Hi there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m in the middle of enjoying. I’d love for you to join me and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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I’m thinking of a word that could bring about an incredible reformation. A single word that could change the face of the Earth completely if every follower of Jesus made it central to his walk.

Here’s a hint:

So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. {I Samuel 15:22}

Got it yet?

It’s Obedience.

We celebrate a lot around the Collie household. Not with wild parties or raucous behavior, but with simple moments of joy and cheering, and, when appropriate, perhaps a little tangible reward, too.

We sometimes celebrate the success of a child who took his own initiative to do his business, and successfully did so in the potty. We celebrate because someone has accomplished something new — a first step, a new word, some accomplishment of strength or agility or brainpower.

But I would guess one of our most favorite things to celebrate is simple obedience. We don’t throw a party because one of our kids obeyed us, but we do celebrate with words of praise for the child who, without prompting, made a decision based on what he understood our wishes to be, instead of what he would have probably chosen out of his own volition.

We take the responsibility of raising our children very seriously, and while we desire to train them to hear and obey the voice of God for themselves, we see obedience to us as a good stepping stone in the meantime.


Obedience is a beautiful thing.

And if there’s one word that could change the face of the planet completely, I think it’s the Christian Church getting hold of that one.

We have a heap of knowledge about God these days. It’s as if we think we can reason our way to God, or learn our way into heaven with seven steps or with vigilant attention to just one more sermon series.

But the path to heaven is the one that was paved by the cross.

And to be identified with Christ is to take up our own cross and follow Him.

There is no Easter Sunday without a Good Friday, but still there is Easter Sunday. So this isn’t a works-based suggestion — I am not saying Brethren, Get Your Boots On and let’s work our way to Jesus.

There is Resurrection power thanks to that first Easter Sunday — there is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power that raised Jesus from the dead available to you and me. And what should we do to with that Holy Spirit?

Listen to Him. Hear what He says. Enjoy His presence and the beautiful truth that God loves us deeply and offers us peace. Yield to His leading in our daily lives.

For my kids, obedience is sometimes really hard. Especially if it doesn’t make sense in their minds — if they can’t see the logic in it, they have trouble walking it out. But sometimes the Lord calls us to do things that from our worldly perspective seem illogical, so I don’t consider it my responsibility to make sure my children have a full understanding of why I think they should do this like this or that like that.

As they learn respect for and obedience to authority, we pray that God’s will will become the ultimate authority in their lives.

When we decide to follow Jesus, His Word and His Holy Spirit become the voices of authority for us to listen to.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. {James 1:22}

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. {Galatians 5:25}

Obeying God and His Word and following the voice of the Holy Spirit is not something I could create an instruction video for and post on youtube. But it is perhaps more simple than we sometimes make it.

It seems like an unpleasant task, and a difficult one, to know that a regular part of our walk with Christ is not just once but daily {even hourly, each moment} saying Not my will, but Thy will be done. And sometimes doing the thing that the Lord is calling you to do rather than the thing you want to do can be very hard.

But there are unexpected gifts to be found here, too — the simple joy (worth celebrating) when you hear and obey the voice of God, the joy that comes from giving when God leads you to do so. The peace of trusting that He won’t lead you to a place where He will not be walking with you. The hope that you are a part of the change you want to see in the world around you — because the God who created this world is indeed making all things new.

How much thought do you give to obedience to God in your daily life? Do you feel like you’re just going about your own business without much attention to what He would have you do? Are you deceiving yourself by hearing the word but not doing it?

I am convinced that in His glorious goodness, the plans He has for us when we obey Him are so much better than anything we could come up with in our own will. Not necessarily easier — but better and of eternal value and absolutely worth celebrating. He’ll give us His Spirit to help us walk the road.

Let’s keep putting one foot in front of the other with His will at heart. We will change the world together.