“My sheep hear my voice… and they follow [obey] me.”
(John 10:27, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Our fathers of the faith—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph—all knew about sheep. As shepherds, they knew how directionless sheep can be, how prone they are to wandering, to getting themselves stuck between a rock and a craggy place…to getting lost. Sheep need to be herded, directed, and led in order to live safe and to live well.
The same is true for you and me. I guess that’s why the Lord Jesus, when thinking of an analogy which would best describe us—from among all the animals He created—landed on sheep!
Like myself, most Believers I know want to be led by the Lord—to be in His will. The “big” question which looms large and loud in our minds is: “What is God’s will for me?” We ask it in the face of great and small circumstances: where to live, whom to marry, which job to take, what ministry to serve in, etc. We pray, we seek counsel, we put out fleeces, and still, we sometimes find we are tone-deaf to His voice.
The thing we tend not to do, however, is perform a “systems check” on our past and present obedience performance. Have we acted on all that we’ve heard the Lord speak to our hearts—both His big and the small directives?
What if God’s will for our lives is revealed to us by the way in which we answer His questions, specifically the ones which begin with “Will you…?”
Will you obey in this?
Will you pray for that?
Will you study my Word?
Will you confront and repent from your sin cycles?
Will you pursue better health?
Will you trust me?
Will you take a risk?
Will you speak boldly?
Will you suffer for my sake?
Will you do something that’s not in your wheelhouse?
Will you act on something—even if it sounds crazy—just because I said so?
When Abram (later Abraham) set out from Harran, having been instructed by God simply to “Go”, he left his family, his hometown, his familiar everything without hesitation. His obedient surrender demonstrated for us one of the finer faith acts contained within Scripture—going when he was asked to go without knowing exactly where he was being led. Abraham trusted the voice of God without access to the Lord’s GPS or His monthly planner.
Abraham only discovered the Lord’s will for his life, and for the lives of his family, after he responded, “Yes, Lord, I will.” The same can be true for you and I if we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit without hesitation. If we make it our habit to promptly obey God’s small directives, the Lord will see us as trustworthy to unfold His will in the larger situations of our lives—the areas in which we are desperate for Him to guide us through. Luke 16:10 tells us, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” We may think the “much” in this precept lies solely in the realm of material possessions, but I believe it extends to both wisdom and to knowledge (of His will).
So, I ask you, when you do hear His voice, do you follow [obey] Him? If your answer is, “Not always,” or “not immediately,” analyze what’s keeping you from responding with knee-jerk obedience. Part of your reluctance may be the cost. You know it’ll end up costing something you hold dear—time, money, pride, ease of living, security, or maybe even a “secret” pleasure. In addition to the cost, I bet at times you can be downright afraid! (I know this is a big one for me!)
Here’s an ‘obedience enhancer’ I’ve come to understand and to trust in over the years: God never sends us anyplace where He isn’t already present. When He calls you FROM something, you can be certain He’s already at work ahead of you, calling you TO Himself!
Dear Shepherd of our souls, we ask in your Mighty Name that you would gift us with the audacity needed to respond to your promptings without hesitancy. Remind us that whatever the cost of obedience on our part, you paid a higher cost. And whenever we’re afraid to do what you’ve asked of us—help us to walk in obedience, and do it afraid! We know in all things you are lovingly moving us forward in our sanctification process, so we can better reflect your glory to a world so in need of YOU!
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Make a list of the things you’ve felt the Lord asking you to do this past year. Put a check mark next to the ones you have obeyed and record next to them what you’ve seen the Lord doing because of your obedience.
If there are any directives you’ve written down which are not checked off, write next to each one why you’ve yet to obey. Then ask Jesus for forgiveness for your delayed response, make up a detailed plan of action, and then simply, obey!
More from the Girlfriends
Overcoming Back and Neck Pain (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or wherever books are sold.
Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!