Leadership Essential #2: The Art of Obeying

Leaders obey. They act.


Taking the next step, they understand that nothing happens with good intentions alone.

As we follow Jesus, he will ask us to DO some things that push us beyond our experience.  We will be launched into new territory.

I know that my natural response to this pushing in my own life is to talk myself out of it.  I call this my “second voice.”

I am learning to follow through on the “first voice.”  You might call this “The Art of Obeying”.

God puts someone’s name in my mind, and I have the strong sense that I’m supposed to call.


I see someone as I pull into my neighborhood, and I know I’m supposed to stop and say “Hi”, but I really want to just get home.

Stop, and say “Hi.”

During the reflection time in a study on Sunday morning I get this strong urge to respond to what I’m learning by praying more fervently and regularly for someone.


In the middle of a conversation God puts a question in my heart that I should ask that might “stir things up.”


I am learning to see obedience as a Spirit-directed, Spirit-empowered response to God’s nudgings. In that sense, I am discovering that obedience is not a fearful burden placed on me by someone who wants me to behave a certain way. Obedience, rather, is a gift from a loving God who invites me to participate in what He is doing.  And, even though I obey sometimes out of obligation (reluctantly) God sets my spirit free in the act of obeying.  The Art of Obeying is a precious gift.

A friend recently asked in a response to a Facebook post if “concrete practices” REVEAL God’s Road” or “REINFORCE God’s Road”?  Great question. I think, both.

Here’s the top 5 Truths I am learning about the Art of Obeying

Immediate Obedience to the Personal Promptings of God Is a Gift Given to Everyone

Delaying seldom produces anything good.  If I talk myself out of following through, it usually leads to heaviness and regret.  Obedience releases me.  And, this is the way He releases everyone.  The Art of Obedience is not just for super believers.  There are no such people.  The Art of Obedience is for all followers.

Do Something With What You Learn

God never intends for us to simply learn something and have more intellectual knowledge stored up.  He wants us to move, to act.  Every time we learn something from God, He calls us to respond.

Enjoy People and Abandon Outcomes

Much of our delays come because we want to make sure it turns out OK.  God rarely paints the picture of how things will turn out in the end.  Our need to know, to be assured, to have a guarantee, enslaves us and keeps us from participating in what God has in store for us.  It keeps us from enjoying the gift He wants to give.  It is always more freeing to simply do what he asks of us and leave the results up to Him.

In the Art of Obedience God Replaces an Anxious Spirit with a Steady Confidence in His Provision

It is only in the following through, in the responding that we can actually access the gift.  It is only in the Art of Obedience that we get to see the Master Artist do His thing.  He designed the moment, and He is allowing us to participate.

It’s Much Easier to Follow Through When We Have Someone Holding Us Accountable

When we have friends in our lives who care enough to pray for us and check in to see if we’re following through, we have a much higher degree of success in the Art of Obedience.

What is God asking you to do today?  And who is supporting you?



Other posts in this Series:

10 Leadership Essentials: How Leadership Relates to Discipleship

Leadership Essential #1: The Art of Following