One of the toughest things about following Jesus is obedience. We didn’t want to obey our parents. Often doing what our boss says is a challenge. So how can we be expected to obey a person we can’t see by doing things written in a book thousands of years ago?
There’s also our natural desire to make our own choices. In some parts of the world tribal elders make decisions for the whole community. We’re not a culture that allows neighborhood leaders to make decisions for us. We’re even increasingly skeptical of decisions made in Washington and we elect the people who serve there.
I’ve been spending some time with C. S. Lewis’s essays in The Weight of Glory. He writes that over time “longing transforms obedience, as gradually as the tide lifts a grounded ship.” His point is the longer we trust Jesus and obey, the easier it becomes. We witness His goodness and faithfulness. We notice how He’s always leading us to things that are good (even if they don’t seem like it at first). We feel an unconditional love when He cares for us like no one else.
It’s witnessing this love, kindness, and goodness that slowly makes it easier to obey. In fact, over time we begin to long to be led by Him. I don’t know about you, but my life is challenging. There are constantly decisions to be made and many of them could negatively effect me for a long time if I make the wrong move. I long to have someone who knows more than I do and cares about me more than anyone else to help me down this road. I didn’t always want that.
Every day, obeying Jesus becomes something I long for a little more instead of something I feel forced to do.