What do you think of when you think of the words being obedient to God? Do you think of following the Ten Commandments? Helping your neighbor? Forgiving those who have hurt you in some way? These are common things people think of when they think of the words being obedient to God. But being obedient to God is far more than these things.
Being obedient to God is following ALL God’s commands and the Bible is full of commands. For example, take worrying. Do you worry? Most people have worried about a thing or two in their lives, some more often than they’d like to admit—I’m certainly one of those people. But we are commanded by the Bible not to worry, as Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:6, “worry about nothing, pray about everything.” So when we choose to pray rather than worry, we are obeying God! And what a great command to follow! Not only does following this command makes God smile, it also benefits us in so many ways.
So how do we become more obedient?
* First, Read the Word of God. You must know what God directs you to do. Yes, it may seem overwhelming to think about reading the entire Bible but it is not meant to be read in one sitting. The Bible is meant to be read a portion at a time; although nothing prevents a person from reading the Bible all at once. Some certainly do. But the point is, don't feel bad if that's not you. You see, the Bible calls us to meditate on the word of God day and night. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2).
The Hebrew word for meditate is hâghâh. Hâghâh means "to utter, speak, and muse”. So not only are we to speak the Word of God day and night, we are to “muse” on the Word of God day and night. The word “muse” means “to become absorbed in thought; to think about something carefully and thoroughly.” So we are to become absorbed in thought with the Word of of God; we are to think about the Word of God carefully and fully; and we are to do this day and night. So give yourself a break! It’s okay to take your time in reading the Bible. Don’t pressure yourself. You can read the Bible at your own pace!
*Second, Plug It In. Plug in the Word of God in your own life. In other words, see how the Word of God fits in your own life. One way you can do this is examine areas in your life you may need assistance with or things you want to overcome then find Bible verses that will assist you in those areas.
So for example, say you have a goal you really want to achieve but you need encouragement on achieving this goal because it’s challenging. So what do you do? You go to the Word of God and find key verses that will encourage you in reaching your goal, such as Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through the Lord who strengthens me,” and 1 Corinthians 9:24, “I will run the race in such a way as to get the prize.” Then plug it in. Ready? Let’s do it!
When you think about reaching your goal throughout the day you say aloud, “I can reach this goal of [insert goal] because I can do all things in the Lord who strengthens me.” Then you visualize reaching your goal and make a plan and take action! This is a great way to meditate on the word because you are not only speaking the Word of God, you are becoming absorbed in the Word of God through your thoughts throughout the day by visualizing reaching your goals with the Word of God!
*Third, Examine and Revisit. Examine and Revisit. Explore what you are learning in the Word of God and how you are applying this to your life. How are you are growing and learning from following God’s Word and applying it to your life? What can you improve so that you can become who God created you to be and become the best version of myself? What is holding you back? What is propelling you forward in the direction of Jesus and fulfilling your destiny? What Bible verses and guidance from God has assisted you in your journey thus far? What Bible Verses and Guidance from God can assist you in the future?
Once you identify all these things, reward yourself for how you have grown in your learning and your reliance on God and for any growth and progress you are making, and make adjustments when necessary. Always look at things you believe you can improve on and turn to God, His strength, His Word for help--to live in you, to strengthen you, to perfect you. For Hebrews 4:16 instructs us to "boldly go before the throne of grace to find grace to help us in our time of need." So we can boldly go to God for help; do so and bring your questions and requests to Him, making them known. But don't stop here. After bringing your questions and requests to God, go ahead and take at least a few minutes or more to listen for His answers and guidance. You will be amazed at what He will show you and how your life can improve as a result of applying to your life what He is telling you.
*Fourth, Be Patient and Kind with Yourself. Growing and becoming the person God created us to be takes time. It’s not always easy and there are plenty of life challenges. So be patient and kind with yourself throughout it all. When you are patient and kind with yourself as your grow, you are nurturing at least two of the 9 fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22; that is you are nurturing the fruit of patience and the fruit of kindness. This is an act of obedience in itself!
So there you have it—four steps you can take to become more obedient so that you can more fully live the life God has designed you to live. This may seem like a lot but hey, God believes in us and that we are capable, otherwise He wouldn’t have given us all that He has given us in the to follow. Sure, we won’t do things perfectly all the time and we will fall short sometimes, but we will grow tall too and become more of the person God created us to be and live a more Spirit-filled, enriched life, with more freedom and greater happiness and joy. He wants this for us. He wants us to become the best version of ourselves and He believes we can become the best version of ourselves. Do you?
Are you ready to live the life God has destined for you? Because you can! He is right by your side the entire way, too. And don’t you forget, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, get out your bibles and go get it!