It’s His love that makes us pliable, like a piece of clay in His hands. And the more pliable we become―that is, the more obedient we become to the Holy Spirit―the more we will experience God’s presence in our life.
Let me explain. If you have a child that just sweetly obeys you, there’s a desire that builds up inside you to give them everything they need and want. But if they have the attitude of “Get me this. Get me that,” you don’t even want to be around them.
Now remember, God’s love is unconditional and He always forgives. But we don’t ever want to take advantage of that. It’s important for us to examine our hearts and ask ourselves: What kind of attitude do I have toward God?
For example, have you ever felt like God is stricter with you than with other people? I know I have. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking, God, it’s just not fair. How come they can do that and I can’t? But the truth is, God has a unique plan for your life, and that means He may require you to do some things that He’s not asking someone else to do. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just do what we believe God is asking us to do.
We also need to understand that everything God asks us to do is for our own benefit. And if you consistently let God have His way in your life, you will always have joy.
We Can Do What We Want―to a Point
In 1 Samuel 10, Saul is handpicked to be the first king of Israel. In verses 6-7, the prophet Samuel actually tells him, The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you will show yourself to be a prophet with them; and you will be turned into another man. When these signs meet you, do whatever you find to be done, for God is with you.
What Samuel was saying is, Look, God has anointed you to be king and He’s with you. So you can be confident in doing whatever you think is right for the people.
What does that mean for you and me? It means we don’t have to have a word from God for every move we make. If God is with us, we can know in our heart what’s right and wrong and we can be secure in the decisions we make.
However, when God gives us a specific word or assignment, it’s in our best interest to obey Him exactly.
Let’s take a look at what happened with Saul.
When God Has a Plan…
In 1 Samuel 13, Saul goes to Gilgal to make a burnt offering to the Lord, with one very specific instruction from Samuel: Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you shall do.
Well, Saul waited the seven days. But when it looked like Samuel wasn’t coming back and the people started to scatter, Saul went ahead and made a burnt offering himself. And as soon as he finished, Samuel arrived.
It was a test. And Saul didn’t pass. In fact, God told Saul, I would have established your kingdom forever, but now I’m putting David in charge (see 1 Samuel 13:13-14).
Can you imagine how bad Saul felt? God had an amazing plan for his life and because he didn’t wait a little while longer for Samuel to arrive, he missed out on an incredible promise that could have been passed to his family forever. Although God’s love for Saul never changed, Saul’s future changed because of the choices he made.
God knows none of us are perfect. But if every day, to the best of our ability, we’re allowing the Spirit of Truth to keep us on the narrow path, we will receive all the blessings God has planned for us.
How to Take Hold of God’s Best for Your Life
Being a committed Christian is a full-time job―and it’s certainly not for wimps. But having that kind of life is worth everything we have to give.
Listen to Romans 5:19: For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).
One person’s choices really can change the world. Just think of some of the great heroes of our faith! You and I will never know the full extent of the price they paid, but because of their obedience, millions of people around the world have come to know Jesus Christ. And you have the same opportunity.
Incredible things can happen because of the right decisions you make every day. I hope you’ll encourage yourself with this one question: What will happen if I obey God today?