OBEDIENT: Hupakouo

While working through some ideas and thoughts for the Propel Article published back in April, I’d written the following. At the time, it wasn't suiting for the post and I was still unpacking so much of what God was teaching me through these words:

8 And being found in fashion as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient unto death,
        even the death of the cross. 
Philippians 2:8 KJV

The Greek word for “obedient” in this passage, is hupakouo, which means under authority, listening to what their superior is saying and carrying out the orders that have been given to them. This is what obedience means in Philippians, and what it means to us. It also tells us that Christ was Humbled so that He would experience the pain, for us to experience full healing. His pain paid for our sins and heals our souls.

Isn’t it incredible how intimate our Father is? He knew this portion would never make it into the article for Propel. Not because it’s content wasn’t worthy but because I hadn’t fully realized all He was sharing with me. From a young age, I’ve labeled myself a writer. Growing up, I would write letters to my parents to express my emotions (usually ending in an apology for my sassiness!). There has always been this otherworldly connection I had to the spirit world, through the written word. Through writing, I grew to know my Maker and understand my humanity. Writing has always been a visual representation of His love flowing through my veins.

Staring a blank page, I’d begin to welcome His presence. 'What word do you have for me today?' I ask. Sometimes He’d prompt me to listen to an album, read a verse, open a book, or express my current state of being. It’s through this process that I’m able to best hear His voice.

kaitlyn stephens author think like jesus devotional

Then one day, He asked me to share what I’d been writing. No, not everything I write is for the eyes of all of you. But many times, He will reveal truths to me through our writing sessions, that are meant to be shared.

I’m not a Theologian.
I’m not a Preacher.  
I’m not a Counselor.
I’m not a Prophet or a Healer.
I’m a Daughter, trying her best to obeying her Father.  

For those of you who have followed my journey over the past few years, you’ve most likely noticed I’ve gone nearly radio silent the past few months. I won’t lie, I’m not 100% okay. It’s been a very tough and ugly season for my husband and me. In light of this season of life, I’ve decided to express wisdom in not yet sharing all that we’ve walked through. Though, I do know that our Father of miracles is writing an incredible story of redemption! Amen!

I’d been cautioned to not share much of what I’ve been walking through, much less share it on social media. With good reason! But, somewhere in the chaos of wading through the waters of this season, I’d lost the desire to hear the voice of God. I’d placed more value and weight in the voice of those around me. Paralyzed by potentially causing others to misunderstand the truth of the gospel, I eradicated the mode of communication God had originally wooed with me as a young girl. I’d stopped being obedient.

46-47 While he was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers showed up. They were outside trying to get a message to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are out here, wanting to speak with you.”

48-50 Jesus didn’t respond directly, but said, “Who do you think my mother and brothers are?” He then stretched out his hand toward his disciples. “Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:47-50 MSG

Let’s be sure we’re on the same page here. I’m in no way saying to dismiss wise counsel in your life or not submit the God-appointed leadership of your Father, Husband or Pastor. Rather, take the wise counsel and hold it up next to the truth of the Gospel and the pattern of the goodness of God in your life.

Don't you just love the passage we just read from Matthew 12?!  Jesus is telling us that our obedience to Him is thicker than BLOOD. Obedience to Him will far outweigh obedience to earthly masters. Obeying Him can, should, and will cost you everything. I'm not saying you have to be the next Job. But I am saying, it can certainly cost you everything.

Your family and/or friends.
Your pride and worldly desires.
Your comfort.
Your perception of a 'dream life'.
Your church home.
Your idealistic world view.
Your vices. 

FOR REFLECTION:

  1. Is there something God’s calling you to be obedient to? What is it?

  2. What's the root cause of not aligning yourself with God's will? 

  3. What or who are you listening to besides God? What does it look like for you to work toward silencing the word and amplifying His voice?