Over the last few posts, we’ve been looking at taking our first steps towards that THING that God has called us to do.
The THING is different for each of us. It’s personal. It fills our hearts with passion, conviction and maybe a little bit of fear at its hugeness.
The first steps are the hardest. It takes some research, resources and sacrifice. But in the end, our first steps require one choice that is totally within our control. No one can make this choice for us. The choice is not any easier for me than it is for you or for anyone else.
It’s the choice to be obedient.
What does obedience mean? The dictionary definition is
compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.
The funny thing about God is that he doesn’t order us to do anything. He makes a request and then it is up to us to submit to his authority. To make the choice of obedience.
Obedience is the string that ties our heart to God’s heart.
Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 (NIV)
You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:14 (NIV)
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. 2 John 1:6 (NIV)
See God’s heart there? He promises a closeness … a friendship … a special connection when we are obedient to Him.
What does that obedience look like in real life? Once we’ve made the choice to be obedient, it is also a tool to do some of the heavy lifting as we take our first steps.
Obedience overcomes objections and excuses.
When other people say we can’t do it, or when we experience delays and obstacles in the path, those things lose the power to derail us when we have chosen to be obedient. Obedience is the little voice taping on our shoulder, saying, “Those things don’t matter. You have a job to do, now go do it!”
Obedience overcomes decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is a real thing. How many times have you gotten to the end of a long day where you’ve had to make a million decisions and then find yourself standing in front of the frig, unable to decide whether to have fish or chicken for dinner?
That’s why the experts recommend that you made your most significant decisions of the day early in the morning, before your brain is worn out by all the other decisions you have to make.
Choosing to be obedient is a way of pre-deciding that you are going to do exactly what God has called to do. So when those decision opportunities come your way, the hard work is already done. Decision fatigue doesn’t cause you to take the easy way out.
Obedience takes the load off of yourself
Leading a ministry, writing a book, running a business, volunteering at your church … those are all heavy burdens that the called carry. It can make us weary. But our choice to be obedience transfers that responsibility from our frail shoulders to the big strong shoulders that carry the world. God makes the decisions, opens the doors, brings the opportunities, inspires the words, sparks the creativity.
It’s all Him.
We become only the vessels that say YES to his instructions every day.
So there is no need to fear those first steps. When we embrace obedience, those steps will always be on the right path.
What first steps are obedience asking you to take?