Obeying God When the Struggle Is Real

If I choose to love God, then I will let Him decide the details of my life when He leads. Read seven practical ways to make sure you’re obeying God.

Welcome back, friends! Today I’m sharing a follow-up to the disobedience issue I came clean with in my last post. I don’t want my steps to be off sync while I’m walking with Jesus, so today I’m sharing practical ways to obey Him when you feel like He is leading you to do something that’s not so easy!

Several years ago I read a book called Rees Howell, Intercessor. I am still in awe of the gravity of his story of surrendering to the commands of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of his daily life. I prayed a dangerous prayer after that and told the Holy Spirit I would live my life that way. I definitely haven’t always submitted, but yet there have been drastic moments of yielding in daily details.

Obeying God in the Details

Which is why it wasn’t surprising that God took a magnifying glass to the tiny crumb I subconsciously brushed under the rug during my busy day.

It’s just bedtime, God. I feel like a little kid instead of a responsible adult when I can’t have more of “go to bed within a certain range” rather than a specific time.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 ESV

He likes to respond with scriptures. 😉

Of course, there is no scripture that says, “Thou shalt go to bed at a certain time,” but should I obey God when I feel His leading to do something for which I cannot find a specific command in the Bible? Yes. Of course, the Holy Spirit will never lead us to do something sinful or contrary to the Bible.

Much of Jesus’ ministry was being led by the Spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1).

I often want to fight God for control of my day, but if I keep the first and greatest command that tells me to love God with ALL my heart, soul, and mind, then obeying Him in the details should be a normal practice. I’ve said it before, love is a choice. God is leading; I am not.

Maybe you won’t understand this, but it’s just where I’m at with my spiritual growth.

If I choose to love God, then I will let Him decide the details of my life when He leads. #ThrivingInChrist #obedience Click to Tweet

If I choose to love God, then I will let Him decide the details of my life when He leads. Read seven practical ways to make sure you're obeying God.

7 Practical Ways to Obey God

  • Write it down. Write down what you feel like God is leading you to do. This might come in pieces, but write down the big picture, every step. Even the 10 Commandments were written down.
  • Select foundational verses. Whatever God leads you to do will be biblical. (The directional will definitely not go against scripture in any way; if it does, it’s not God.) Since there isn’t a specific command in scripture in my case of being diligent to keep the strict bedtime that I felt God led me to, I chose verses that went along with calling. Colossians 1:10 reminds me to walk worthy of my calling, and Philippians 4:13 help me lean on God for strength.
  • Find an “accountabilibuddy.” Even the most well-meaning Christian can become inconsistent. Ask someone to check up on you. Simply giving that person permission to speak into your life and cheer you on can bring about amazing motivation.

4 More Keys in Obeying God

The remaining four are from the keys of obedience that I started having my kids follow several years ago. It’s funny how sometimes a mom can teach simple principles to her children but hasn’t applied them to herself.

Don’t ask me how I know this. Let’s just say I remember putting these “keys” into place and the Lord was correcting me while I was correcting them!

For the little ones I had simplified them as “happy attitude, no complaining, right away, and finish all,” however let’s briefly look at these:

  • Check your attitude. God looks at the heart and motives. My prayer is, I delight to do Your will (Psalm 40:8a NASB).
  • Watch your words. It’s so easy to start complaining when things start going wrong. Or doubt-talk may need to be kicked to the curb.
  • Don’t delay. “Delayed obedience is not obedience at all, it’s disobedience,” was what I started saying to my kids when we started with the keys. I learned there is a fine line between giving myself grace for mistakes, and delaying because of laziness. 😉
  • Finish all. Do everything He said to do, and then trust Him with the rest. He uses humans to accomplish His purposes, but I’ve had to make sure I don’t try to take things a step further and make something happen on my own. I simply need to finish my part.

What did I miss? Is there anything else we could add to this list?

Love is a springboard and the motivator to obey God when the struggle is real. #ThrivingInChrist #obedience Click to Tweet

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  1. Kelly- I love control and God has really been working on me!
    The list is great and I see you added kick doubt to the curb. Doubt likes to get me often. Lots of curb kicking here!
    Sharing this on Twitter and Facebook!
    Your #IntentionalTuesday neighbor,

    1. Yes, doubt was the first trick in the garden. Did God really say…? But happy curb-kicking because God has some assignments for you to complete for His glory! Thanks for the comment and shares, friend!

