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Obedience

Teresa's dream

[Jesus'] mother told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
John 2:5

Teresa was a single mom with a dream. All her life people had told her that she was an entrepreneur. As a little girl she played store, ran the lemonade stand on the block, and organized the other children to play her games. Her dream was to start a business that would fulfill her gifting, help her support her children, and touch the lives of people in both redemptive and creative ways.

Teresa faced numerous obstacles. She was committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of her children. She felt she needed to be fiscally responsible with her funds. And single moms with two children often find it difficult to get the financing they need to start a new business. She was convinced her plan was from God, and yet to implement it in obedience to him would not be easy.

Teresa faced the same tension David encountered in 2 Samuel 8. He had become king of a conquered nation, and therefore, he fought battle after battle to achieve independence for Israel. As he gained each victory, he did two things. First, he hamstrung the horses. This made them incapable of pulling all the chariots being collected in victory. Second, he took much of the gold and silver he recovered in victory and put it into an irrevocable trust dedicated to Jehovah. This made it impossible to use this resource to finance more battles. David did these two things in obedience to God, who said that kings were not to collect horses and wealth, in order that their trust might be in him (Deut. 17).

Such obedience put David at great risk—so much so that when he fought both the Arameans and Edomites, he thought he would lose this two-front war (Ps. 60). Instead, God came to his aid in the Valley of Salt, and David became king of a conquering, not a conquered, nation. God was honored when David obeyed to the point of risk.

Teresa chose to follow the pattern of David. She risked everything, including her house, to start the business. The first year was so difficult that she lost her home. But then the business took off. It not only enabled her to touch many people, but the whole experience became an opportunity for her children to grow and develop.

Certainly we are called to be prudent stewards of what God has given us, and such bold risk taking isn't for everyone. But we are also called to do whatever Jesus tells us—even when the outcome is uncertain.

Paul Borden

Reflection
Has God given me a dream that is requiring some risk from me?

Prayer
Lord, help me to discern between foolish risk and obedience that does not count the cost.

"The eagle that soars Itself in the upper air does not worry how it is to cross rivers."

—Gladys Aylward (1902-1970), English missionary to China

July/August
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