Hesitation delays growth, immediate obedience promotes growth. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him (Matthew 4:19-20).
Spiritually you are built to obey–not disobey. When you walk in the Spirit, everything within you desires to follow your Lord. When you hesitate to obey, you miss out on the great adventures of a growing relationship with God. Delayed obedience delays our spiritual growth and weakens the foundation that God wants to build in your life for future obedience and growth.
Christ called out followers in His day and He is still looking for immediate obedience from followers in our day. Followers of Christ are recognized by their practice of immediate obedience. When walking in the Spirit, you do not question when you should follow the Lord and when you should not. Spirit-controlled living focuses on obeying Christ–moment-by-moment.
Hesitation to obey Christ is not obedience at all. Waiting until one feels ready to obey the Lord does not demonstrate a ready to follow faith. There is a difference between immediately responding to God’s invitation, doing whatever He asks, and contemplating, considering, and hesitating. One speaker stated that we have to stop hesitating and take the first step, and the first step is to stop hesitating. That’s so true. Many in the Christian walk attempt to find out how little can be done instead of how much can be accomplished.
Immediate obedience requires one to follow what God commands in His Word. But, there are some things you do not need to pray about! Did I really write that? Yes! Some things God has already asked us to do. We just need to immediately respond and obey. If you ask some people to read the Bible every day–they say, “Well, let me pray about that.” You don’t have to pray about that–just respond in immediate obedience! Ask that same person to serve in a ministry at church and you probably will hear, “Well, let me pray about it.” That is just a stall tactic.As long as you have trouble doing the things you know you ought to do, you will not be walking in the Spirit. Resistance to Christ’s commands will weaken your spirit. If you have to stop and think which commandment of Christ to obey, you are in trouble already.
Some people want to live the Christian life, but on their own terms. They want to obey only one thing at a time. They believe that once they are proficient in one thing, they can then work on the next task. Imagine a Christian wanting to read his/her Bible everyday but having no desire to spend time in prayer. This person believes to obey one command while ignoring others keeps them in good standing with God. After all, they are obeying God–somewhat. Sorry, but the Christian life does not work that way. Obedience requires the daily practice of continuing in God’s Word, praying, sharing your faith, and spending time with other believers. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…” (John 14:15-16). Jesus did not say, “Keep some of my commands.” As you obey Christ, the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth–not some of the truth.
If you have to stop and ask yourself whether you will obey this commandment or that one, you are choosing to disobey from the very beginning! Oswald Chambers said, “There are some questions God cannot answer until you’ve been brought by obedience to be able to stand the answer.” God will not break through and overpower your will to force you to obey. If you do not obey the last thing He told you to do, you will not make any progress in your Christian growth.
So, obey Him today and experience His blessings that can only be received through an obedient heart!
**Taken from Kerry’s book, “The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility.”