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Obedience To God

God gave you the Holy Spirit as a guide, but it can be hard to walk in obedience to God if you aren't sure who's speaking to you. Is it the Holy Spirit or your own voice in your head? Or what if there's no voice at all and you feel desperate to hear from God?

If you've ignored His voice for a long time, either because you don't like what He says or because you don't trust yourself to hear Him correctly, He may have gotten quiet. You can pray and ask God to help you hear His voice again. God may ask you to remember the last time you heard His voice and obey those instructions before He tells you anything new.

The Holy Spirit will never tell you to do something that contradicts the overall message of Scripture. Sometimes Scripture contradicts itself because context matters, and sometimes it's written for the culture of the time. If it's something that's not clear, run it by a godly friend or pastor. As you study Scripture, you will come to know the character and nature of God, and that will also help you know the difference between your voice and His.

Sometimes the things the Holy Spirit whispers to us don't make sense to us and aren't in the Bible. Once obedience to God felt like He might be asking me to stop drinking coffee. It seemed so ridiculous that I ignored the prompt for a year. The Bible doesn't prohibit it in any way, but every morning when I made my coffee, I had a sense that God wanted me to give it up. I didn't have the sense that coffee was a sin or that anyone else needed to stop drinking it. I just felt like God was gently asking me to do it.

Eventually, I figured it wouldn't hurt anything to give it up even if I wasn't hearing God's voice. I mean, what's the harm? I really didn't want to. Coffee was my thing. But on the off chance that it really was the Holy Spirit, I decided to try it. When I gave it up, I realized that caffeine, a stimulant, can cause anxiety to increase. At that point in my life, anxiety attacks plagued me regularly. Giving up coffee wasn't a matter of salvation, but it made my life a lot easier when I did it. Obedience felt very strange that day, but when my anxiety was under control, I was able to drink coffee again with no hesitation.

Just to be clear, there HAVE been times that I thought God was speaking to me when He wasn't. There were several times as a single gal that I thought God told me a certain man was my husband. I'll spare you the details, but I was wrong. I felt pretty ridiculous, and eventually decided that I was extremely vulnerable in that area and couldn't trust that voice to be God's. When my husband DID come along, I thought I heard God whisper, "This man is your husband." I paid it no mind though. I put it completely out of my head and didn't think about it again until we were engaged.

Be on your guard if you believe you're hearing God say something that you very much want to be true. He has a funny way of only telling us things He knows we'd never believe or do without a prompting from the Holy Spirit. So, if your good brain and the information you have available to you would tell you yes or no about something, in my experience God will be completely silent on the issue.

It's time for you to listen to that Voice God put inside you. Obedience to God is always wise.

How often do you continue walking headlong into misery because something God wants you to do doesn’t make sense to you? Does pride keep you in chains? If you think God might have asked you to do something that doesn't make sense, what's the worst that could happen if you give it a try? If you think God might have asked you to stop doing something that isn't even a sin, why not at least stop for a while and see what happens?

God might have something particular to you and your situation that leads Him to ask you to start or stop something that doesn't make sense. Stop stubbornly clinging to your own "common sense" and give radical obedience a try. Even if it's some sense of false guilt or misunderstanding, God sees your heart and He will reward a heart that longs to serve Him.

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