Obeying God in the Wilderness

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Submission is one of my favorite topics, not because I have mastered it, but as it is the will of God in my life. I realize my God delights when I happily submit to the authority He has placed over me. And the journey of submission is not easy for me; it requires self-denial, sacrifice and the most difficult choice of letting go of my egos. If there is anyone like me, I encourage you all to be of good courage. As we are weak, and His divine grace sustains in our weaknesses, one day we will reach to perfection in Christ Jesus, giving glory to God, our father. When life hits hard on us, it is we who decides whether or not to obey God in the wilderness.

Today, I came across a lovely post about El Roi; The God Who Sees Me by one of the “Fresh Grace For Today” authors, Susan Parish. She mentions the story of Hagar and how God provided her, but my thought wandered when I realized what God asked her. Genesis 16, says the story of Hagar, who was an Egyptian slave and was running away from her mistress, Sarai.

Genesis 16:7-9

The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.

“And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”

And, God spoke to my heart, about submission and I was reminded once again of the importance of submission in my life. How does it apply to our lives? The experience of Hagar was miserable, and she decided to run away from the hurts, pains, and all the mistreatments. Yeah, she was tired, she could not take it any longer. So, she decided to run away from everything.

obey god when feel like running away

But when she ran away….. God found her.



Genesis 16:7

“The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.”

And you know, when everything falls apart, you need to know that there is a God who finds you to lead you in the right direction.

If we think about Hagar, she might be having thousands of reasons for running away from her mistress, Sarai. And she did run away. But is that God wanted in her life?

God found her, and He asked her to go back and submit to her mistress. Would that be easy for her to go back again willingly to the painful situation which she believed to be over? She might have had plenty of reasons to justify herself when God asked her to do so. But she obeyed.

And when God asked her to submit, that was also followed by a great blessing.

Genesis 16:10

The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

So, how does this all relate to our daily lives?

Do you we submit to God in everything?

Do we listen to His tender voice in all the walks of our lives?

Do we listen to Him or are we just ignoring Him?

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4: 7-8)

So, what does it mean? Can we live a victorious Christian life going according to our plans alone? Sometimes, we fail to hear His tender voice which gives the right direction, but what if our hearts are hardened in listening to Him.

And the result is we fail to submit to the superior power of God; the devil will overpower us because we have gone far away from God.

The only solution is repenting once again, washing our filthy hearts and minds with the precious blood of Christ, and reconciling with God, by pleasing Him.

BIBLE VERSES ON SUBMISSION

Hebrews 12:9

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

James 4:7

Submit therefore to God Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 5:21

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Philippians 2:5-7

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Hebrews 13:17

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Romans 13:1-2

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

1 Peter 2:13

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

Ephesians 6:1

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:5

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

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  • Beautiful post, Sara! Obeying God’s call to submit is one that takes humbling ourselves because pride is so often intertwined in our refusal to do so. I’m your neighbor at Salt and Light. So glad to be visiting today. πŸ™‚

  • I’m studying Luke and just finished Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, so this really resonates with what God has brought to my heart and mind lately, Sara. It’s not easy for me to submit … probably not for most. But I’m encouraged by your words here today! Thanks so much, my friend!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. , thank you for writing it. I love your explanation of the story of Hagar; this was submission when it made sense to run away. God always has better plans when we obeyed Him. How I wish we can ask Hagar what it felt like for her to have obeyed and gone back. Another lesson for me to take is to trust God and follow God’s directions as He knows best.
    My prayer is that the Lord will send His Angels to find my family and I always in Jesus name.

  • Submission is SO hard! You would think, as believers we would be able to look back on our lives and trust His sovereignty and that ultimately HE is in control, but then our human nature takes over and we get scared, fear submitting FULLY to His will, though nothing really happens outside of His will ultimately…very good post! great wisdom thank you