Feb 13, 2009

His Power, My Weakness - Part 2

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. ... 1 Corinthians 12:9

If you weren't here yesterday and didn't get a chance to read Part 1 of this story, you can read it here.

Yesterday I left you with this discussion I needed to have with God. You see, I wasn't disobedient because I didn't want to obey Him, it was because I knew I was unable. If I told Him that I would do something that I knew I would surely fail at, then I would be lying to Him, and I couldn't lie to the God that I love so much. So I was kind of stuck... I thought. So I paced back and forth across my bedroom floor with cigarette in hand explaining all of this to God. I had the cigarette due to the stress I was feeling.

God patiently listened to everything I said without interupting. (I need to take notes on how to do that better.) He let me say everything that was on my mind. I love that about Him. I reminded Him of all those times that I had tried to quit and I couldn't. And that He knew I wasn't capable of quitting and how it would be a lie to agree to do what I knew I couldn't do and how I didn't want to lie to Him or let Him down. Then I said He would have to do it for me. I agreed that I would quit smoking at the end of the day or when I had smoked the last cigarette in my pack, whichever came first, but He would have to do it for me.

I went about my day thinking about it and reminding Him continually that He would have to do it because I couldn't. He didn't seem to be as worried about it as I was. So it worked out that my last cigarette came out of the pack at the end of the night. I went to bed knowing that I wouldn't be able to smoke when I woke up.

The next morning I got up, thought about how I needed to quit today, and reminded God that I wasn't able and needed Him to do it. That was February 9, 1998, 11 years ago. I kept waiting for that craving to hit me but it wasn't there yet. On the way to work I kept thinking about it and waiting for that craving, but it wasn't there. I didn't tell anyone about my trying to quit smoking, I just kept waiting. Now I did end up smoking a half a cigarette that day, in one puff increments. I would light it and it tasted bad so I put it out. I think it was more because I couldn't believe I wasn't craving it. I shouldn't have because it was still disobedience.

The next day I was still waiting for a craving. I still hadn't told anyone because I couldn't believe that I had quit. We were going out for a company lunch and another lady went to have a cigarette before we left so my bosses told me to go have mine. I just said "No I don't really want to." But they pushed the issue, "We know you want one, just go have it." I had to tell them so I said "It appears I have quit smoking". They didn't believe me. I briefly explained the situation, God said quit and He has quit for me. They didn't believe that either.

Remember I said that it was the Holy Spirit that had first prompted me to stop trying to quit smoking? Here's why. About a week later I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine. During the conversation I mentioned that I had quit smoking. He asked what brought that about and I told Him that God had told me too.

Now this friend is one who, if he is a Christian, there is no evidence of it, but he does pray. I saw him a few days later and we got talking about how I quit smoking and he told me that he had prayed that I would quit. I could tell by the expression on his face that God had answered his prayer in order to speak to his heart. He did not suddenly become deeply devoted to following hard after Christ, but a seed was beginning to sprout roots. Now I understood why God seemed not to be concerned about my smoking all those years that I was trying to quit.


“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22


God didn't make me smoke, He didn't condem me for it either, but He used it for His glory, and to speak to someone elses heart. That just amazes me. I didn't quit smoking, it was not something I was capable of doing. But God quit for me. He imparted His power into my weakness to accomplish His purpose. God did not want my efforts, abilities, or my strength, He wanted and needed only my willingness to obey.

Are you willing to obey His Voice today? Not able, just willing? Then pour it out to Him in whatever your circumstances. Go ahead and explain the details to Him. He's a big God, He can take it. Then hand Him one thing, your willingness to obey.

Oh Lord I am amazed at your love. That even in the midst of my disobedience you proved yourself faithful. Thank you for being my strength. Thank you for speaking to my friend's heart. Speak to him even now and show him your unfailing love. Lord forgive me for hesitating when I should obey. Help me to obey
whatever you ask of me without even the slightest hesitation. I love you my Lord. I can't wait to see your face. In Christ - Amen

Edie

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27

27 comments:

mama's smitten said...

Oh Edies, This is such a great message! I am so happy to hear how sucessful our obedience can be!Congratulations!

Chatty Kelly said...

That just makes me want to cry. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn said...

Oh, Edie, all glory to God! I love this line:
"God said quit and He has quit for me." It's as simple (and as difficult) as that, isn't it? And how wondrous it is that He answered the prayers of another to encourage his faith even as He worked through your desire to honor and obey Him!

My mother-in-law died at the age of 60, due more to cardio-pulmonary disease than lung cancer, but she had both from decades of chain smoking. Even as she was dying, hooked to oxygen tanks, she still asked for cigarettes. Sad and unbelievable, but she was in bondage to her addiction, held hostage by the enemy. I'm sorry she didn't experience liberation before she died, but I know she is now free in heaven!

Barb said...

Edie, thanks for such a phenomenal testimony about our God.

"Are you willing to obey His Voice today? Not able, just willing?" That is the key to everything, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful example of the personal way that God will work in each of our lives... if we'll let Him. ~That's really spoken to me today

Melanie said...

What a wonderful testimony. I'm going to remember how God didn't "quit" ON you...but "quit" FOR you.
Melanie@Bella~Mella

BECKY said...

Oh Edie, What an exciting time that must have been!! What an incredible Savior that just wants US!! That's all...US, with all of our baggage, frail, weak, disobedient. He will fill in all the gaps, and conform us to Christ!! WOW!! Amazing!!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful victory in Christ!! You have inspired me and countless others!!

