The Rewards of Obedience

 It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; He wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; He demands our obedience.

man praying

~ Charles Colson as quoted in Mike Huckabee’s God Fruits


Why is it hard sometimes to give God what he wants most from us—our obedience?


It’s easy to obey in some things.

Yes, Lord, I’ll go to church every Sunday. And I’ll volunteer in the nursery or the parking lot, wherever they need me.

Yes, Lord, I’ll spend time each day reading the Bible and praying.

Yes, Lord, I’ll bless the food before every meal.


But then there are times when it’s hard to obey.

Tithe? I’m not sure about this tithing thing, Lord. Are you sure it’s scriptural?

Go with the church into a town devastated by a tornado or hurricane. I don’t know, Lord. There’s no electricity or working toilets. Can’t I just give a little extra instead?

Buy a meal for a homeless person? I can do that, Lord.

Sit with them, listen to them, minister to them, pray for them. I don’t know Lord. I’ve got to get the kids to Little League.


Give up my job and move to the mission field? Are you nuts, Lord? No offense.


Leave my family and move to another part of the country to serve in a ministry? That’s asking a lot, Lord.


Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of PaperBe a writer? Get up early. Stay up late. To type words into a computer that nobody seems interested in reading. To send query after query and receive rejection after rejection. To have critique partners give me a deer-in-the-headlights look when my beautiful writing leaves them confused and questioning if English is my primary language. To walk into a world with it’s own jargon (show, don’t tell; point of view; three act structure), a world that sometimes seems like a granola festival—full of fruits, nuts, and flakes. To put my ego out there to be flayed, fileted and fried.


I’ve learned—okay, I’m still learning every day—to be obedient in the little things. This will develop the strength and faith in him to be faithful in the big things.


Being obedient to his call to write is a big thing. It requires humbling myself, it requires sacrifice of time and finances, it requires risking, putting aside comfort and pride, and doing what he puts on my heart.


And it’s worth it. For the reward. Not the financial or ego rewards, although they are nice. I’m talking about the reward of standing before him and hearing him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

8 Responses to The Rewards of Obedience

  1. Teri Jones August 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I needed this today. Actually, I need this every day. Thank you for the encouragement to keep my eyes on the only One whose opinion matters.

  2. Heather August 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Well said, Henry! Thank you for the honesty and encouragement.

  3. Janice C. Johnson August 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I so appreciate you and all the other awesome Christian writers who “flesh out” our faith in story.
    Thanks for the encouraging post!

  4. Henry August 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Janice,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I thankful my words blessed and encouraged you.

  5. Henry August 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Heather,

    It’s good to hear from you. I’m blessed my words ministered to you.

  6. Henry August 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Hi Teri,

    I appreciate you for reading my blog and leaving a comment. I’m honored you found encouragement in my post.

  7. Jacqueline Stem August 29, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    You have a wonderful way with words, Henry. We are not all called to do all things, but where we are, it sure makes us feel better to obey.

  8. Henry August 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Amen, Jackie. Thanks for your comment. We can’t do everything, but He equips us for what He has called us to do.

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