Mark Affleck

“If I Don’t Listen to God, I Don’t Have to Obey Him.”

October 6, 2021
Spiritual Growth

We know that God is constantly talking to his children and the only question is if we are LISTENING. That makes LISTENING for God’s voice a spiritual IMPERATIVE that we must do. In fact, LISTENING for God is a sign of spiritual maturity. But it’s very DIFFICULT to do with all of life’s distractions and IMPOSSIBLE to pull off if we are not willing to OBEY what he says. That was ME early in my faith walk.
Every believer needs God’s wisdom and discernment and guidance to walk upright in surrendered obedience through this life on earth. That applies to relationships. Jobs. Family. Money. Everything. As followers of Jesus, we have been invaded by the Holy Spirit which becomes our ballast and compass.
Only God can give us what we need to walk on his righteous road. That’s why we must be connected to him every day through his Word and prayer to LISTEN for his direction. To hear about the need to alter course. To understand his timing trumps our timing, and our goals.
But if we are unwilling to OBEY him and neglect his divine leadership by insisting on going our own way, we will face the consequences of that selfish and unwise choice until we repent and return our trust to him.
Those consequences can be anything from: 1) Being confused about our choices because of our guilt; 2) Experiencing internal doubt about a particular course of action; to 3) Paying the price for ignoring God and doing it our own way.
If we fall into this pattern of ignoring God’s voice so we don’t have to obey, we will experience loss and regret and pain. But that’s just the beginning. The next consequence of not obeying God is to second-guess our choices and play the “If I had only…” mind game that takes us further away from God.
But the most dangerous outcome from not listening to God in order to avoid having to obey him is receiving his discipline. WHY? Because his goal is to have us LEARN from our experiences and turn from trusting our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) to lean on HIM so he can straighten our path.
That comes from LISTENING and OBEYING.
I ask God to help me be vigilant about LISTENING to him and to keep me anxious to OBEY whatever he says.
What will you do the next time this thought swims through your mind: “If I Don’t Listen to God, I Don’t Have to Obey Him.”
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…” 1 Peter 1:14

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