even stronger than I imagined.

What I really found out (again) is that God honors our faith in Him when we choose obedience. I cannot guarantee I will always choose the right path, but I know I will remember this particular situation for years to come. I encourage you to do the same and see how faithful our God truly is.

I recently read the following quote in Wiersbe’s study on the book of Joshua, called Be Strong.

It has been well said that faith is not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence.

How do you see this quote applying to your situation?

What does it say to you?

Where do you need to choose obedience despite the consequences?

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  • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

    Weirsbe quote is right on… doing right does not always bring easy choices. I am so glad God placed you on my path to inspire and encourage me. Thank you friend.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      It goes both ways, Coach! Thanks for your example as well!

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Some principles I try to get across to my kids related to this are “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” and “Sometimes you have to do the direct oppositive of what you feel like,” and “What you feel should not decide what you do.” But when the opportunity hits to really live those out and to live out what we teach and hear in scripture, it’s not so easy. You have a terrific victory here in obedience, and it is very inspiring. But I appreciate that you mention that who knows what decision you’ll make in future circumstances. You are rejoicing in this victory but staying aware of how failing the next time is always possible. I enjoy reading stories like this because I am hoping they are instilling in me how to make the right choices and preparing me for them in the future.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Kari, it is not easy. Simple, but not easy.

      We just have to remember to depend ONLY on Him and these decisions become easier. It is that first part that makes it really difficult!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Funny, I use that saying (Simple but not easy) often, and it’s humbling to have it said to me. Thank you for that!
        Depending ONLY on Him is so difficult yet so freeing. That’s the process of holiness/perfection/sanctification/excellence, right?

        • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

          You are welcome! And, yes, it is definitely a process. In fact, it is a process that often seems to repeat itself with me…I am still so dull!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Just talking to my accountability partner this morning about a couple of patterns in my life dating back to…. oh, I’m ashamed to admit how long they have been around. Finally though, I think we’re getting at the root cause. Maybe I’ll actualy learn from them and move on this time.

          • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

            Awareness is the first step! I am pulling for you!

  • Deno Rousopoulos

    It’s a good thing I pray for you. There’s a verse that says, “The prayers of a righteous Greek availith much.” And fortunately, I’ve been righteous lately…Ha! It’s funny how tough events sometimes make for the best blogs. You’re a good man!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Thanks Deno. I am trying to follow one.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I read Jeremiah 41-42 this morning. In those chapters a problem arises–the Babylonian-appointed governor is murdered. Leaders come to Jeremiah and ask, “Should we stay or we should we flee to Egypt? We’ll do what God says.” Jeremiah sought God’s answer over several days then returned to the leaders and said, “God says stay and you’ll be blessed or go and face the sword, famine, and pestilence.” I’m sure they expected a different answer because, despite the “We’ll do what God says” statement, they chose to go to Egypt. I haven’t gotten that far but I know they force Jeremiah to go with them as well.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      I love it when we seek God for the answer we already have in mind! Been there and done that! Not the best results…

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Tough words, huh? They are still ringing in my head…

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    I am glad to hear that Caleb. I really don’t have enough info, but my prayer would be whether God wants you there as an influence for Him or He wants you out of there so you are not caught up in it. Praying for you.

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  • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

    Faith is strengthened by reflections upon the past and seeing path that resulted, but is exercised in the present by the presence each day of ongoing challenges that can be seen as stumbling stones or stepping stones. Is it not true from God’s perspective, the greater the exercise of faith, the greater the opportunities He places before us?

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Unfortunately, I think that is true…

  • stthomas95

    It has been well said that faith is not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence.
    I needed this tonight .

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      I am glad He spoke to you through this!