If we can encourage others, we should encourage them.
~Romans 12:8

Monday, February 24, 2014

Obeying Puzzling Orders

He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
Acts 1:7-8 The Message

A Message from Anointed Messenger

I was flipping through the channels one day when I came across a scene from the movie Annapolis. I couldn't tell you much about the naval movie but in the only scene I saw the commanding officer told one of the soldiers to get into a body bag. There was a brief moment of hesitation but the puzzled soldier obediently got into the body bag. It was a bit gruesome as the bag was zipped up around the soldier's body, but then the commanding officer illustrated the point to the cadets gathered around watching that this was where their mistakes would end up - in a body bag. Selah.

The soldiers needed that graphic illustration to truly comprehend the gravity of their choices. Wrong decisions could cost lives. No harm came to that obedient soldier, but she had to get into that bag made for corpses by faith. I'm sure she was uncomfortable being confronted with her mortality in that manner yet she obediently followed orders. And in doing so she might have saved many lives by giving the watching soldiers a lesson they would never forget.

When I saw that scene I knew the Lord was reminding me that even though our human nature always wants to know "Why?", we are supposed to trust orders from our Commanding Officer without question. Just as the commanding officer was demonstrating a very important point to his soldiers, our lives serve as witnesses to the watching world. God at times asks us to do things we don't understand. At times I've felt like that obedient soldier must have surely felt: puzzled, uncomfortable, afraid...selected to perform an unpleasant task while the world around me watches. I don't always know why God instructs me to do some things, but I know He is always good and He always loves me. The reasoning may not become clear until the illustration is complete, and it may not become apparent in this lifetime. Regardless, my job is to trust and obey.

I think of the many heroes of the Bible that had to obey puzzling orders by faith. Noah was told to build an ark to prepare for a flood when it had never even rained. The Israelites were instructed to silently march around the walls of Jericho for seven days and then shout. Abram was told to leave his land and his people without even being told where he was going. Gideon was told to reduce the number of his soldiers for a battle that already seemed to favor his enemies. Jehoshaphat was instructed to face armed opponents using the weapons of praise and musical instruments. Moses was told to press forward though there was a sea in front of him and enemies behind him. These illustrations don't seem so shocking to us now because we're familiar with them, and we know it turned out OK. But those heroes didn't know what was going to happen, and it took faith to obey those puzzling orders.

God's Beloved I pray that when you are faced with puzzling orders from your LORD, when you feel like you've been singled out to do an unpleasant task, and when it seems you've been called to do an impossible assignment, you'll remember that your Commanding Officer can be trusted. Take comfort in knowing that just as things turned out well for that soldier, and those bible heroes, someday your story will also make sense.

9 Remember the things I have done in the past.
For I alone am God!
    I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future
before it even happens.
Everything I plan will come to pass,
for I do whatever I wish.
11 I will call a swift bird of prey from the east—
a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding.
I have said what I would do,
and I will do it.

Isaiah 46:9-11 New Living Translation

Lord I am grateful that You have not chosen me to do anything that I am not more than able to do. You have given me the Holy Spirit and empowered me to be Your witness in every circumstance. Help me trust You, even when I don't understand. When I am tempted to waver or doubt, remind me that You love me, and all things are working together for my good.



  1. Thank you for such a GREAT message. Gonna share to encourage others.

    1. Thank you so much Sunshine! You are more than welcome. God bless you for sharing to encourage others.


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