Obeying God in the Little Things

sour cream potato

I made a little batch of chili last night and by “little” I mean a teeny tiny saucepan just for me. My husband and daughter were having something different that they liked, but I had my heart set on a baked potato slathered in chili with a generous spoonful of sour cream on top.

I was actually excited as I popped open the lid of the sour cream, thinking how good this was going to taste; the spicy heat of the chili and the cool and creaminess of the sour cream. Yummy!

So when I dipped my spoon into the sour cream and heard “No” in my spirit, well, I was honestly upset. (Imagine a bratty little kid with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face and you’ll see me in that moment.)

A little side note here: I’ve been waiting to post what God is doing in my life concerning food, waiting for His timing and the lessons He’s working through me. So I can’t explain everything yet, but let me just say I’ve been disciplined by God recently and reminded to use moderation and wisdom when it comes to what I eat.

Well, I reasoned I wasn’t using too much of the sour cream and I knew there wasn’t a problem eating it. So I stood there debating with myself. I wanted sour cream. I knew the potato and chili wouldn’t be nearly as good without it. Besides, why would God tell me not to eat it?

I didn’t even wait for an answer. I thanked Him for the food, dismissing that I didn’t hear Him right, and proceeded to stuff my face.

So…I devoured my little meal, leaving the empty and dry potato skin staring up at me. I wanted to eat that part too (am I the only one who loves the potato skin?), so I went back for some more sour cream.

I dipped my spoon into the tub and began scraping the side, and that’s when I saw it. Mold. There was this dark and nasty mold on the side of the tub that I obviously didn’t see the first time. (And yes, I had checked the expiration date earlier and it was still fine.)

Well I made a doozy of a face, tried to keep my food down, and abandoned the spoon on the counter.

And then I apologized and asked God to please forgive me for not listening, for not obeying Him when He clearly told me “No.”

God was trying to protect me.

The lesson I learned: If you and I don’t obey God in the little things (like me walking away from sour cream and telling my bratty flesh to take a hike), how will we obey Him in the big things? How will we handle those crucial moments of forgiveness or extending mercy to someone?

And what about blessings? How many will we miss because we don’t obey Him in the little things?

But really the question is this: How can we honestly say we love God if we don’t obey Him?

My new prayer for the year has been, “I want more of You, Lord. And I want to love You more.”

And He has shown me through a tub of nasty and moldy sour cream (a fitting image for disobedience) how to love Him more:

Through obedience to Him in all things.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV.)

‘“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”’ (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT.)

40 thoughts on “Obeying God in the Little Things

    1. Grandpa would have said, “Jimmy, you don’t know what’s good.” 🙂 It’s usually delicious (when there is no mold, of course!). Yes, God is protecting and teaching…and I’m so thankful. I love you too, my sweet hubby.

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  1. I loved this post Joey! Similarly have been caught in the same situations where I want to eat something particularly in excess and I’ve heard that no also. By and large I largely ignore it because it’s food. I like food! God used mold to speak to you and He has also done the same showing things in other regards. All that to say, you were spot on…

    “But really the question is this: How can we honestly say we love God if we don’t obey Him?”

    Why call Me, Lord and do not the things I say?

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    1. Oh my goodness, I like food too! 🙂 It can be SO hard to turn away from it sometimes. BUT I’m thankful God teaches us to obey and is faithful to forgive us when we mess up. (He’s teaching me wisdom and moderation.) Thank you for reading and commenting and for letting me know I’m not alone. May we obey and love our Father more and more! Blessings to you!

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  2. We receive those little nudges from God all the time. I know there have been times when I refused to listen to Him. I knew there was a reason for His nudge. I am thankful He forgives me and loves me even when I don’t listen as I should.

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    1. Amen! I’m SOO thankful He forgives me when I don’t listen too. My goodness, I would be in a lot of trouble… I’m learning most of the time those nudges are for my own protection. We have such a loving Father! Blessings to you!!

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  3. Convicting blog.. God has called me to a task requiring patience- not my forte, despite the stereotype about preschool teachers. Thank you for the reminder that his ways are better than ours.

