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Obedience: The Completion of Faith

November 14, 2014

It was fourth of July weekend and Tim and Lynn were scheduled to speak at my home church in Indiana. Having followed along with their ministry on Facebook, I was excited to reunite with them and hear about the completion of their journey on the east coast a few months prior.

The morning started normally with the worship team doing sound checks and warming up voices before milling around until the service began. I headed to the back of the room when the doors opened and in walked Tim and Lynn Tuggle, as rugged and horsemen-like as ever, and Lynn’s parents in tow. My mom was first to greet them and introduced them to my sister. As I walked up, I caught Lynn’s eye and she turned to my mother and said, “Now this one I remember.”

I couldn’t explain it then, and hardly now, but the look in her eye as she reached in to hug me was such that gripped something deep in my spirit, as though to surface a connection between kindred spirits formed two years ago that had been silently strengthening day by day entirely beneath my consciousness. That same stirring that awakened in me during our first conversation was rising back up as though it had never left, as if I had been riding with them ever since.

The service that morning was powerful. Tim and Lynn testified of their witness to God’s powerful encounters on the road and it was nearly two hours later that they finished, and dare I say no watch or clock was consulted in that room. The powerful testimony of their dog Chico–a Red Heeler that walked with them from New Mexico to the east coast–had all the kids on the floor with him trying to get him to take a bone, to which he persistently rejected all offers except from his master. Every testimony they carried provoked deep, personal challenge for every individual and left everyone wanting a little more.

After church, we stood around talking for a while and Tim resumed what he started two years ago by making slight and subtle, half-joking comments that presumed I would soon be traveling with them. Ever the jokester that he is, I just laughed it off.  My parents invited them all out to lunch with us and I made a quick trip to the restroom before we left. As I stepped in front of the mirror, I reflected on the morning and the last two years, and I half-heartedly prayed this prayer:

Lord, what is this You keep stirring in me with this couple? If there is something more to this than mere inspiration, You will have to show me.

We sat down to eat at Bob Evans and I had a running dialogue with God going on behind the scenes of our lunch conversation. By the end of the meal my mind was reeling with more answered prayers than I knew what to do with. This was just supposed to be a nice, friendly get-together after a powerfully moving church service. Not a day of re-evaluating my future. God sure knows how to mess up our plans.

It would take much longer than a blog post can allow to describe all of the many, detailed ways the Lord moved in me and in my life over the weeks following that Sunday. In under three months’ time I moved out of my house, graduated with a Master’s degree, quit my job, and on October 1, 2014 I climbed into the backseat of a truck with a few changes of clothes, and hauled out of Indiana with the two Tuggles, two horses, and a dog.

Sometimes God does weird things. Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen until later. Sometimes we never understand why. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is who He says He is. He is good, and His goodness will never do me harm. He is completely trustworthy. And my belief in Him must be followed by obedience to Him, or it is worth absolutely nothing at all.

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1 Comment

  • Avatar
    Reply Mike Smith November 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Yeeessssss!!! I was hinging on every word like I’ve never heard that story before! Haha.

    Lydia and I can testify to this type of obedience. It’s rewards are endless. We put limits on this type of obedience though by not making it more of a daily practice. Why?

    Great testimony!

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