“…You have given me
the capacity to hear and obey…
I delight to do Your will, O my God.”
Psalm 40:6, 8 (Amp)
The more I walk in obedience, the more I realize the richness of joy it brings.
Not fickle, temporary happiness, but deep down, rock-solid, pure, permeating joy.
Most of us know that obeying God is the right thing to do, but to equate it with joy can be quite a leap. We don’t want to be controlled. We don’t like being limited or restrained or told what to do. We fear looking like a fool or a failure.
But what if God is to leading you to a destiny beyond yourself?
- What if He wants to fill you with His wisdom and passion?
- What if He wants to show you His design for Life?
- What if He wants to lead you to freedom and peace?
- To partner with you and entrust you with His mysteries?
- What if God won’t let you settle for less than all He knows you can be?
To move from an earthly mindset that makes us bristle at the thought of submission to a joyful expectation of good, we must focus on the One who is leading. We must look at the full spectrum of His love, grace, and wisdom.
When God asks anything of you it is only for your good. The Holy Spirit never directs you to do something that does not ultimately lead to Life. As we talked about in Part 1, obedience always has a purpose. It always leads you closer to Jesus, closer to your destiny, and deeper into His Kingdom. All of this produces a divine, unshakable joy.
Jesus told His disciples in John 15:10-11:
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.”
Your Creator wants you to have complete joy, not fluctuating emotions. He wants you to be firmly rooted in His love. But to find the joy of obedience, you must embrace the glory of humility. You must come to see the privilege of being led by One who is perfect in all ways.
Personally, I find it astounding that we can live in the counsel of God. And if we obey it, He trusts us as a friend. Perfect joy flourishes in this communion. (See John 15:14-15)
Sometimes obedience takes you where you already long to go. Other times it comes in the form of small, seemingly insignificant requests that barely cost you a thing yet reveal a bigger picture.
Still other times it’ll cost you more than you can imagine – your very thoughts, opinions, desires, relationships, and life. Obeying God’s word can be the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced – but only for the moment and for a reward far greater than the price.
Look at the life of Jesus. He did nothing, He said nothing, except what the Father instructed and this obedience led Him to the cross. Painful. Lonely. Death. Yet it was for the joy set before Him that Jesus endured the cross and its shame. It was not a reward of power, fame, or fortune that carried Jesus through. It was not anger or bitterness that drove Him forward.
Jesus overcame the cross by knowing the pure joy of obedient trust.
Jesus understood obedience. He submitted Himself wholly to His Father’s word knowing it is the most perfect place to be. The security of His Father’s love overshadowed His pain. The reward of fulfilling His destiny eclipsed His momentary trial. The Life of God within empowered Him to be victorious.
This depth of joy only comes in the fire of obedience.
This depth of joy is what you are called to:
- being one with your God;
- abiding in His love;
- becoming His friend;
- watching His Life flow through you;
- partnering to build His Kingdom.
Each small step builds upon another until you know that your God is truly worthy of your allegiance. As you believe that He is all powerful, all wise, and all good it will be your joy to obey Him. It will be your joy to say
“Your Kingdom come, God. Your will and purpose be done.
Whatever You ask, whatever You desire, I’m following You.”
Searching for more soothing inspiration? Continue to read encouragement for the heart ~ Changing Your Perspective on Obedience – Part I
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.
Learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman