Does God Honor Hesitated Obedience?

Does God Honor Hesitated Obedience?

Does God Honor Hesitated Obedience?

We often wonder why God isn’t doing anything in our lives, but could we be blocking His next move due to our hesitated obedience? 

When I think of the word "obedience", I think of the word in a negative light. I often think of it as a punishment like when I was a child and my parents told me I couldn’t do something or told me to hand over something I absolutely loved. It felt as though I had to give up a huge part of my life in order to obey their requests. Of course, looking back, I know that whatever they had asked of me was out of their protection and their loving-kindness for me, just as we ask things of our children. We ask them because we may see that thing they are doing, the friends they are hanging out with, or the behavior they are displaying, won’t benefit them in the future. We often see what they don’t see.

In the same way, Christ asks us to be obedient in our lives because He not only knows the future and knows what will hurt us, but he has a huge purpose for our lives. Without our obedience, He can’t accomplish all He wants to do with us. You see – He wants to partner with us to complete His Kingdom’s will here on earth as it is in Heaven. He didn’t come to take anything that we love away from us; in fact, it's quite the opposite. He came so that we can “have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), and this requires listening to Him and obeying Him at His word.

We can choose to not obey Him as many people in the Bible chose not to. But I don’t want to miss out on being a witness to what God can do when we trust Him with every act of obedience He asks of us. And it’s every act of obedience, not just the large acts, but also the everyday things, He may ask of us in our everyday, mundane life. For anything other than 100% obedience is still disobedience. 

Hesitated obedience is still disobedience. 

How often do we know that God is asking us to do something and yet we still delay our obedience? Maybe we don’t tell him no, but we pretend to not hear it. Perhaps we tell God yes, followed by a “but first let me do _____". We put His request on pause and tell Him we’ll get to it later as we convince ourselves that other things need our attention first. We feel like God will understand why we tabled His request to pursue that friendship or neglected to talk to that person in the grocery store, or ignored His nudge to say we’re sorry to our spouse. We convince ourselves that the little thing we are hesitating to obey Him in isn't that big of a deal. Meanwhile, it’s pushing us farther and farther away from God’s truth and purpose.

We often wonder why God isn’t doing anything in our lives, but could we be blocking His next move due to our hesitated obedience? If you are not fully obedient to God, then you are most likely conflicted with what and who you are obedient to. If God doesn’t have your true allegiance, something else does. Other people and things are more important and taking the place of God’s throne on your heart. The Lord wants our full devotion to be His true disciples here on earth which requires our full obedience. 

The Israelites also struggled with this and who their allegiance was to. 1 Kings 18:21 – “Then Elijah approached all the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is your God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him…”

The original Hebrew word that translates to the English word “waver” is pacach, a verb meaning “to pass-over, to spring over, to skip.” In other words, what ways are you wavering or hesitating to fully obey and commit all your allegiance to the Lord? Where in your life are you hobbling along in your obedience to Him?

I encourage you to take inventory of your life to see where your allegiances and time are invested, recognizing where you seem to be hesitating in your obedience to the Lord. The Israelites knew what they should do. But they were conflicted. Their loyalties were divided along with who they were obedient to. They were hopping back and forth as convenience and cultural pressures dictated. Let’s choose differently today. Once we decide to choose to make God our true allegiance, then we can begin to see Him move mightily in our life onto the next great move without our hesitated obedience being in the way.

Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience.

How is God to honor or move to the next thing He wants for your life if you are not obeying Him in the simple acts of obedience now?

Most of God’s greatest moves are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience. So, while we hesitate in obeying him, it could be preventing God’s purpose from happening in our lives. If you look at Hebrews 11, given the name the “hall of faith”, there is a list of all the heroes in the Bible who had faith to allow God to make major moves using them for His mighty purpose. 

All these heroes had one thing in common: they all played a vital role in God’s unfolding plan with one simple act of obedience at a time. They all participated in large heroic acts, but those large acts didn’t happen without their small, simple acts of obedience first. You can’t truly walk into your calling or what’s next in your calling if you are not obedient in the small things first. It starts now, right where you are following Him daily in your walk. This is why when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He said to pray saying, “give us this day our daily bread…” (Mathew 6:11), meaning He will tell us what to do today, and we follow in His steps today to fulfill His plan's for tomorrow. We are not to ask for the full playbook and list of all the details. 

God will always lead us and give us direction, but He doesn’t always provide every detail. He will just tell us what to do next, and we are to simply obey without hesitation in whatever He asks.

If we feel God is calling us to write a book, it starts with our simple act of listening to Him today. If He tells you to move across the country, leave your job, marry the person you are dating, it begins with being obedient to what He is asking you to do today. It’s in small steps of obedience we can walk in purpose with God allowing Him to move in our lives. 

When God told Abraham to leave His family and “go to a foreign land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1), Abraham didn’t hesitate, nor did he ask for more details. He just did the next thing God told him to do and followed. Let’s get our names in the hall of faith like these heroes we read about. Let’s take the step, and then the next, and then the next after that, and rid ourselves of all our wavering knowing that He has the bigger picture in mind. Let’s not be hesitant, even if we don’t have all the details.      

Start obeying today, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Luke 5:4-11 talks about the obedience Jesus asked of some fishermen He was calling to be His disciples. Jesus got into one of their boats, which was Simon’s, who had been in the boat all night working and was defeated after not catching anything all night. Jesus told Simon to “launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (v. 4). Simon responded to Him saying, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking…” (v. 5-6). They were overwhelmed with so many fish they had to signal to others on other boats nearby to come and help because their boat was overflowing to the point that it started sinking. 

What a beautiful story of what can happen when we believe the Lord and His Word, when we obey Him without hesitation. We tend to forget when we read these stories in Scripture that we know the ending to the story. At the time, Simon didn’t know. But he chose to obey Christ, even if it didn’t make any sense when they had just spent the entire night catching nothing. What Jesus was asking of Simon made no sense. Simon had very few details. But Simon obeyed anyways. He went with Jesus’s instruction and Word and blessings overwhelmed them.

What if blessings are waiting for us on the other side of obedience?

What if a boat full of blessings and more direction are just waiting to overflow in our lives, but our hesitated obedience is stopping it? God has no room to honor and bless us because we are not responding to His request through our acts of obedience. What if He is just waiting for us to do that one small thing before He unleashes blessings into our situation? 

Let’s ask for a heart like Simon's and respond to our Lord, saying, “Okay, Lord. I might not understand, and it might not make any sense, but at your Word, I will do as you ask.” Remember, even if it doesn’t make sense to us, it makes sense to our God. After all, He is the author of this life, and “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than ours.” (Isaiah 55:8-9

Let’s allow God to take us to our next step as we choose to no longer disobey Him with delays or hesitated obedience. Let’s instead make the choice to walk in wholehearted allegiance to God, one simple step of obedience at a time.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/AaronAmat

Alisha Headley is a writer + speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Stepping into her true calling, she left the corporate world behind as a former-financial VP to love on her family as a stay-at-home wifey + dog mama, while also being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom + power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. In her free time, Alisha enjoys road trips around the country, working out so she can eat her favorite foods, and creatively styling her outfits with a craft for fashion. Alisha is a proud wifey and dog mama living in Scottsdale, Arizona.

You can follow her blog by visiting her website or connect with her on facebook + instagram.