A maturing Christian might say, “I want more of God in my life” or, “I really need God’s direction for a situation I’m facing.” But in order to experience those kinds of benefits in our lives, we have to spend time with God and use the wisdom He gives us in His Word.
I’ll never forget this story:
A woman came up to me at one of my conferences and explained that she’d been sexually abused like I was—and that several women who were sitting next to her at that conference all had a similar background. She said, “I listened to them talk about their healing and what God had done in their lives, and how free they were now. And then I realized what my problem is! God told me to do the same things He told them to do. The only difference is...they did what He said, and I didn’t.”
It happened so many years ago, but I still tell the story because many Christians are making the same mistake. They’re stuck in the pain of their past because they haven’t chosen to do what the Word says will set them free.
How about you? Have you ever put off doing what God showed you to do? If so, I want to encourage you to make a change. Let God have His way!
Why Are People So Disobedient to God?
Many times, we put off doing what the Word tells us to do because we think it’s too hard. Other times, we’re just too wrapped up in our day-to-day lives. Or we are just too concerned about our image and what people might think of us for doing what God asks us to do. Of course, His opinion should always matter more.
The thing I think most Christians miss is, when we honor God in our decisions we’re really setting ourselves up for success.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight (NIV).
Isaiah 1:19 says, If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the best of the land.
The fact is, we need a little more backbone if we’re going to have the best life God has for us. Personally, I’d like to see more Christians standing strong in faith, believing they can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (see Philippians 4:13).
We need to be willing to take risks and get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to reach the people God has for us to reach. We’ve got to start loving—really loving—other people if we want them to know the truth about who God is and what He wants to do in their lives.
When we choose to love even our enemies, that’s something most people just cannot comprehend...and it gets them thinking seriously about God.
Why Would Anyone Choose to Suffer?
Christ laid down His life for us and set the standard by which we should all strive to live. Hebrews 5:8 says, Although He was a Son [who had never been disobedient to the Father], He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered.
I find that very interesting! Jesus was never disobedient, but He learned what it meant to be obedient by doing the hard things God asked Him to do.
You know, it’s not very hard to give away some old clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in 10 years. But when God asks you to give away something that’s very valuable or precious to you...that’s a real test in obedience.
In 2 Samuel 24:24, it says that King David refused to offer the Lord what cost him nothing. That’s exactly the heart attitude God wants us to have.
Your Christian life isn’t going to be pain free, but it can be extremely fulfilling! Learn to listen for God’s voice, and quickly do what His Word leads you to do. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Forgive quickly. Be a cheerful giver. Have a willingness to do whatever He leads you to do. If you learn to be wholly obedient to God, believe me, you will never regret it.