If you want me to.Throughout Scripture, God has il…

If you want me to.

Throughout Scripture, God has illustrated some amazing things to His people, both good and bad, often times through the preaching and lives of the prophets. Consider Hosea, who preached at a time of great sin and idolatry in his land. The people had turned away from the LORD and worshipped other gods. The LORD wanted to tell them that not only had they turned from Him unto others, but the consequences of these actions would be serious.

Another example is found in Isaiah. A certain people had again turned from the LORD and were committing abominable acts. This time they were acting as if they thought that the LORD did not know what they were doing. God wanted to communicate with them that in fact He saw more than they thought and that soon all of their evil deeds would be exposed; out in the open for all to see. What they thought they were doing in secret would be uncovered, they would be ashamed.

One last record is found early in history in the book of Genesis. God was very unhappy with all of mankind for they had all turned to their own way. Everything they did and thought was evil, all the time. God indicated that He even felt sorry that He had made man! As a result of their actions, God was going to destroy the earth and save the only man who had found favor in His sight – Noah. He told Noah the method of the destruction of the earth was going to be through a cataclysmic flood of water upon the earth. He then gave Noah instructions for the building of an ark, a large boat which would save Noah, his family, and a remnant from the animal kingdom.

I am sure these records are familiar to many of us, but I want to focus on something I have not yet mentioned about each account.

In Hosea, the method by which God was to communicate these things to the people was through Hosea’s life itself. So that the people could know and see what God was thinking about their idolatry, Hosea was told to marry a prostitute and have children with her. Just as the people had turned and “whored” themselves with idols and other nations, Hosea was uniting intimately with a whore. Hosea and his new wife would have children whose names would illustrate the fact that as a result of the people’s sins they would not receive the mercy of God and would no longer be His people.

For Isaiah, to illustrate vividly the fact that the people’s actions would be exposed, he was asked to walk around naked. Not just walk around naked when he preached one message, but walk around without any clothes for three years! Imagine what that would have been like.

In Noah’s case, we sometimes overlook the fact that his faith in God’s words included his belief in the flooding of the earth at a time in history when it had not even yet rained! To this point, a mist from the ground had given the needed water to the plants on the earth. Imagine Noah building this huge boat in the middle of dry land like say, Iowa, while being mocked daily by his neighbors. Noah, known as a preacher of righteousness, must have tried to share the news of the coming destruction with the people around him yet not one person repented in over 100 years of ark building.

So how does this all relate to my point today? I see three men in these records who were asked to do pretty crazy things – marry a prostitute, walk around naked for three years, and build a boat in the middle of Iowa when it had never even rained. But in each instance, these men did what God was asking them.

I believe the reason they did is because they really loved God. It did not matter what He was asking them to do, they were going to do it simply because He was asking. They loved God and knew His ways were higher than theirs. Even if they did not understand why He was asking what He was of their lives, they were willing to trust Him.

What about us? Do we really love God enough to do what He asks of us simply because He is asking? Do we trust that His ways are always true and right and He knows what is best for us in light of His plan?

What is God asking you to do? Turn off the TV? Turn the other cheek? Forgive those who have done wrong to you? Do your good deeds without looking for the praise of others? Stop stealing and start giving? Be gentle rather than violent? Praise Him rather than curse man?

At times it may seem like something God is asking of us is crazy or difficult or peculiar or challenging. However, if we truly love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength as Hosea, Isaiah, and Noah did, we will long to do what God is asking of us knowing that anything He asks of us is designed for us to bring Him glory. Perhaps what God is asking of us is not really crazy, difficult, peculiar, or challenging but it is us who are crazy, making it difficult, acting peculiar or being challenging.

Examine your heart today. Do you really love God? Are you willing to do what He asks of you?

He is not asking you to marry a harlot.
He is not asking me to walk around naked, even for three minutes.
He is asking us to be holy.
He is asking us to be His.
He is asking us to love Him.

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I’m not who I was
When I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone

So When the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to

When I cross over Jordan,
I’m gonna sing, gonna shout
I’m gonna look into Your eyes and see
You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that will lead me home to You
And I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

“If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens


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