Obedient Steps (Luke 7 Woman: Diary Entry #8)
44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. Luke 7:44-46
Think of your life right now. Think about your family, your mother, father, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. Are there any negative behaviors, traits or ideas that have seemed to move from one generation to the next? Could it be alcoholism, abuse, mental illness, health issues or emotional absenteeism? This list is not exhaustive. Think to yourself for just a moment. What has been passed down from your forefathers that has not been corrected or changed? We all have something.
In my family, we have so many things that have been passed down, but, what I can immediately identify is the breakdown of marriage and the absence of stable godly men. My mother, grandmother, great aunt and generations past have never been married. And, if they have gotten married, it was to an abusive [absentee] man who abandoned his responsibilities and left them alone to raise children. This is a sad truth. I have never met my father. I met my grandfather once, he visited us when I was about 7, and he never came back.
I spent my entire life lying about my father and family structure to compensate for the absence. I was too ashamed to tell people that I had never known him. I did not want my friends to think anything differently about me. I was whole, so I thought. I tried so hard to prove to myself and others that nothing was wrong with me and that I was just as good as everyone else. I was not missing anything. This led to so many pitfalls, including the pitfall that was the catalyst for this blog.
For years after giving my life to Christ, my prayers became solely focused on God sending me a husband to “lift the curse” and set my family free. I wanted, want so badly to stop the deterioration of so many generations. I became fixated on getting married. I can remember getting angry at God asking him, “God can you not see that I want to get married for a good reason? It’s not just to “be married” like most of these other women! I want to change the narrative.”
I remember getting so livid with God. “How could you say you love me, but you’re ok with me being single and I’m miserable? Do you not understand how important this is? How this can actually bring glory to your name!” After falling in love with a man who jilted me and married someone else, I was pretty sure that God did not care about me or changing the course of generations past or present. This turned into disappointment, which led to mistrust that gave birth to full blown doubt.
I was trying to reconcile within myself, how could God love me and leave me like this? I carried this for months. I didn’t know if God could be trusted with my hopes and dreams. What exactly was he doing up there?
What was he doing up there? He knew that I wanted to make a difference. He knew all along that I wanted to change the outcome of the generations to come. What I missed is that he knows, exactly how to break the curse and that “my way” is only going to lead to more destruction. I was sitting down in a class, recently, and we were discussing obedience. Just as clear as I am writing these words, were the words that came to my heart.
It is not the act of marriage that breaks the curse, it is your obedience to me.
I can pray about marriage all day long and hold my breath in anger. But, only God can break the curse over my family. And the way that I allow him access to do this is not through the act of getting married, it is through obedience.
God knows the pitfalls, weaknesses and proclivities of generations before. He knows what I am sensitive to and the patterns that can entangle me. The only way I can avoid the traps and lift the curse is through obedience. Obedience comes from a faithful relationship with God.
Remember Adam from the garden of Eden? Sin, brokenness, pain, hurt, the curse started from Adam. He was disobedient to God’s orders. Now, I am sure when Adam ate from the Tree he didn’t see himself as being disobedient. I’m sure he simply thought he was doing the right thing.
Like me, I just knew that marriage was going to break the curse and all I needed to do was find a suitable man who would do so. Like Adam, little did I know that there is more to it than that. Adam did not know the way, and his ignorance brought condemnation upon all of us. But, Jesus came to break the curse through obedience. My parents and grandparents did not know the way. They only did what they thought was right.
Romans 5:18, says that Adam’s one act of disobedience caused us all to be sinners. But, Jesus one act of obedience made a way for all to be righteous to those who accept it.
My prayer is that God will teach me how to be obedient to him. Obedience is the best indicator that I have become a true disciple of Christ. I must know what his word [what he wants for me] is saying and be in constant communication with him. Jesus was obedient because he was in constant communication with the father, living surrendered. Through his obedience freedom and righteousness is available to those who believe.
The Luke 7 Woman was obedient by surrendering to him. She washed Jesus’ feet and anointed his body before his death. I am sure she had no idea the impact her act of love would have on every follower of Christ to come. The impact it has on me, millenniums later.
In a male dominated culture, after the Luke 7 Woman came to anoint Jesus, Luke 8, illustrated women accompanying Jesus on his journeys. That was something almost unheard of! As I learn to become more obedient to God, I can only imagine what curses will be broken, who I will become, or the people who will be set free to be obedient to the Lord as well.
I will NOT sit here and tell you that being obedient to God is easy. Sometimes you get tired, you lose hope and you wonder about everything. There are even some days when I just want to have a family, I don’t care about the bigger picture. I just want what I want. During those times I pray for strength to want what God wants more.
Jesus was obedient and was lead to the cross. The Luke 7 Woman was obedient and risked public ridicule and humiliation. I have no idea what I will have to sacrifice in the name of obedience. However, I’m willing to take that risk. There are too many lives, generations ahead on the line.
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