Obeying God: What Is Involved?

Complete obedience is possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 1:3-16

Right away in the first chapter of the book of Daniel, we learn that the young man is committed to obedience. Scripture says Daniel “made up his mind” and successfully followed through. But any Christian could tell you obedience isn’t simple or easy.

Obedience means doing what God says in the timing and manner He says to do it. In order to obey, we must know what pleases the Lord—and that requires us to read and be familiar with Scripture. Then we trust the Holy Spirit to help us understand God’s Word and to guide us. That’s usually when challenges arise.

There are often temptations to choose other directions or to compromise by taking small steps of half-obedience. And none of us is perfect, so there will be times when we miss the mark (Romans 3:23). Then, what’s important is that we turn to God. At such times, we can use King David as a guide and pray, “Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). And remember that ultimately, the goal of obedience is to remain near to God, no matter how many mistakes we make.