God tells us that He “longs to be gracious” to us, and “waits on high to show compassion” (Isaiah 30:18). The simple act of obedience to Him releases His Spirit into the atmosphere and His blessing into our lives.
In February of 2011, one morning during my devotions I was suddenly convicted that I needed to call an old boss and confess to him that I’d not been scrupulous with my time years ago when I’d worked for him (it was a salaried sales job where I’d had a lot of freedom). In essence I had robbed the company by my laziness. I’d been employed by this company when I wasn’t walking with the LORD, and hadn’t spoken with this former boss in years. When I realized that morning of the need to do this, I’d no idea why it hadn’t occurred to me to do so before; but I knew I had to do it immediately.
Tracking down a company phone number, I got hold of my former boss. He graciously forgave me (he is a Christian) and shared his own testimony of being backslidden and coming out of that with a consuming hunger for the Lord and His word. We chatted at length, and he eventually asked me if I’d heard of a certain Bible teacher, who was one of his personal favorites. I had not, and he offered to send me some of this Bible teacher’s sermons and materials.
That was to be a life-transforming moment for me and my whole family. My husband and I gobbled up all the teaching material that he sent – it was the most enlightening, most enriching Biblical teaching I’d ever known. It set us free.
My husband and I have grown exponentially from feeding on such rich spiritual meat. Our marriage has prospered because of it, our children have benefited from it, and we’ve just been enjoying the Lord and His presence in far greater intimacy. We in turn have been catapulted into new dimensions with our own personal ministry, allowing us to touch the lives of hundreds of people and see them liberated and instructed.
Recently, I have been meditating on how much God does with the little bit we give Him. Specifically, what would I have missed if I’d never confessed when the Spirit told me to? I’d have missed out on so many blessings, not the least of which was deeper understanding of God’s word through great Bible teaching – better understanding of the nature of spiritual battles and how to win them. But I’d also never have been equipped with the understanding of how to tear down certain strongholds and speak truth to others whom I love. So, if I hadn’t been obedient to the Spirit, others totally unrelated to the situation would suffer from my disobedience.
Likewise, if my former boss hadn’t chosen to forgive me and bless me, I’d also have missed out. Which brings up another thing that struck me: if yielding to the Spirit stores up eternal treasure, then my old boss is actually reaping rewards through me because he chose to bless me. Not only that, my husband and I have been able to bless him and his wife through prayer and intercession — and the LORD has fully restored my past failure and has allowed me to be useful to this one-time employer after all!
Is the Lord bringing to mind something you need to confess to or ask forgiveness from someone? Somebody who’s wronged you whom you need to forgive? He is just longing to trade us beauty for ashes!