I'm so glad I found you in blogland!! You're such a blessing to me!!

I will be getting back to you about my blog...I'm asking God and have to wait to HEAR from Him!!
Have a lovely day!!
Becky

Greg C said...

It has been almost 15 years since I quit. I am so happy that I did. No prompting from anyone else could help me quit. I had to do it myself too with the help of God. Way to go Edie.

My ADHD Me said...

I don't know what to say.
"Wow"
I was going to say I wished God spoke to me like he does to you...but I know the answer to that..

He Does!

I should be asking myself these 2 questions.

1. Why don't I speak to God the way you do?

2. Why don't I listen like I should?

Runner Mom said...

This was so powerful! Thanks, Edie, for sharing this! I love how God works in ways that are so amazing to us, we don't understand! IT is simply faith!

Thanks for your precious comments on my blog! You are a sweetie!

Happy Valentine's Day a day early!

Hugs,
Susan

Sue J. said...

Great! And what I love is that it wasn't a method or a product; it wasn't even a quick-fix. But, it came with so many changes that extended beyond you--and He let you see that! Amazing!!

I have another friend who just quit last year at this time, and she is a changed gal and her testimony blesses those with whom she comes in contact.

Our awesome God knows no boundaries, and there is nothing too small or too big for Him! Praises!!

From the Heart said...

Edie,
I typed a comment and when I published it I got a page that said it was a duplicate, has already been done go back one page in your browser. I don't know what happened but it did not publish here.

I was thanking you for sharing your story. As I finished reading I started crying out to God. I have asked Him for something and I think it happened yesterday but I wanted Him to confirm it. I did what you did and just poured my heart out to Him, my doubts, my fears, etc (after all He already knows what they are). I think the keyword in all of this is obedience.
Thanks again for sharing.
Luv u,
AliceE.

Beverlydru said...

I add my "WoW" to the comments. What an encouraging story. I'm sure I've mentioned that one of my favorite books is "The Ragamuffin Gospel". It's okay to be a ragamuffin when I belong to Him. And I am so delighted when He uses my weakness to show Himself strong. Thanks for sharing that. And yes, as usual, ADHD-Jis real and right to the point in her comments.

mama's smitten said...

Hi Edie, Hope you stop by today . I have something you deserve!

Tambrey said...

How precious, Edie! God is just so good. I loved your story, and it touched my heart so deeply! Also, I loved your verse from 1 Samuel!!

Andrea said...

Our GOD is Awesome!! Thank you sooo much for sharing!! andrea

Dorothy Champagne said...

So worth the wait! Excellent testimony!

My Army Brats and Me said...

I love visiting. Thanks for praying for me.
Cindy

Proverbs 27:19 said...

WOW!

smooches,
Larie

Tammy said...

You hit the nail right on the head...are you willing?



love ya,
Tammy

HIS Daughter said...

Edie,

I am so blown away by this post! I know it is all so true!! I need to digest all of this...because it is filled with so many truths!

HE quit smoking for me too...although I had only smoked for maybe 9 years and not as much...HE just quit for me and I don't even remember how or when HE did it...wild!

I need HIS guidance on other things such as this. Alot of time we try to be "holier than GOD"..you know? We start to give up something for HIM because of someone else's disciplines or convictions and then it's like we fail and HE never told us to do it at all!

Love your blog, your writing, and your heart for our Precious Savior.

I also want to know how much it would cost to design a blog for me...I need three columns!

Love and prayers,
Teri

Marla said...

Edie, I was stopping by to thank you for praying for me. God must let you know when I am having a rough week! Because everytime I am you stop in to say that you are praying for me. Now the smoking story-- what timing this is for me. I am a smoker and I have been wanting to quit. My husband was a smoker also, and ironically he didn't have a cancer related to smoking. We had set a date to quit smoking Oct. 2008. When he died in September, I just knew with his death and a new job I couldn't do it. It weighs heavy one my mind. I keeping saying to God that when I am ready, I am going to have to have help. I quit once many years ago for one whole year and started back again. It keeps playing in my head that I need to quit. I keep thinking that the Lord probably doesn't like me smoking. When the weather warms I am going to quit. I need to walk, because I gain weight when I quit, when I smoke it falls right back off. So when quitting time comes, I am going to need everyone's prayer. I am trying to grow in my faith, I wish I could hear him speak. I think he does but I don't always realize it! I think God placed you in my life for a reason. You help me so much and I long to be as close to God as you are! I am being patient with the Lord, developing a deep loving relationship with him. Thanks for such great inspirational posts. I do know that when I quit and if I am sucessful it will have to have come from God! Love to You!

Debra said...

Edie,

I love this testimony! To God be the glory for the great things He has done!! Wow...so beautiful, my sister!

How this touched me!

Pray your weekend was beautiful...just like you!

Talkin' Texan said...

I love your story. Isn't it grand how praise reports never grow old? Thanks for sharing your testimony.

LisaShaw said...

Much I'd like to say on this powerful message but I'll just say PRAISE THE LORD and thank you for sharing.

"Am I willing to obey His voice today? Not able, just willing?"

That says it all Edie! How awesome our God is.

Kathy S. said...

Oh Edie, thank you for sharing that story, It has God's grace written all over it. You told it so well...I almost could remember that craving! God helped me quit when I got pregnant with my first baby, I had tried before too with no success. Praise God for His power!

Deanna said...

way cool! luv your testimony! God is so good and powerful!

my dear friend is currently taking Chantix ~ it's reaaly helping her.

Angela said...

I love it! What a great story!