rebelling against low expectations

Following the Nudge: What God Taught Me About Obedience


“Do you know what your spiritual gift is?” Ms. Flora asked as we sat on the swings at camp. It was something I hadn’t thought about in a while.

“I know I have one, but I don’t remember what it is,” I replied at first. Suddenly I remembered, “Wait, it’s encouragement.”

About a week later at church, the pastor preached a message on what makes Jesus happy. The part that stood out to me the most was about serving, as he discussed how using our spiritual gifts is a way to share the Gospel and strengthen fellow believers. I wondered how I could use my spiritual gift to serve others.

1st Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

After that Sunday message, I thought more about my conversation with Ms. Flora. I longed for an opportunity to use my gift of encouragement as a “good steward of God’s grace.” Little did I know the Lord would bring me one so soon.

The Prompt

After returning from camp, I was at youth group when I noticed one of my friends. He seemed bothered, so I began praying for him. There was never an opportune time to ask if he was okay, so I asked the Lord, “What can I do to encourage J?”

One day, the Lord impressed it upon my heart to write J a letter. This worried me. I’d had promptings like this before, but never followed through with them, merely because I feared what the other person might think.

But, if we want to glorify the Lord with our lives, we must respond to His promptings. Not only with the act of obedience, but with a heart willing to please Him.

Are we willing to do anything for the Lord, even if it’s out of our comfort zone?

The Doing

I was scared. I had no idea what to write, and wondered countless times if my observation was wrong. Nevertheless, I began praying for the words to write.

Then, one day during my quiet time, the words started flowing. I quickly grabbed some paper and wrote a two-page letter. Though, once I wrote J’s name on the envelope and sealed it up, I began to doubt.

What if my words don’t encourage him? These are things he’s probably heard all his life; will he disregard it?

I held onto that letter for four days before I would see him again. Every day, there was a knot in my stomach. I worried the letter wouldn’t mean anything.

The Outcome

April 22nd. While preparing for youth group, I asked the Lord to show me when to give J the letter. I was nervous, and hoped he wouldn’t get the wrong idea before opening it. I didn’t want his friends to see and tease him. I contemplated not giving him the letter that day, but something changed my mind.

Before our recreation time, the girls were instructed to write messages in birthday cards for some of the boys. When Ms. Flora read them, she said, “Girls, you should write more than just ‘Happy birthday!’ We’re supposed to encourage them.”

That last sentence lingered in my mind and felt like a prompting to give J the letter.

Once youth group was over, I quietly handed the letter to J, then quickly left for home. It wasn’t ideal, but I thanked the Lord for giving me courage to do it. I rejoiced then, but I rejoiced even more when Sunday morning came.

As I was leaving the service, J suddenly stopped me.

“Thank you for the letter,” he started. “It really encouraged me. It’s honestly hard to believe it was from you, like it had to be a God thing because you had this heightened awareness….”

As he continued talking, I kept saying in my mind, “Thank you, Lord.”

Because I obeyed the Lord’s prompting, God was glorified, and J was encouraged. God used me to speak to my friend in a way I never thought possible.

Our Obedience Brings God Glory

James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourself.”

Living a life for Christ isn’t simple. It’s challenging because our flesh fights against the Lord. But, if we want to be doers of the word, we must be willing to surrender to Him. Share on X

Living a life for Christ isn’t simple. It’s challenging because our flesh fights against the Lord. But, if we want to be doers of the word, we must be willing to surrender to Him. The Bible says we are to obey the Lord, which means when He leads us to do something, we must deny ourselves and our desire to back out. Doing Kingdom work is about pointing others to Christ, which may include doing something out of our comfort zone.

It doesn’t matter what we feel about our execution of the task He gives us. What matters is that we are willing to obey the Lord’s guidance. God always knows what He is doing, so we can trust Him. Though we can’t see how everything works out when He gives us those little nudges, we can take comfort knowing our obedience brings Him glory. We don’t have to worry about results, that is up to God.

Are you willing to follow the nudge? Don’t be afraid. Surrender the fear and trust His plan.

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About the author

Heaven Franklin

is a 16-year-old High School Junior who is striving to be in the world but not of it. She desires to live her life for Christ to the best of her ability and share her faith with others. When she’s not blogging, you can find her taking photos, reading, diamond painting or listening to Adventures in Odyssey. If you would like to connect with Heaven, you can check out her blog GlorifyChrist


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rebelling against low expectations

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