All over the place in my thoughts, I was trying to figure out how I was going to approach this situation. After a day of no peace because I was letting it consume my thoughts, I was basically at the "ok God let me just try another way" point. I was trying my best to avoid responding in a "Tasha (what could be a little rachet when I'm mad)" way and instead seek God's way!
As I am waiting for the answer to fall out of the sky FOR ME, God commands me to pray for other people. I knew I had to be hearing Him incorrectly because that had nothing to do with what I was asking of Him. I was asking for the answer to my problem as humble as I knew how (as we say in the Baptist church LOL). It wasn't like I was asking for a million dollars so I was expecting a quick (emphasis on quick), clear-cut answer on how to handle this situation.
Trying to patiently wait and not move before God, I busied myself with my normal evening routine: picked up the kids, went home and fixed dinner, etc. After dinner, the kids and I recapped their day, read books, played, and then began to prepare for our bedtime routine. We took showers, brushed teeth, read another book, and I tucked them in for bed... all while STILL waiting on an answer from God (impatient at this point). I continued to keep myself busy giving God a chance to get his answer together (like He, with all the answers, needed MY time) LOL. So, here it was time for me to prepare for bed. I was almost dreading it because I knew, once my head hit the pillow, my mind was ready to go a million miles per hour trying to figure it all out! Therefore, I went to bed with a strategy:
Open my Bible App.
Read a scripture and meditate.
As I am doing all of this, the only thing that is resounding in my head is PRAY FOR OTHER PEOPLE! I am bargaining with God at this point because I had already been praying for friends that confide in me, my family, my children... you know the norm! Just this time I was asking God for something only for me! Finally I gave in and decided to post a status on Facebook posing the question “What can I pray for, for you?"
I was prepared for no one to respond so I could then go back to God and say I tried to be obedient. Turns out about 20 people responded pouring their precious hearts out about prayers they wanted me to petition and take to the throne of God. Others had written me privately being very open and specific. So now I felt an obligation to pray for them and be obedient. At about 11pm, I went to each person’s request, and prayed for them individually, specifically based on what they asked and whatever naturally flowed from my heart.
The next DAY, I log into my Facebook app and see there is a notification. I knew it would be a random MEME or a family tag. Low and behold it is a friend's TESTIMONY about how her situation had changed AFTER my prayer just the night before.
Ultimately, I was no longer worried about my situation because I was happy about her awesome news! She doesn’t know but I had literally been following her journey since she announced the birth of her son. I was a ball of emotions because:
I didn’t think my prayers really made it to Heaven like that or that quick LOL. Let's not forget I was praying for an answer for myself that same night and got nothing.
I started to think about what would’ve happened if I wasn’t obedient. Sure God would have still made a way for precious Baby Briggs. However, what if the “immediate turnaround” was sitting on my shoulders and I had not done what I was supposed to do?
I thought about how I was selfishly only looking for an answer for myself so I was offering God a sacrifice instead of being obedient when he first told me to pray for others.
I started to think about who I might need to remove from my friends list because God told them to pray for me and they didn’t therefore I am still waiting on some answered prayers LOL.
What is sacrifice?
Sacrifice is like bargaining with God. It is basically saying, “God I won't do exactly that but what I am going to do is x, y, and z!" Sacrifice, in this sense, is like an attempt to gain independence from God and putting more trust in yourself than Him.
What is obedience?
The response of someone who is in a relationship of trust with God. When you trust someone, you’ll do what they say. You might not know the plan but, because you know Him, you know it can only work out for your good in the end!
Letting God be God - The leader. The one who tells you WHAT to do and you DO it when you are told.
Showing dependency to Him and your ability to surrender. - This is showing God that you desire to stay in His Will. So, to live your best life you know you must surrender to His way and be obedient, even if what He is telling you to do is not what you think you should do.
Not idolizing your way over God’s way and doing what you want instead what He is calling you to do - If you choose your way, at that very moment you are basically telling God (with all the answers and all control), “Nah I got something better watch this!” The problem with this is He is the One who created you, laid out the days of your life, and knows your exact purpose (Jeremiah 29:11). I couldn't go to Steve Jobs and tell him how to work an iPhone so I definitely couldn't go to God and tell him how my life is supposed to be.
Showing FAITH! - That must be the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” to not have all the pieces (who, what, when, where, and the biggest piece... THE WHY) but still do it! This pleases God and He rewards you in return (Hebrews 11:6).
Why is obedience better than sacrifice?
If we offer God a sacrifice (if I would have said well God I won’t pray for others but I will just stop asking you for my prayers), we are pretty much demanding our rights and living as we wish, not living according to His Word. God's Word is like a locked box filled with lots of blessings and promises. We unlock it by using the key of obedience (Deuteronomy 28:14). Besides, we have no idea what God is working out for us behind the scenes while we are being obedient. Are you obeying God or offering him a sacrifice?
1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.