This morning, after I got the 100th notification that my iCloud storage was full, I decided it was time to go through and delete some of my 5,000+ photos on my phone. As I was scrolling through, I came across a quote I screenshot months ago:
“Obedience can open doors that experience will not.”
I re-read it a few times and let the message sink in. Having spent last year repeating the phrase ‘I have no idea what I am doing,’ while attempting things like building a website, becoming a legally recognized non-profit, understanding graphic design, and so much more, I needed to hear these words. It was like a little ‘You Got this Girl’ high five!
Let’s be honest, all of the things I am currently trying to do, I have ZERO experience in and it intimidates the heck out of me. I have spent a lot of nights telling - (actually it’s more like whining) - my husband, ‘I wish I knew how to ____, it would be so much easier.’ OR ‘I need help with ___ because I am getting nowhere,” or the most common, ‘how does everyone else know how to ___, they make it look so easy.’ And so on… you get the point. Simply put, I lack experience in what I am trying to do, start and run a non-profit.
But, although it has been hard, intimidating, scary, and frustrating at times, I can confidently say that I have done my very best to be obedient.
So, what does Obedience really mean?
Obedience is defined as compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another's authority. And it is important to keep in mind that obedience is NOT always easy! Typically, when I think of being obedient, I don’t think of my will being done… but someone else’s. Regardless of what WE want, or think, obedience is choosing to submit to the authority of someone else.
And experience is defined as a direct observation or participation in events that lead to a basis of knowledge. So basically, you know what you're doing because either you’ve already done it or you’ve experienced it. For example, a resume. We hand over a list of our experiences and things we’ve accomplished that make us relevant to whatever we are pursuing.
Well, my resume does not fit into all the qualifications and experiences needed to start and run a non-profit, yet this is what I am being called to do.
The most important, powerful, and awesome thing about this phrase is that it is not an ‘empty encouragement’ but TRUTH! Unlike so many things we repost and retweet, which sound great but have zero legitimacy, this phrase is a promise of truth and is backed up by some pretty incredible stories.
Let’s quickly look at a few:
Most of us have heard of the story of David and Goliath from the Old Testament. How David, a young Israelite boy, with no experience in battle or combat took down with just a slingshot the huge, strong, intimidating, trained fighting giant, Goliath. What David lacked in experience, He made up for in obedience to nothing that the Big Guy was calling him to do! And not only was he obedient but he was confident! He knew, without a doubt in his mind that God was on his side and that he was going to slay this giant. He had no reason to fear! Read the whole story in 1 Samuel 17.
David’s bold obedience allowed him to defeat Goliath, not his fighting experience.
Another story, and a personal favorite of mine, comes from Acts 4 in the New Testament. Two of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, were taken before the Sanhedrin, which was the highest court of justice in ancient Jerusalem because they were speaking and teaching about Jesus and how he rose from the dead. When asked about the statements they were making, Peter stood and answered with confidence, catching all the rulers, elders, and priests off guard. He delivered an incredible answer! BUT we must keep in mind Peter’s ‘resume’ and previous experience. Peter, by trade, was a fisherman, he was not well educated or well-spoken. It was not his experience that got him through the situation, but his obedience and confidence in what he was speaking about. One of my favorite verses in the bible says this about the situation. “When they (the elders, priests, and rulers) saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated, ordinary men, they were astonished (or amazed) and recognized them as companions of Jesus. Acts 4:13. I just love this…like how cool is that? These guys knew for a fact that Peter was not educated, he was not qualified to speak like this, he had no ‘real’ experience but because of his boldness and obedience, he killed it! We would say today that Peter “Dropped the Mic!”
Peter was able to speak boldly not because of his education or job experience, but his obedience and confidence.
I’ve talked a bit about parts of Moses’ life in the past but he and all he accomplished, is another example of how obedience opened doors and trumped experience. When God called him to save the Israelites from Egypt, he was terrified yet he was obedient. Despite his doubts and fears, he listened and he not only parted the Red Sea saving the people from oppressive Egypt but went on to lead them for decades. He brought Israel into the promised land and received the 10 commandments. When Moses was called, his resume did NOT, at all, fit the jobs God was giving him, but he was obedient and door after door was opened.
Read more about Moses here.
I could go on and on and on, with stories that demonstrate how OBEDIENCE trumps experience throughout the bible, and if ya want to know more PLEASE let me know, I will gladly point you to them!
“Obedience can open doors that experience will not.”
I want to add that I am not saying the experience is irrelevant. Experience and being knowledgeable in your passion, craft, or calls are important. We should always strive to educate ourselves and put in the hard work but we know that our ability to achieve things does not end when our experience ends. Our ‘resume’ should not dictate what we are capable of. Rather when our experience runs out our obedience should increase.
I write this not as someone who is looking back and recollecting how perfectly everything worked out or counting how many doors were opened. But as someone who is out of her comfort zone, way past her qualifications, and running on the promise of obedience. I see some pretty big, intimidating doors ahead and there are still a zillion unknowns with SHE WEARS WORTH but I am going all in and putting my bet on this truth — the truth that my obedience, my determination to do what I know I am being called to, no matter how scared, worried and unqualified I feel, will open those big doors, will pave a way and will take SHE WEARS WORTH where it is supposed to.
I pray that you can take these stories and take my personal experience with this promise and apply it to your life and your situation, whatever that may be!
Maybe you want to start reading your bible, but have no clue where to start or what to do … BE OBEDIENT. Open it up, start reading, do some research, reach out to someone (ME), and eventually you will start to get it!
Maybe you are a new mom, clueless and confused and overwhelmed … don’t underestimate yourself, you’re going to be great.
Maybe you see this whole Christianity thing as unobtainable because of your past or things you’ve done. You have no idea how a love like this could extend to you… stop believing that lie. Ask questions, reach out to someone, listen to that nudging in your soul and I promise you, doors will open.
Or maybe you’re like me, you have a God-given dream and you have no idea what you’re doing, what it will turn into, or how you’ll do it but you know that you’re supposed to. You rip up your ‘resume’, stop making excuses about your experience, and just be obedient.
Repeat after me, obedience can open doors that experiences will not.