By: Jonie Buckley
“What is Holy Spirit asking you to do?” she asked. I told her. She pressed, “What is keeping you from moving forward in obedience?”
“I’m scared,” I confessed. “I will feel exposed. What will people think of me? It will be too painful. I don’t feel qualified to do this. I don’t think I’m ready. I’m too emotional. What if others reject me? What if I fail?”
She leaned toward me and gently put her hands on mine. With a tender voice from her sincere heart, she purposefully looked directly into my wide eyes and delicately, yet firmly said, “So what? So what if every single one of those things happens? Then what? Will you let God be God?”
She reminded me that Jesus’ life on this earth caused Him to face all of those scenarios and more. He experienced those same emotions, was exposed, gravely pained, rejected, and eventually considered a failure at the crucifixion by those who followed Him. How much harder was it for Jesus to fulfill His Father’s will? We see Jesus’ ‘so what’ moment in Gethsemane when He relinquished His will to God the Father in obedience:
Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt down on the ground and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, don't let this happen to me! Father, you can do anything. Don't make me suffer by drinking from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”
Mark 14:35-36 CEV
Often, what God is asking seems nearly impossible for us. We decide it’s too difficult, too risky, or requires a sacrifice from us, all of which are unpleasant. But, if we truly believe in Jesus and in His mission, we will follow Him and trust Him enough to be able to say ‘so what’ to all of our doubts, concerns, and fears. We surrender all of those to Him and move forward in confident obedience, allowing God to be God, to have His way, choosing Kingdom growth.
Jesus endured every ‘so what’ scenario in His life so I could be here facing my own ‘so what’ scenarios in my life. I must repeatedly contest these concerns with my ‘so what’ response, moving forward in faith. For me, this looks like laying down fear and other emotions, surrendering my reputation, choosing to please God over pleasing others, and laying down any pride that keeps me from trusting that God can do what He says He will do. I have learned that choosing to advance the Kingdom of God by following Him in obedience will always be worth it. It surely was when Jesus laid down His life for us.
So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:6 AMP
Jesus asks us to lay aside our own will and follow Him. Is there something specific He is asking of you that you are having a hard time responding in obedience, for any reason? Will you permit me to reach across the table at this moment, gently place my hands on yours, look purposefully into your wide eyes, and tenderly, yet firmly ask you, “So what?”
You know it is so hard for us to be obedient to all You ask of us. Please help us to remember what Jesus did for us. He endured every scenario with His ‘so what’ response in obedience to You. Not only did He accomplish Your purpose, which benefited ALL mankind, You also raised Him up victoriously, and now His power lives in us for those who surrender to Him! May our ‘so what’ obedient responses bring Your Kingdom here, as Your will is done, all in the name of Jesus. Amen.