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November 3, 2022

God, Weird Things, & Obedience

By:
Katie
St. Clair

God asks us to do weird things sometimes. And it's Scriptural.

God asked Noah to build an ark (Gen. 6:14), He told Joshua and his men to march around the city of Jericho for six days (Joshua 6:2-3), and Jesus told his disciples to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10:8 NIV). These are some rather extreme directives, and they aren’t even the most extreme found in the Bible. Here are a few that are a bit easier to follow:

“Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'” Mark 11:1b-3 (ESV)
"Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” Luke 22:8-12 (ESV)

Whether the things God tells us are strange or simple, confusing or straightforward, He always knows what's best.

We, like our Heavenly Father, also ask people to do weird things sometimes. For example, in The Karate Kid, there is the famous “wax on, wax off” training Daniel receives from Mr. Miyagi that turns out to be a blocking strategy. These things are considered weird because they are unusual and/or the purpose behind them isn’t immediately understood. They also take varying degrees of courage, determination, and effort to obey. Nevertheless, obedience brought forth positive results.

I remember the first time God asked me to pray for someone I didn’t know. I was in a crowded church during a service. I was a teenager sitting in a seat in the middle of a row. God pinpointed a man that was about 20 feet away from me in an aisle chair. Stand up, cross in front of half my row, then cross a quarter of the front of the church, and then pray for a man I have never seen before, all while the service is going on? No way! My heart kept pounding and pounding harder with every minute. It became the focus of all I could think about. It was nuts. Crazy. Yet I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and God would not leave me alone about it.

So I got up, crossed in front of the church while a man was preaching (*facepalm*), then sat on the floor beside this guy (I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible), put my hand on his leg, and silently prayed for him. As soon as I felt in my spirit I was done, I quickly went back to my seat. Immediately after the service ended, the man sought me out. He was going through a divorce, and he was desperate for a touch from God.

What if your strange obedience led to someone else's breakthrough?

Fast forward about 10 years when I was in my mid-twenties, and I was visiting a church. More specifically, the youth group as I had been invited by the youth pastor. It may have been my first time there. There came a time of prayer, and God placed this young woman on my heart to pray for her. By this time, praying for someone I don’t know was no longer something I struggled with obeying pretty readily. As I prayed for her, the prophetic words that came out of my mouth were about how God cares about her, not just her parents.

Then God told me the name, "Amanda." I paused. Hesitated. It’s one thing to give prophetic words that can be applicable to the general populace. Quite another to be this specific. I chickened out from declaring this word with boldness as I had been doing and instead asked, “Um, does the name 'Amanda' mean anything to you?”

Her eyes widened and she became speechless—and by that I mean she became soundless. No sound emitted from her open mouth. Her boyfriend, however, who was beside us, backed up several steps as he gasped. “That’s her name!,” he declared. “That’s her name!” When I looked back at Amanda, all she could do was nod. I smiled and said, “Well, see, there ya go. God knows who you are.” God knows how to reach His children.

Sometimes the weird things God asks us to do are for our benefit, and sometimes they are for the benefit of someone else. And I think sometimes God uses it as a training vessel. It’s practice for hearing God’s voice and obeying him.

The day I wrote this article I went grocery shopping. God nudged me to go to where my usual creamer is located. I didn’t need creamer, and I didn’t plan to go over there. In fact, I was considering buying a different creamer next time because the price had increased by $0.50 the last time I bought it. But “wasting” a few moments to go over there isn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. There was a sale going on: buy 3, save $2 each. So I bought 3 and saved $6. Because God is good like that.

If you consistently don’t follow God’s nudge to, for example, take a different road home, then you’re not presenting yourself as someone who will obey Him in bigger things. But be forewarned: the better you become at hearing God’s voice and obeying Him, He’s going to ask more significant things of you. But also, the better the benefits. “Take a different road home” is very minor compared to “move to the other side of the world.” Or God may ask you to move back to your hometown when you don’t want to. Following and obeying God is not always easy, and it is certainly not always comfortable. But being in an uncomfortable situation that is exactly where Yahweh wants you to be is so much better than anywhere else.

And yes, I know. that’s weird.

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