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    1. Bless your heart, I understand, Candice! And yes, His ways are always better…He can see the big picture (or the entire tub of sour cream in my case). Even when we don’t understand, we need to trust Him. (I’m telling myself this too!) Praying you can take a deep breath and move forward in obedience for your task…and that His blessings will unfold all around you when you do! 🙂

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  4. Great lesson here. My prayer, too – “I want more of You, Lord. And I want to love You more.” Amen. Blessings to you on your journey of obedience and faith!

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    1. Amen!! No matter how badly we want it (like my bratty flesh SO wanting that sour cream!), just obey God!! Thank you for reading and commenting, Afi. Blessings to you!

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  5. I have issues about food too. And I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve pushed doubts away with the same big lie: “It won’t hurt.” And now I’m taking serious medications dealing with issues in my stomach. Take care and watch for mold! God bless!

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    1. Oh Nancy, bless your heart – I totally understand! It sounds like we’ve been traveling on similar, difficult paths. Your comment is the second confirmation I’ve received today that it’s time to share more of my food journey. Thank you! In the meantime, please know you’re not alone in your struggles and never stop praying!! God is still healing people today. Praying for you, my dear Sister in Christ. And yes, let’s both watch out for mold! 🙂 God bless you abundantly!!

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  6. Joey, this is EXACTLY what I’m trying to do with food (and everything else) right now. Wow, your blog today is an amazing way to show God in action in our lives. Thank you for this! I just LOVE your writing.

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    1. Jessica, you are such a blessing to me! I hope we can both learn to obey God in the little and big things…and avoid all moldy sour cream! Thank you for all of your encouragement. I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you, that the old flu bug would leave you alone…hope it has! Blessings to you always, my dear Sister in Christ, and thank you again for ALL of your kindness and encouragement!

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  7. Great reminder that God always has our best interests at heart so we need to learn obedience from Him. I giggled as I thought of you standing there, arms folded, saying no. It does remind me of behavior from my grandchildren (and myself sometimes too)

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    1. I love that you giggled, Yvonne! I do too when I think about it, how absurd I was acting. Sheesh, how bratty could I be?! (Don’t answer that! 🙂 ) But I’m thankful God forgives and allows us to try again. Blessings to you!

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    1. Oh Michelle, you’re right…I didn’t see it coming either! 🙂 And yes, blessings 100% when we obey…SO much better than moldy sour cream!! Blessings to you, and thanks for reading!

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  8. When we learn to obey God in the little things, obeying Him in the big things comes much more naturally. I love how God teaches us through lessons like this!

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    1. I agree, Susan! It’s like He’s preparing us for bigger tasks. And I love how He teaches us too. I know this was/is a very humbling lesson and one I will never forget…especially the next time I want to use sour cream! Blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! I agree…our hungry tummies can sometimes have such control over us, evening bringing out the worst in our bratty flesh (or at least mine!). Blessings to you!!

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  9. Nothing like a good serving of chili! I like how God sends us messages even in the little things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ignored the nudging from the Holy Spirit. Do this or don’t do that. And I usually don’t even need that nudging! I know better and I know the consequences. So thankful that God wants a relationship and allows us to work at it. Thank you for this post.

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    1. Thank you, Stephen! And I agree…chili is wonderful, especially on a cold day! 🙂 And I’m so thankful too, thankful that God wants to have a relationship with us and never gives up on us…even when we mess up and ignore His nudges, or, like you said, when we know better and still do something we shouldn’t. What a loving, faithful Father we have! Blessings to you!!

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  10. Such a great lesson!! Yes, my prayer is to be obedient in the little things and train myself and my heart now to obey Him no matter what He asks of me!

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  11. Wow, this is a powerful example of obeying God in the little things! Thank you for sharing. I have had similar things happen in my life and always seem to be in awe when I realize God was leading or protecting me from something I could not see. God is good!

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    1. Amen! He sure is good…and so faithful! He does that a lot…leading and protecting us from something we can’t see, and I’m deeply thankful. What a loving Father we have! Blessings to you, Melissa!

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