Obedience and Submission

What if I don’t feel like it?

Obedience and submission are hallmarks of the Christian life. As we journey, we gradually learn to release control, to let go of the wheel. The journey gets rocky, full of conflicting emotions, but I am learning that the “feeling” is not what’s most important–submission is. Meaning that our emotions don’t always have to support us, and we don’t have to wait until our emotions are in agreement to walk in obedience. 

The feeling is not what’s most important–submission is”

I often pray, “Lord, I want to do your will, but help me to want to do it.” Sounds crazy, right? I know. Let me explain. I want to do his will. I want to please him by fulfilling all I’m called to do and be. But submission is hard and sometimes I really just want to do what I want to do, just to be honest. So sometimes when I’m praying for his will to be done in my life, in a corner of my heart, I still want my will to be done in my life. I want to submit, but my emotions aren’t there yet. Anyone else, or just me?

“Submission is hard and sometimes I really just want to do what I want to do”

So here’s the thing. We don’t have to be afraid of our feelings. We can be honest with him about how we feel and he will continue to transform our emotions and make our desires line up with his will. Philippians 2:13 NLT says this, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” I so love that verse. It’s a reminder that everything doesn’t rely on us. He is the one that gives us not only the strength to do what pleases him, but even the desire to want to please him in the first place. Ain’t God alright?

And then there’s Psalm 37:4 NLT which says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” When he is our delight, he will give our hearts what he wants them to desire, and then he’ll grant us those desires. Really though, ain’t God alright???

All this to say, don’t wait to obey until you feel ready to obey. And don’t be discouraged if your feelings don’t always back you when you’re trying to do God’s will.  

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. There two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

Galatians 5:16-18 NLT

The fight against our feelings is normal. Everyone experiences it to some degree. But God is patient in our struggle. We don’t walk by our feelings anyway, we walk by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Stay focused on Jesus. Just give him a “yes.” He’ll make everything work together for your good. Obedience is worth it! There is a blessing attached to obedience. There is safety attached to obedience. There is peace of mind attached to obedience.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord- all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!

Psalm 128:1 NLT

Relinquish control to the One who has written each of your days down in his book. He fashioned you for a purpose and He knows what He’s doing. Let go and let God be God, your feelings will catch up.


The substance of things hoped for

What in the world? No, really. What is going on in the world? Watching or reading the news always leaves me with the same response, “Wait, what?” Things vacillate from the comical to the ridiculous to the downright scary and unbelievable all throughout the day. It’s easy to feel anxious, confused, angry…tired.

The future is unknown to us, but God knows all and rules over all. He’s been teaching me about faith in a major way over the past year. It’s about holding tight and standing firm on what he’s taught and what his word says. It’s about digging deeper in him and casting my cares on him. It’s about knowing that he will sustain me and no one can ever snatch me out of his hand.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 10:28 (ESV)

He’s helping me understand that a small, shaky faith in a big, strong God is all I need. It’s true. Matthew 17:20 (NLT) says that with “faith even as small as a mustard seed…nothing would be impossible.” As I grow, he’ll strengthen it, but it’s not about my strong faith so much as it is about the strong God that my faith is in. He’s trustworthy and his thoughts and ways are higher than mine. Isaiah 55:8(NLT) says, “’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’”

So I can’t figure him out and I don’t understand him, but I know him and I trust him. His thoughts toward me are of peace and not evil. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) says this, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” He promises peace to those who trust him. And we know he doesn’t make empty promises. An activation of faith will always be met with the opportunity for an exchange–our confusion and fear for his peace.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27 (NKJV)

Despite the times in which we live, despite the difficulties and uncertainties, let’s pray for the strength to respond in faith, the endurance to hold on to his promises, and the grace to trust God and know that everything is going to be okay.


Thank you for being a sure place to put our trust and faith. Even when we don’t understand what you’re doing, we trust your plan. We trust your intentions. We know who you are, and we know you well. You’ve been consistent and your faithfulness has been great. Please continue to build our faith and help us to hold on to all that you’ve said to us. Our hope is in you.

In Jesus’ name, amen.