  2. I need to start a separate “obedience journal”! For real! I’m good at writing it down…I’m not so good at remembering WHERE I wrote it down!
    I’ve heard so many times, “If you feel that you’re stagnant, go back to the last thing God told you or the Holy Spirit revealed to you to do…and do THAT.”
    Well….I don’t remember!!
    BUT I do know that it can be brought to my remembrance if I ask.
    A lot of times I’m more than willing, but then that “squirrel” scurries by and gets me off the task at hand!

    This is great in helping me get things into perspective!

    1. (I clicked on my name in the comment above and didn’t realize that it led to a blog that I never REALLY started!! EEEKK!!!!) I’m reposting my comment!

      I need to start a separate “obedience journal”! For real! I’m good at writing it down…I’m not so good at remembering WHERE I wrote it down!
      I’ve heard so many times, “If you feel that you’re stagnant, go back to the last thing God told you or the Holy Spirit revealed to you to do…and do THAT.”
      Well….I don’t remember!!
      BUT I do know that it can be brought to my remembrance if I ask.
      A lot of times I’m more than willing, but then that “squirrel” scurries by and gets me off the task at hand!

      This is great in helping me get things into perspective!

    2. Oh what a great idea, Kela! I love dedicating journals for specific things, and that would be easier to find rather than searching through my others. Thanks!

      I’m glad it was helpful! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  3. Love #3 and #1 on List 2. I just had a conversation with my 13 year old about our attitude being a huge factor in how we handle the hard stuff. We can do it unto the Lord, or we can complain and make ourselves and everyone around us miserable. I might have been preaching to myself. 😉 Great post, Kelly. Glad to visit from #testimonytuesday.

    1. Hi, Tiffany! Sorry for the number confusion. I didn’t know how to fix it so it stayed. I totally understand what you mean by preaching to yourself. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

  4. Your hammer hit so many nails…right on the head, Kelly! I found myself thinking of moments when I thought I knew better than God for some small thing I should be doing or being. I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning and that He sheds His grace upon us when we ‘mistakenly’ go the wrong way or chose our own way. Thank you for the ways to be obedient as I want to be such, yet am like the rest of us humans and mess up. Glad I came by!

    1. I’m grateful for the same, and I’m glad to see you here again! I’m thrilled this was helpful! 🙂

  5. Oh Kelly, this is good stuff. The Holy Spirit’s leading is so important and I love the bullet list at the bottom. Hint: I need to practice what I preach too. Just yesterday I had to apologize to the kiddos because I almost lost my cool. The days when I think, can’t I just have a fit, God? I am participating in Stephanie Miller’s Emotional Freedom Growth Group and I am believing God will help me here! Thanks for sharing this today, friend.

    1. So good to see you here, Meg! I love it that you apologized to your kids. I know of adults who won’t do that, but it’s actually a good thing. It takes humbleness. They can learn from that, too.

      I haven’t heard of that group, but the title sounds promising. 😉 I believe God will help you because you are “working out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Thanks for your comment, friend!

      1. Thank you, Kelly. I appreciate this very much. Blessings to you, friend!!!

  6. I delight to do Your will.
    That is so hard to say, isn’t it? I actually feel more like, “I want to want to do Your will.” So glad God understands!

    1. It is! I’ve asked God before to help me desire His way over mine. He has always answered that prayer! I’ve learned that as I choose to obey when I don’t feel like it that my heart will soon follow.

  7. I love #1 and 2. The power of God’s word while meditating on it time after time really makes things sink in and easier to follow through. Thank you for these practical and straightforward tips. visiting from coffee for your heart #33

    1. Hello, Kristina. That’s so true. He never ceases to amaze. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment! 🙂

  8. elizabeth959803 says:

    I love this, Kelly! I’ve been praying, “God show me Your ways and help me be obedient to them” for awhile now, but I so appreciate these “actionable steps” I can use to follow up on that prayer. Pinning! Stopping by from Thankful Thursdays!

    1. Hi, Elizabeth! I love seeing how we can apply the Word on a practical level. It seems to help me, so I thought maybe it would help someone else. I’m glad that God has used this post to help answer your prayer. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thanks for choosing such a practical example of obedience for this post — because it’s in the (supposedly) little things that we really demonstrate our determination to obey.

    1. Hi, Michele. So glad to see you here again. 🙂 Your comment made me think of the verse about being faithful in the little things. It’s such a little verse, but so powerful.

  10. Great list! The only thing I would add is “listen”.
    How many times have our children pretended not to hear when they don’t want to obey? We need to make sure we don’t do the same thing when we hear God’s voice.

    1. Oh maaaan, you are so right. I’m pretty sure I did that “pretended not to hear” recently. Yes, that’s a great one to add to the list. Thanks!

