Obedience and Walking in the Spirit

October 20, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Rachel Indihar –

We all have habits and/or personality traits that we wish we could change. Some of these are minor and won’t affect our spiritual walk, such as twirling our hair when we’re nervous. However, other habits have a deep impact on our spiritual lives and can lead to us drifting away from the Lord.

For example, all of my life I’ve had trouble waking up in the morning without hitting my snooze button a few times. In college I had the terrible habit of sleeping through a class occasionally if I didn’t feel well. It’s easy to give your body what it wants when you’re half asleep and the “off” button on the alarm is inches away. The problem is that the habit of sleeping in and ignoring my alarm has continued into my adult life. Why? Because it’s a habit I perfected over many years. A dangerous habit.

A few months ago I felt the Lord asking me to get up early to do my devotions, because I don’t have time when I get home from work. He asked me to get up at 6:00 am so that I had around two hours to meditate on His Word and eat breakfast before going to work. This spiritual discipline would help me prepare for the day and keep my focus on Jesus instead of my anxieties or problems.

Well, you can foresee the problem. The alarm would ring at 6:00 am, and I – who never feels good early in the morning – would quickly change the alarm to 7:00 am…and then 7:30 am…and soon I’d be waking up at 7:45 when I had to leave for work by 8:15. And suddenly POOF! My entire devotional time was gone.

At first I didn’t think this was a problem, because I thought I could find time later to study the Bible. However, as time went on, I realized that the morning really was the best time to read without being distracted by my To-Do list. The Lord was telling me to do something that was hard on my body but good for my soul. It was something I needed to do in order to get through the day.

This disobedience has lasted for weeks, with some successes, but many failures. I’ve been frustrated, irritated and depressed as I keep asking myself, “Why can’t I do it? Why can’t I obey the Lord?”

In Romans 8, Paul speaks to fellow believers about walking in the Spirit and denying the flesh. He says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8 ESVUK).

Paul is telling believers back then and today that we cannot obey the Lord when our minds are focused on our flesh (i.e. our own selfish needs, wants, desires, etc.) I can have all the motivation and inspiration to wake up at 6:00 am the night before, but when 6:00 am eventually rolls around and I’m focused on how tired I am or on my headache, I will hit the snooze button. I don’t want to or intend to disobey God, but when I don’t pray for help from the Holy Spirit in the morning, I am going to fail. I am going to disobey God.

If you have a bad habit or character trait that you wish to change, don’t try to get rid of it in your own strength! Pray for wisdom and strength from the Holy Spirit, and He will give it to you. Then you will have success that comes from the Lord, not from your own doing. Later when people say to you, “How did you give up (fill in the blank)? How did you change that deeply ingrained habit?”

You can smile and say, “It wasn’t me. God gave me the strength I needed so that I could succeed. I succeeded in His strength, not my own.”

All glory and praise to our Father when we concur bad habits and change our lives. For we could not do it without Him.

About Rachel Indihar

Rachel Indihar is a teacher and assistant director at a Montessori school for early childhood. Her passion for people (especially children) allows her to serve the Lord in a variety of functions, but her real love is for writing. She strives to honor the Lord in what she writes and encourages others through what the Lord has taught her.
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