As I bend over my first i-pad—slow Android tortoise that I am (rather than eager, i-smart hare) in embracing new technology—pretty soon I’m out of my comfort zone.

My son’s trying to teach me a new method of taking notes using the accompanying pen and apps. I try to exercise obedience to his directions but my mind protests it’s too tired to take it in.

He perseveres because teaching and patience come readily to him. After I get over the initial resistance it invariably brings, I realise I actually like learning new things.

A hesitant start hasn’t deterred me from trying again on a day when I’m less sleep-deprived or brain-fogged. And I’ve got a helpful “how to” book to refer to as well.

“Only people who are humble enough to continue learning will ever succeed.”  —Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind Devotional

As I reflect on my life, I wonder: Have I allowed fear of failure to hold me back? Because it frequently stops me in my tracks. Thankfully, life is a series of moments where we continually begin again.

We acknowledge we don’t have everything figured out, while we seek to learn from where we’re situated now.

obedience - hills - grassland - wall - - life is a series of moments quote (C) joylenton

I’ve discovered that if we don’t remain open and teachable, then we might miss what God wants us to know. Discerning, prayerful listening to God is a key skill to develop because delayed obedience can cripple our souls.

“let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…” Proverbs 1:5 NIV

I found this out to my cost last summer. God indicated I needed to take a complete rest, so I removed myself from my usual sources of busyness in order to recover from a health relapse.

I eventually stopped, yet struggled to fully receive this message into my heart because it’s one I’ve heard so often I almost switch off to it.

In confusing head knowledge with heart agreement, I missed taking immediate action and lost the ability to simply rest in the act of obedience itself.

obedience - woman stretching arms to sunset sky - If we don't remain open and teachable quote (C) joylenton

Maybe you’ve been closing your ears to God’s voice without realising it? Perhaps you tune out Holy Spirit advising you to do something you dislike doing, while hoping a more conducive alternative can be found?

That scenario is painfully familiar to me. As is the conviction I receive once I’m aware I’ve been disobedient to God’s voice. But there is hope for us.

We can learn to be more receptive, listen better and obey with less resistance. God is very willing to forgive and set us on the right path again. All we have to do is ask with humble hearts.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” — John 10:27 NIV

Let’s seek to listen to the messages of love, life and grace God imparts. Let’s aim to be faithful hearers of His word. May we be prompt responders who trust He has our ultimate welfare at heart.

obedience - woman praying over a bible - let's seek to listen quote (C) joylenton

Then we can journey with less fear and stress, and be better prepared and equipped to face life’s many challenges.

Mind if I pray for you, friend?

Father God,

Forgive us for the times when we delay our obedience to your voice or word. Help us respond instead with prompt obedience, reverence, faith, and trust in your loving heart.

May we so believe in your overseeing care that we do not falter when you ask something of us. Thank you for giving us endless opportunities to begin again. May you also give us a receptive, obedient heart to serve you willingly, in love.


obedience - sunset - sky - rock - prayer (C) joylenton