Last night at [nlcf] Deeper, we talked about the third “I” in our mission statement: “inspire each other to change the world.” We talked about how our obedience is key to not only changing the world, but in seeing change in ourselves. Not only does our obedience lead to change, but it inspires the people around us to act as well.
I was inspired by a guy in our home group who took on the challenge to “today, obey” by reading scripture and acting on a key verse that stuck out to him each day. Because of his decision to take on that challenge, he has been acting in obedience to key verses from James. His story led me to think about my own life and what keeps me from obedience. I thought of 4 obstacles that can keep me from obedience…
1. I don’t know what God wants me to do.
2. I haven’t made time to do what I know God wants me to do.
3. I don’t want someone else telling me what to do.
4. God is asking me to do something to difficult or something I don’t want to do.
You might identify with these reasons, or have reasons of your own. But here are some responses to those obstacles…
1. If you don’t know what God wants you to do, start with scripture. Sometimes we think obeying God means waiting for God to tell us to build arks or part oceans… sometimes we need to start small and be faithful in those things before He gives us bigger things. Look at scripture. When it says to love your neighbor, do it! When it says forgive each other, take that challenge on today!
2. If you haven’t made time to do something you know God wants you to do, why not decide to act on it today? Sometimes we have a pretty clear thought about what God wants from us, but we just put it off. Decide not to put it off any longer. Act today. Get your friends involved by telling them what you’re doing and asking them to hold you accountable. Even if they don’t know God, they can help! And your decision to obey can be an inspiration and testimony to them.
3. If you don’t like other people telling you what to do, consider this… In Philippians 2:5-8 it says this:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what…Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death – and the worst kind of death at that – a crucifixion.
Even Jesus humbled Himself to the will of God. If Jesus, who has equal status with God, can humble Himself to the will of another, even when it meant he had to die, and die a horrible undeserved death, can we stand in the light of that with any excuse?
4. If God is asking you to do something that feels too difficult, know this: God’s strength is sufficient for you. His power is brought to life in our weakness. Trust God’s strength, not your own.
So… if you feel that God is calling you to be obedient in something, do it today! Tell your friends about it and let them help you! Trust God’s power and strength inside of you! And see change in yourself and in the world around you as you obey!
– Sarah Holloway