Obedience to the Holy Spirit is Critical for the Christian Life
Listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit is about so much more than listing out your own personal requests to God and seeking the answer that you’re looking for. Walking in a genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit means following His leading even if it doesn’t make any sense at the moment.
If the Holy Spirit is to have access to every room in your life, you must be willing to hear His call. In the same way people screen unwanted phone calls, Christians can ignore the voice of God concerning certain topics of conversation. It’s funny how easily we can make up our minds about something and convince ourselves that it’s not God’s voice we are hearing. Many times, we think we know better than God what’s best for our lives, and we become completely deaf to His voice concerning certain circumstances.
Have you ever made statements like “God would never allow that to happen” or “God would never tell me to go there”? You somehow already know what God would or would not do, so you refuse to hear anything relating to the “settled” areas in your life. There’s just one problem: you have no way of knowing the divine plans of God. You can’t begin to comprehend what He could do with your life if you truly surrendered everything to Him and agreed to be obedient to His every call.
I remember a time early in my ministry when God taught me a great lesson about hearing His call even when it seems inconvenient and uncomfortable. At the time, I would have told you that I was obedient to whatever God told me to do, but in reality, I was only obedient if His call fit my schedule. I hadn’t given the Holy Spirit complete access to my time, because I thought I knew best when certain things should take place.
There had been a lady in our area who had gone to Winchester hospital and was very sick. When I was in the area, I would go by the hospital to visit her, and while I knew that she wasn’t a Christian, I didn’t ever talk to her about Jesus. I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable. You see, I thought that a leader was supposed to keep everyone happy and please people, but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. A real leader pleases God above all else. But I was young and thought I knew it all, so I avoided the subject of eternity and talked to that lady about everything else.
One Saturday morning, I was making several visits on Mont Eagle Mountain when the Lord said to me, “Drop off the mountain and go see that lady.” It would have been easy for me to make the visit, but I thought it was an unnecessary inconvenience at the time because I would be down there on Monday morning. Instead of obeying His call on Saturday, I rescheduled with God for Monday.
I will never forget that next Sunday morning for as long as I live. As I walked to the platform to preach, a man in the church pulled me aside to let me know that the young woman in Winchester hospital had died Saturday night. When I heard the news, my heart fell. I knew I should’ve gone when I had the chance. I should’ve shared the plan of salvation with her instead of talking about so many things that weren’t eternal.
I promised God that I would never let that happen again. I swore to let His call take priority over my schedule in the future. If He gave me another chance, I would be obedient to His call and let Him have complete access to every part of my life, not just the parts that were convenient.
When we try to decide what words from God are important, we miss the great callings in our lives and great opportunities to reach others for Jesus Christ. God’s plans may not make sense to you or seem most convenient, but His plans are always perfect, timely, and necessary to fulfilling your purpose in life. I pray that you never learn to be obedient to God’s call the way I did. I urge you to give Him complete access to every part of your life and commit to being obedient to His call sooner rather than later. When you follow God and leave the consequences to Him, you will avoid living with deep regret and heartbreaking guilt.
God is all-powerful but He’s also a gentleman. He gave us free will which means all we have to do is choose. If we choose to surrender, He takes care of it all. If we choose our own way, He will remove His hand and let us try it ourselves. God didn’t force my car down the mountain that day to make a visit, He let me make the decision. I learned a valuable lesson in that situation, but I learned it the hard way. Since that day, I’ve never regretted following His call, and He’s never led me astray!
To learn more about Benny Tate’s ‘Unlimited,’ visit MyCharismaShop.com