Obedience to God is vital to one’s spiritual growth and effectiveness. Without it, we’re like a brittle bush, stunted and unfruitful. I know. I’ve been there. That’s how my spiritual life felt for a year while I tried to persuade God that He was wrong in asking me to write Moving From Fear to Freedom.
Thankfully He didn’t let up. He persisted, His finger of conviction pointing straight at my rebellious attitude every time I opened my Bible or tried to pray. When I finally agreed to do what He’d asked me to do, I experienced a surge of physical strength and mental creativity that lasted until the manuscript was complete.
I also experienced the thrill of seeing God change my ideas along the way. I’d written a list of women whose stories I hoped to include in the book, but each time I started a new chapter, He’d bring someone else along whose testimony was even more relevant. Every day was a new journey that led me into a deeper understanding of His adequacy, and that understanding has enabled me to say yes more readily to other assignments.
The more spiritual birthdays I celebrate, the more I believe that obedience to a believer is like water to a potted plant. With it, we flourish. Without it, we shrivel up. Psalm 119 is loaded with insights about it. Here are some to ponder:
“Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found” (Psalm 119:34,35).
“I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments” (Psalm 119:44,45).
“Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. I reflect at night on who you are O LORD; therefore, I obey your instructions. This is how I spend my life; obeying your commandments” (Psalm 119:54-56).
Good stuff, eh? These words make obedience sound like a good thing rather than something to be done with gritted teeth. Imagine – we experience joy and freedom when we do what God says. What a concept!
I can relate to the Psalmist. I choose to spend my life obeying God’s commandments. That’s not always easy. Sometimes doing so interferes with my own plans. Sometimes it requires sacrifice of time, energy, and money. Sometimes it means doing something I just don’t feel like doing. But I’m getting smarter in my old age, and I know that it’s necessary for spiritual growth, fruitful living and for overall peace with God. What can beat that?
What’s your story? What’s your take on obedience and its importance to your spiritual well-being?