Life at its best is only found in obedience to the Lord. He created us, loves us, and knows exactly how we should live and what we should do. Therefore, to turn our backs on His plans for our lives is equivalent to rejecting the best He could possibly give us. The wisest thing we can do is to submit to the Lord and learn what is required to live in obedience to Him:
Meditate upon God’s Word. Since the Bible is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, we need to carefully consider what it says so we won’t stumble or lose our way in life (Ps. 119:105). Meditation includes reading the Word, thinking about it, and asking God questions regarding its meaning and application. The world constantly bombards us with messages designed to lead us astray, but when we make the Scriptures a vital part of each day, our hearts and minds are protected and tuned in to the Lord so we can discern His guidance.
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. God has given us the awesome gift of His Spirit, who lives within us. He’s the one who convicted us of sin and opened our hearts to accept Jesus’ wonderful offer of salvation. Now one of His jobs is to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). When we read the Scriptures, He helps us interpret it. Then throughout the day, He reminds us of those truths or convicts us if we sin. No one can live the Christian life without Him. Only as we listen to the Spirit will we become Christlike and accomplish what God desires.
Be sensitive to God’s timing. Whatever the Lord tells us to do is to be done according to His time schedule not ours. Isaiah 64:4 says that the Lord acts in behalf of those who wait for Him. If we are consistently listening to God through His Word and His Spirit, He will train us to discern not only what He’s saying, but when He wants us to act. Since God is omniscient, He knows the perfect timing for every situation. If we get ahead of Him or lag behind, we’ll miss what He had in mind. To help us, He’s given us an internal timer in the person of the Holy Spirit. When we’re sensitive to His voice, He shows us when to move ahead.
Since the Lord has promised to guide us, we have nothing to fear if we’re following His leadership. He is sovereign over everything and controls all the consequences. There is nothing He cannot handle and nothing He will not provide for us if we’ll listen, trust, and obey Him.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message, “The Requirements of Obedience,” where he shares 5 more things we must do to follow the Lord.