When I don’t Want to Obey

The commitment of a disciple is to listen to Jesus, believe Him, and obey whatever He says. But what about when He asks something that we don’t feel like doing? What do we do when he tells us to do things like giving up everything to follow Him, walking in purity, and loving our enemies?

The truth is, we are incapable of following Jesus in our own strength.

One of the concepts that has most transformed my walk with Christ is described in Philippians 2:13 (NLT) – “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”

God is working in you and me to change our hearts’ desires and to give us the strength to obey Him. Our obedience isn’t rooted in our own strength, it’s found in the grace He gives us.

Because of this, I’ve discovered that I don’t have to be ashamed to tell the Lord when I don’t feel like obeying. He expects it, and He’s committed to helping me!

My commitment as a disciple is to refuse to settle for disobedience. Even when my heart is hard and I don’t want to obey, I must be committed to persist in prayer until I receive the strength I need to obey.

This understanding birthed a new category of prayers in my life, the “I want to want to” prayer:

“Lord, I just don’t feel like forgiving so-and-so, but I know you want me to and I want to want to obey you. Help me!”

“Lord, I want to want to read my Bible. Please change my heart.”

“Lord, I want to want to share the gospel with my coworkers. Please help!”

I have found that the raw honesty of these simple prayers is all God needs to come soften my heart and give me the grace I need to obey.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6

- This post was written by Tom Warsaw for the Radical Series. Tom is an elder of Elim Gospel Church.