Obedience. Sheesh…. just typing the word sends a flinch of discomfort through my body.
Usually when we think of this word it’s followed by a slight eye roll, a palm to the face, and a deep sigh of anguish. I know ya’ll, we’ve all been there!
We teach and raise our kids with obedience. We reward our pets when they act in obedience, but how do we as Christian adults use this form of action in OUR daily lives? It’s easier said than done. However, if there is something I’ve learned in 2019 it is that obedience is better than sacrifice.
As we build our personal relationships with God, He gives us instructions that are necessary for our growth, healing, and personal development. However, the truth is when God instructs us to do something it oftentimes is the complete opposite of what we had in mind.
“Don’t go to that event, stay home and get some work done.”
“Don’t start that project yet, wait until I give you the green light.”
“Go introduce yourself, ask how their day is going.”
God has personally given me all of the above instructions in the midst of me planning to do the exact opposite. I usually respond with something like this:
“But God I really want to go and I already paid for my ticket!”
“Why would you give me the idea if I can’t start it yet?!”
“I’m not really in a chatty mood right now…”
Imagine the level of audacity you must have to tell God Almighty, “I’m not in a chatty mood right now.”
The word obedience means “compliance with an order, request, law, or submission to another’s authority.” It’s weird to think that I have completely dedicated every single aspect of my life to a being that I can’t even see. The truth is though, once you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are making the conscious choice of letting your flesh die and living as an open vessel for God. When God gives us instructions, it is for a reason. Our obedience could end up saving your life, or someone else’s. God sees eternity but our only concern is how we are feeling in a single moment.
The Bible instructs us that we must not rely on our feelings but we should lean on God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5-6 says. So what exactly does that look like ? This means those feelings of confusion, laziness, and stubbornness have to fly out of the door once God drops something on our lap. Being obedient not only makes God happy, but it saves us a lot of energy in the long run.
When God tells you to introduce yourself to someone, they might have the solution to a problem that has been worrying you.They could even be a major resource in your life later on. You won’t know until you obey. When we ignore this guidance and try to figure things out on our own we end up sacrificing time, money, energy, relationships, and mental stamina. After all of this is done we end up in the same place we started. Doing things our way will take much longer and induce more frustration. I can’t count how many times I have found myself frustrated by the situations that I walked myself into.
To successfully comply with obedience we need another important strength working in us, and that’s discipline. Discipline and obedience go hand and hand, you simply can’t have one without the other. You have to constantly train yourself to let go of your own feelings and move off the words of God. I would suggest starting small. When you feel a nudge in your spirit saying to spark a conversation with someone (even when you don’t want to) move past your emotions and just say hello.
These small practices will create the foundation of your obedience and trust towards God, so when big instructions come you are more likely to obey in faith. Plus, what is the worst thing that could happen? We should view everything in this lifestyle as an adventure, after all we do have the Most High as our personal tour guide!
Pro Tip: A sure way to stay aligned in God’s purpose for you, ASK HIM before you make a decision, big or small . Before you plan for something check in with God and make sure you both are on the same page. This will save us in the long run!