“Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise,
like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”
Matthew 7:24 NLT
One of the surest signs of maturity is the ease with which you obey the Holy Spirit’s leading.
As a parent or leader, you know that when you give specific instructions it’s for a very specific reason. You see ahead to a goal, knowing this step is part of a bigger picture and your directions are for the good of both the individual and the whole.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit desires to guide and teach you, but with purity and insight far exceeding mere human wisdom. In perfect wisdom, power, and love He brings together countless details over many lifetimes in just the perfect timing for a moment in your day. It’s really breath-taking when you sit back and think about it.
Yet, instead of embracing His heavenly perspective, we too often sound like the toddler who constantly questions his mother’s instructions.
- Why do You want to do that?
- Why do You want to do it that way?
- Are You sure?
- What about doing it this way instead?
When you are more aware of your physical condition than God’s majesty, it’s difficult to understand His ways. But with your every step of obedience His sovereignty and wisdom becomes more and more apparent. Soon you’ll ask less questions as you come to know:
Obedience is always for a purpose.
God’s instructions are never pointless or cruel. Ever. They may not make immediate sense and they can lead to uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory. However, the Holy Spirit always leads you into truth. Obedience to His leading always takes you closer to your Creator and deeper into your divine destiny. Always.
One of my favorite examples of this is found in Peter.
Luke 5:1-11 records an encounter between Jesus and Peter early in their relationship. Peter had just finished a night of fishing and was cleaning his nets as Jesus began teaching at the Sea of Galilee. When the crowd pressed in against Him, Jesus asked to use Peter’s boat to teach from.
After Jesus finished teaching, He made a very unusual request. He told Peter to put out into the deep water and lower his nets again. Peter replied,
“Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing. But on the ground of Your Word I will lower the nets again.” (Luke 5:5)
When Peter obeyed Jesus’ instructions, he caught such a haul of fish that his nets began to break. Calling for his friends, they filled two boats so that they almost sank.
“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!‘” (Luke 5:8)
I see several important lessons we can glean from this encounter:
- Obedience opens wide the door for God to use the foolish things to confound the wise.
Peter knew that fishing in the middle of the day was foolish. Yet on the authority of Jesus’ word, the illogical became a platform to display God’s glory. If you are willing to step out on God’s word, He will do more through you than you could think or imagine – often in very unusual ways.
- Obedience leads you deeper into the fear of God.
Peter had just begun his journey into knowing Jesus. Although he had heard profound teaching and witnessed his mother-in-law’s healing, this experience produced even greater reverence. Likewise, the more you encounter God, the more you will know He is worthy of your obedience.
- Obedience opens your eyes to see yourself in the Light of God.
Even though the massive catch of fish was a physical blessing, Peter was more aware of the spiritual condition of his own heart: “I am a sinful man.” He recognized what was of eternal value. Seeing yourself in the light of Truth brings clarity, freedom, and growth.
- Obedience opens your understanding to a greater purpose and destiny.
Luke 5:11 tells us that Peter and his partners, James and John, immediately left everything to follow Jesus. When you catch a glimpse of your Creator you realize that life is much more than what your physical eyes can see. Earthly cares fade in the light of eternal destiny.
- Each single step of obedience takes you to greater places of obedience.
Catching fish was not the goal for Jesus that day. Peter thought it was the goal, but in his simple step of obedience Peter found himself on the threshold of the real goal. A deeper revelation of Jesus propelled him into a legacy of catching men that continues to this day. When you allow the Holy Spirit to lead your steps, He will cause your life to reverberate throughout the ages.
Where is God asking you to do the illogical?
I pray for grace and faith to rise up and empower you to step forward in obedience. May you see God in new ways that ground you deeper in His love and majesty. May you come to know even more that He is for you, not against you. His every command carries a purpose and destiny beyond this world.
Find more of Amy’s encouragement in Why You are Valuable
Amy Layne Litzelman is passionate about knowing God more intimately in each moment and helping others do the same. Amy released her first book, This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship, in 2011. She has also composed over seventy songs, recorded four CDs, and traveled to teach and lead worship across the United States and in the Philippines and China. She and her husband, Matt, live in Jackson Hole, WY and have two adult sons.
Click here to learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman
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