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Monday, April 30, 2012

How a Cup of Coffee Taught Me to Obey

I had an interesting conversation with God last Monday.  It went something like this:

I was pouring my first cup of coffee, thinking of all that needed to be accomplished and asking God to direct my path when I heard Him speak.  I had just told Him how I would do anything He wanted, if He simply told me what to do…and then He said, “Pour out your coffee.”

Instantly I laughed.  

Like God would tell me to pour out my coffee.  

I mean seriously, I LOVE COFFEE, I NEED COFFEE.  God would not want me to suffer by doing something so silly.  

As I was laughing I heard Him tell me again, “Pour out your coffee.”

Now I wasn’t laughing…I was moving on to rationalizing.

“Okay God, if you REALLY want me to pour out my coffee…” I waited, ready to hear Him tell me I could drink my warm beverage.  

All I heard was silence.

“Okay God, seriously, if you want me to, I will.  But it seems ridiculous.  How will pouring out my coffee serve You?”

“It will prove you obey.”


“Obey. Yes, I will obey.  But do I have to pour out my coffee?  I just made it.  Can’t I just tell You I’m willing, do I actually have to do it?”


“Abraham in the Bible didn’t have to sacrifice his son; do I have to pour out my coffee?  I really am willing to serve You, promise.” (yes I really went there in my conversation with God)

“Pour out your coffee.”

God spoke, would I listen?

I’d like to tell you I instantly poured out my coffee. 

 Instead, I spent time in prayer.  

Yes I prayed over my coffee, but more importantly, I asked God to help me be willing to listen to EVERYTHING He commanded and not just the stuff I liked.

I found myself asking these questions:

Why was I willing to do something BIG for God, but not willing to follow the simple command to pour out my coffee?  

Why would God trust me with something BIG, if I wouldn’t listen to the small stuff?

The answers- I don’t know and He won’t.  

This led me to this simple, yet profound truth:  If I want God’s blessings and I want Him to use me for His Kingdom, I have to be willing to listen to EVERYTHING and not just the things that make sense, (because pouring out a perfectly good cup of coffee did not make sense).  

But God’s ways are higher and His knowledge greater- I must be willing to FOLLOW and OBEY! 

My brain quickly jumped from my willingness to follow, to my sister who is training a new dog- it’s not going well.  The dog isn’t willing to follow simple commands.  My sister is ready to teach the basics so she can move on to more complex commands, but her dog isn’t complying.

I wonder, if like my sister, God isn’t waiting for me to follow the simple stuff so He can give me more complex tasks.

“Okay God,” Deep breath, “I’m willing to pour out my coffee. I don’t understand and I don’t really like it, but I’m willing.”

Silence.  Not sure if I was waiting for applause from heaven, but I wanted some recognition that God had heard…after all, this was a big sacrifice!

“I’m really willing God, lead me.”

I started moving towards the sink, ready to pour out my steaming cup of joy when I head,“You don’t have to pour it out.”

Now I was confused. Was Satan trying to trick me?

“God, I really want to follow You.  Please lead me, give me peace, I don’t want to be a fool.”

I didn’t hear anything else, but peace filled my heart.

I drank my coffee, full of happiness and contentment, down to the last drop! 

As I drank, I realized it wasn’t that God wanted me to pour out my coffee, it’s that He wanted me willing to pour out what I desired. He wanted me to place Him above even the smallest things.

I was ashamed, because at first I was only giving lip service to Him, I was trying to convince both Him and myself that I was willing to pour out my coffee.  But I wasn’t fooling God, He knew my heart and until my heart matched my lips, I had to pour out my coffee.  

So glad my toaster didn’t have to go up in flames for God to get my attention (referencing Moses and the Burning bush). 

Question:  What are you holding onto that God is asking you to let go of?

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