What is the key to the life-changing power of God in my life? Why do some people seem to experience God in such a powerful way, while others struggle? Same God, different results.
While God certainly chooses to work differently in the lives of people and no two people will ever have the same story with God, there is still one big reason we do or don’t experience the true, life-changing power of God. Assuming that a person is a saved, born-again follower of Christ, this comes down to one simple thing.
God expects that as His children will obey His Word. Obedience is the fuel that ignites the life-changing power of God in our everyday lives. While salvation puts the power of God in me through the Holy Spirit, obedience to God and His Word sets it in on fire.
We live in a world where everything obeys God except man. The laws of nature exist because of nature’s obedience to God. The stars obey, the weather obeys, animals obey. We can count on the sun to rise and set, season to change, stars to stay in their courses, etc. We can set our clocks because of the obedience of nature. Farmers plant the fields because of the obedience of nature. The Bible tells that nature is dependable.
Nature or God’s creation is longing for things to be set right again. Nature longs for the coming of Jesus Christ and full restoration of all things. Romans 8:22 reminds us of nature’s desire for its return to glory and perfection as it once was in the Garden of Eden,
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
However, man is a rebel. While nature cries out for God’s glory, man seeks his own glory. Man is a reasoning and thinking machine. Our problem is that we try to out think God. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us of the complete wickedness and deception of our hearts. Our minds and emotions apart from the Creator fall rapidly and willingly into a state of complete depravity. Nature’s obedience to God brings remarkable and dependable results. Man is completely undependable as he chooses to glorify himself. Christians are not excluded.
Noah was a man who remained obedient to God in a world that hated God. God commanded Noah to build an ark in order to survive a flood in a time when no one had ever seen rain. Noah obeyed and God used Noah in the greatest of ways—to save all of mankind. If Noah disobeyed God, history ends. Period. Instead, Noah obeyed even in uncertain times, and God used Noah in ways that Noah never dreamed. Noah obeyed God even when it did not make sense.
We must stop trying to figure God out and simply obey Him. Many times, God will not make sense, but neither did building an ark. Many things in God’s Word don’t make sense. Why? We view God’s Word through human the human lens and logic and not God’s purposes and power.
Men of great faith and obedience get to experience the power of God like no one else. People will desire to have what you have when you walk in complete obedience to God. However, it’s hard. Don’t let anyone tell you that success will be easy if you just follow and obey God. It’s downright hard! God tests those who really want His results. Cowards and wimps need not apply for God’s life-changing power.
Hebrews 5:8 reminds of how Jesus Himself learned obedience. Yes, Jesus, as a child had to learn obedience. He was fully human and had to grow through people and God. How did Jesus learn obedience to God?
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
This is where we struggle. This is where we quit and run back to our sin and bitterness. This is when we flee to the safety and comfort of old habits and failed patterns. Success is often if not always uncomfortable. You and I will never find any true success apart suffering and a dependence upon and obedience to God.
We learn obedience through the hard and difficult times. This is the testing ground to grow our faith and trust in God. When we respond to trials and heartaches in complete obedience to the Word of God, then we will begin to experience the true and amazing power of God on our lives.