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  • by Torema Thompson.

Obedience Over Appearance

This has been my hashtag since 2013 and is really the message that the Lord is birthing through my life. The saying was conceived in me when I wrote the extended edition of my first book, G.I.R.L Esteem (in 2013), and began as a movement to see young women prize the fear of the Lord over their physical appearance. Since then, and as I have continued in my own journey of Sonship, I have discovered that these words, which are so deeply embedded into my heart, really speak about:

  • Obedience no matter what it looks like.

  • Obedience no matter what I look like.

  • Obedience no matter what it costs.

That's really what I'm called to demonstrate and impart to others, and to me that is truly the definition of purity (my life's message).

Below is a post I wrote back on 31st October 2013. Over the past 6 years, Abba has done a wonder in unpacking His kingdom within me. Having also gone through what I have in my marriage the past 5+ years, I am seeing more clearly that what started (back in 2009) as a little social enterprise venture to help girls/young women with low self-esteem is actually far more than that. I still don't have the full picture and I am still waiting on the Lord in obedience; however, what I do know is that I am called to help others remain faithful (obedient) under severe difficulty, so that they might fulfil their destiny.

So here's the post I wrote on 31st October 2013, I pray it blesses you and encourages you to remain obedient despite what it looks like.

Obedience Over Appearance

Sometimes when God asks us to do something, it doesn't always look “good” to the onlooker. You can often be mocked, laughed at, or even accused of not having heard God’s voice in the first place. In this post I want to encourage you to hold on, and to continue to walk in obedience no matter who is laughing and no matter what your current situation may look like. Our God knows the end and He knows why He has asked you to do something. TRUST HIM! No matter what others may say and no matter how the devil may try and cause you to doubt, trust God that He is using your current trial for good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, KJV)
Abraham’s example

Abraham was told to take his only son and sacrifice him (Genesis 22). To put it plainly, the same God who says “Thou shall not kill” was telling Abraham to kill the same son that He had promised to bless him through. Now, try and imagine for a moment what persecution Abraham may have come against. I’m not talking about from unbelievers; I’m talking about from those of his household who may also have believed. Abraham was telling people that God had instructed him to pretty much do something any other pagan god could ask from their followers – sacrifice a human. In addition to that, it would have appeared that Abraham was contradicting what he had previously said God had told him (which is that he would become a great nation through Isaac). But Abraham knew God’s voice, and Abraham had faith. He had faith in WHO GOD IS. He believed that God is a God who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), and therefore if He had promised him a great nation through Isaac, then somehow He would still make that happen even if He had to raised Isaac to life again (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Do you see? Sometimes the way God wants to fulfil His promise may not be the way we originally saw it (because we never imagine our lives with trials and tribulations). However, if God has said something, hold on to Him with both hands because He is a faithful God!

The reason God allowed Abraham to go through that trial was to prove Abraham’s faith and fear of the Lord in him. God’s intention was never for Isaac to die, but to prove Abraham. So take heart. Whatever you are facing, know that in your place of obedience God has made a way out for you. The trial you are facing is not so that you can fall, but so that your faith may be perfected, and that you may receive a crown of life (James 1:12).

Jesus’ example

Now Jesus suffered more than any one of us could imagine, and yet He was obedient even unto death. To the spectator at the time, Jesus’ situation did not look good. In fact they mocked Him, and laughed at Him and even accused Him of things He had not done.

Before Jesus’ trial from the garden to the cross, He had spoken all the things God has told Him to say. To many, even to His disciples, they thought all the promises would come to pass immediately and without any trials or persecutions. But Jesus knew otherwise. He understood that God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). He understood that He would have to be humiliated in order for the Father’s will to be accomplished.

Imagine: Jesus was accused of blasphemy, He was accused of lying about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in 3 days and He was accused of lying about being a King, all because His “appearance” didn’t fit the ideal of man. But He was speaking the truth, and all these things did happen.

Brothers and sisters, let me encourage you. Our Father’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Even the devil thought he had won when Jesus was killed, but NO! Our God had a marvellous plan!

Rejoice today if your situation doesn’t appear to look good. Know that your faith pleases God, and He will reward you (Hebrews 11:6).

“...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. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11, NIV)

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