If you have been a Christian for more than five minutes you know the frustration of waiting. There are times in our lives when it seems God has gone on holidays and isn’t answering our prayers. What if that was not the case? What if there was something we could do to affect change in our lives?
There can be many factors influencing why change is not happening in the areas you are praying for however I believe there is one reason that is often overlooked. And this reason is one you can do something about today!
One reason you may not be experiencing change in your life is that you are hearing but not obeying. This key truth transformed the way I looked at situations that didn’t seem to change.
Many years ago I was experiencing an issue that I was getting not getting breakthrough in. I was frustrated and questioning why God was not answering. My Pastor at the time gave me some wise advice. He asked me “What was the last thing God told you to do? And did you do it”
As I considered this God reminded me of something He had asked me to do and I had not done it. I had thought it was too confronting and I didn’t want to do it. When I went and did what God had told me to do things began to change.
James 1:22-25 encourages us to not just listen to God’s word but also do it!
How many times do we read something in scripture and not apply it?
Why do we listen and not obey?
It is such a simple concept, to hear and to obey, so why do we struggle to live it out? I would like to suggest 3 thoughts that contribute to us hearing and not obeying.
We don’t like what God is asking us to do.
We don’t want to change, in fact if others could change that would be great!
We fear what others will think or the uncomfortable feelings that might accompany our obedience.
The Benefits of Obeying
James suggests that if we are hearing but not applying God’s word we are fooling ourselves. There are 2 significant things we miss out on when we hear from God and don’t obey.
Freedom – Obedience to God brings freedom into our lives. God’s ways are not to hurt us but rather to give us hope and a future, Jeremiah 29:11.
Blessing – God is pleased when we hear and obey and He blesses us because of this. We see this example time and time again with the Israelites in the Old Testament. When they obeyed God everything went well for them but when they disobeyed things started to go wrong.
A wise person not only hears God but also obeys Him.
How do we practice obedience?
Ask God to help you to do what He is asking you to do
Ask God what He wants you to do rather than telling Him what you want Him to do.
Ask yourself what the cost will be if you don’t obey?
Forgive me for the times where I have heard Your truth and not obeyed. Holy Spirit, I need Your help to be obedient especially when I’m afraid. Thank You for the freedom and blessing that comes from obedience to You.