    1. It does. I was just thinking that I have some more to write down, but I’ve been putting it off because I realize that it is going to require a faith walk. Anyways, thanks for your comment. Blessings to you!

  11. Such great points, Kelly! I might add for myself: eyes on Him, not on the task” because too often when I get caught up in this struggle I’m looking at just the struggle, just what I can do about it, and just being obedient…instead of looking at the one I’m obeying, who is the very reason I’m obeying!

    1. Yes, Bethany! It is a good balance there to not let it become an idol. Thanks, friend. 🙂

  12. Great reminders! The need to enter an accountability relationship really hits home as that is something God has been nudging on my heart. Me and a friend have just agreed to meet regularly for that purpose.

    1. Praise God for confirmation! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Sharon!

  13. Lori @ Frog's Lilypad says:

    I love these, Kelly. I’m not one to write things down, but I need to start doing this. There have been countless times when I remember there is something the Lord showed me and I don’t remember what it was. I’ll be writing things down from now on. Thank you for these encouraging ways to obey God and for sharing them with Thankful Thursdays.

    1. Oh, I’m glad! I think it will help you with your writing.

  14. God has been nudging me more and more on the topic of obedience lately, and now here’s your post doing the same. And hand-in-hand with the lesson on obedience is the revelation of trust… He seems to want them both in tandem. Man is He schooling me on both, lol.
    So glad I was introduced to your blog today, Kelly, and if I may say, your IG account is so visually refreshing, loved visiting it…
    Blessings and more besides!

    1. Wow! Thank you! Nice to meet you Christine. I can see what you mean about trust. Thanks for your comment, and praying for you today!

  15. sandraj2015 says:

    “Happy attitude, no complaining, right away, and finish all,” These four speak to my life, too (not just for the wee ones). Love your post and your pics. Thanks!

    1. Oh, thank you! The simplicity of those 4 helped me remember, and apply them. Glad it helped. 🙂

  16. Kelly – such a great post and obedience is such a key in our relationship with God…. and yes the struggle is so real … I think it is part of our human nature to want control and do things our way.. but God wants so much more for us. So glad you were my neighbor today at #MondayMusings

    1. Yes, obedience is key in our relationship with God. It’s that taking up our cross daily. Thanks so much for your comment!

  17. Remembering that God’s plan for us is perfect, and that I need to not have my own agenda is so important; this was a good reminder. I need to base everything in Scripture, not my own feelings or desires. Thank you sister! <3 This #MomentsofHope link up is great!

    1. I’m glad it was helpful. Thanks for leaving a comment, and I’m happy to connect with you, Emily! 🙂

  18. Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments says:

    So many little areas I need to work on! That bedtime thing? Well … yeah … Thanks, friend, for the reminder and for the hope! I’m so thankful you are a part of #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,

  19. I appreciate these step by step pieces of inspiration and instruction to obey the Lord! Please visit my blog for my current and upcoming theological topics! Powerful material. follow for follow. God bless.

  20. I’ve struggled for years with obedience. I feel like I’ve had partial obedience – some of God’s easier commands, but not the hard ones. I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of 7 and it was genuine. I’ve prayed to re-commit my life to Christ many times. But I’ve still battled with letting go of everything, especially the things that are hard or don’t make sense. I want to be that obedient son, but I’m worried that God is angry with me for all the times I’ve failed to obey and still do. Is there hope? I’m miserable like this and I want to be right with Him… stubbornness is a hard habit to break, but if that’s what it takes, I want and need this. It’s also hard being in this position because the grace message of the Lord somehow gets hidden or seems reserved for only those who don’t have a problem with chronic or habitual sin. But I need His grace too, in order to rest and thereby re-cultivate a holy love and commitment to Him. When you invest in another Kingdom, you have to be at peace and rest in the knowledge that your investment is going to receive returns – even returns such as blessings like love, joy, peace, long-suffering and so on. In other words, not just obeying and then it becoming legalism instead of loving service to our loving God. I’m sorry this is so long but thank you for letting me share.

    1. Of course there’s hope! If God were still angry with you, then He’d be holding resentment towards you. And that would go against His nature. God is love, and love isn’t resentful (1 Cor. 13:5). Furthermore, He forgets our sins when we repent (Hebrews 10:17). As a mom, I don’t throw my children out of the family when one makes a mistake. It’s because I realize they’re growing into maturity and that is a process. You’re in the family of God and He knows you’re growing. He’s working on you! And remember, grace is a part of the growing process (2 Peter 3:18). Just keep loving Him!

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