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Joey Hong• Timely Word •

The Struggle of Obedience

By 1 June 2021No Comments

It is interesting to see how much we all want to alleviate ourselves from any kinds of feelings of discomfort, whether it is in the present or the future. Our behaviour is often the result of this. For example, some might seek an emotional connection with another person in order to dull the sense of emotional emptiness felt inside, while others might engage in mobile phone games to distract the mind from stress.

People may also engage in certain kinds of activities in order to bring about a certain kind of emotion that we are looking for. For example, some may exercise in order have that after-effect feeling of euphoria.

Whatever we may lean towards to, it is important to understand what motivates us to do so and where these motivations come from.

The question that I often ask myself is, “In my journey with Christ, do I want to do the things that please Him more each day?” Jesus says in John 14:23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” What are the things that my Heavenly Father is teaching me daily and how am I doing in my own journey of obedience? The verse suggests that if my obedience is limited, then my love for Christ might be limited too, and the choices of activities I engage in will be centered on how I feel or how that activity will make me feel. But what if instead we ask whether this activity is in accordance with my understanding of how I am to obey and love Jesus?

What is it that I have learnt about Christ and His Kingdom, and how am I applying it?

Recently, I was asked to go for an interview for a particular role that would be quite different from what I am currently doing. I did not ask for it and was wondering what God was trying to teach me. I was given three days to prepare for it and I felt that God might be opening a new door for me. I prayed and sought out what God would like me to do. There was silence. Quite a lot of thoughts about whether to go for it or reject it came to mind. I personally do not like changes in my routines, especially if it is something that I did not plan for.

After thinking and praying through it, I went for the interview with much apprehension. I had internal conflicts and questions at the back of my mind. Was I obeying God or following my inner impulses? The interview panel was quite nice and I felt that I was able to answer the questions posed to me, but in the end, I did not pass the interview. I felt a tinge of disappointment but also relief as I could continue with my routines. Was it the right decision that I went for the interview?

I guess that in life, there are many instances where the answers are not clear. More importantly is whether these experiences God allows me to go through will lead me to a deeper trust in Christ, even if I am confused by the outcome. I am still learning to want to do God’s will and echo what the Psalmist wrote in  Psalm 143: 10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!

By brother Joey Hong