Thursday, March 3, 2022



Have you ever been in a situation where you know that obeying God is the right thing to do but your flesh just keeps pulling you in the opposite direction? I know that for me there are many occasions I face when obeying God gets hard. 

It's almost as if I'm the dog in this image that's being pulled in one direction when I do not want to go that way. I want to either go a different direction or just sit still where I'm at. For some, it could be the annoying know-it-all colleague at work that you want to tell what they can do with their opinions or often times, it could even be a situation where you know you should not eat another slice of chocolate cake or take that last scoop of ice cream but you ignore the voice of wisdom and eat it anyway. Being a believer does not somehow magically mean that our flesh dies. What actually happens is that God through His Holy Spirit begins to show and teach us how to empty from the cup that feeds our flesh and replace it with the things that feed our spirit.

One of the things I'm personally struggling with now is 'being still' and this is when obeying God gets hard for me because I have always been someone who likes instant gratification and the feeling of movement which could be with anything. For example, in my article last week, I talked about being in my wilderness season and some of what I have been learning is how to display patience, integrity, holiness and righteousness specifically in my relationship with food and wanting to get out of feeling physically stagnant or limited. Food for me is not just about eating but something the Holy Spirit shared with me in my quiet time is that for me, food has been about instant gratification. A lot of times I eat not because I'm hungry but because the food is there to instantly gratify my flesh. I see food as a tool to exert control over my body because I seem not to be in control with any other area in my life right now (which bothers me tremendously). I was not aware of any of this prior to being showed this truth in Matthew 4 where we see Jesus resisting the temptation of food that would have instantly satisfied his flesh by Satan while in His own wilderness season.

When it comes to not feeling like I'm stuck (or being still as it were), obeying God gets hard because I want the instant gratification of being able to go where I want and do whatever I want at any moment that I want. After all, culture today tells us that we have to be in a constant state of grinding and movement to be relevant or seen as successful. In other words, being 'busy' is my preference. However, I'm having to learn that not all movement is a blessing or is required if it's not from God. Many Bible characters had to obey God in their wilderness when it was extremely hard to do so. Joseph, David and even Jesus had been given a vision/promise from God or anointed by Him, yet they had to go through the wilderness to wait and obey Him before God changed their seasons and empowered them to fulfill His vision for their lives.

All I'm saying here is that obeying God gets hard for all of us. Some even go so far as to reject an instruction from the Lord that goes contrary to the faulty image they have of Him. Like God could never ask you to leave your 6 figure job to be a teacher or move from your 5 bed 5 bath home to live in a studio apartment when that could very well be what He is saying so you can learn what He wants to teach you. God allowed Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery, He permitted Satan to inflict Job with the unthinkable and caused Saul to continually chase after David to kill him. God did not stop these things from happening because each man needed to shed what was not needed and gain what was for the next phase God was taking him to. It would have been easy to disobey God for any of these men but even when it was hard to do, they still trusted Him through their wilderness.

The same is true for us today. Where in your life are you finding it hard to obey what you feel like God is saying for you to do, not do or let go of? It takes sacrifice to follow God. We see it all over the Bible and if God's own Son, Jesus, had to go through His own wilderness and persecution, why would we think we would have it any differently? Only God and His Holy Spirit can sustain us in the wilderness seasons of our lives so rather than fight against the journey and lessons, embrace them because you are in good company. He alone can supernaturally empower you to stand still for Him when the world wants to pull you in so many other directions.



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