Bible Reading: John 14:15-31

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15)

We must pray for a zeal to obey God in the simple things. So often, we will pray, “God, give me a zeal to spread Your Word to the nations”, or “Lord, give me a zeal for bigger ministries”. These prayers are powerful and much needed within the church today. However, do we ever pray, “Lord, give me a zeal to wake up early, read my Bible, study well, do my chores, and love my friends and family today”? 

Christ’s love will often move us to want to evangelise more and serve more in church. But, does Christ’s love move us to be responsible and obedient in seemingly mundane everyday things? 

Our faith and godliness grow from obedience. Yes, obedience is radical; it’s life-changing. But, it’s also very real and down-to-earth. For example, how are we going to use our time today? Are we going to waste the whole day on social media? Are there other things that need to be done? 

Okay, at this moment, maybe we are still wondering, “yes, I need to obey God, but what do I have to do exactly?” 

Starting from the big picture, obedience is our joyful response of love to God, who has first loved us on the cross. The only thing that will grow our obedience is if we get to know God. And so, that is where we all must start. Do we know God? Do we love Him? Do you know what He’s done for You personally? And if you do know, do you know Him, His character and why He would ever do such a thing for You?

Simple obedience starts by pleading for His mercy to reveal Himself. We will only know and grow as much as God reveals Himself to us through His Spirit. Yet, God does this through His complete Word. So, we should read it and spend lots of time in and around it. In today’s technologically advanced world, there is an abundance of Bibles, books, sermons, articles, podcasts and studies online. So, our first steps of obedience would be to actually spend some time in these for ourselves, with a heart that seeks for God to speak to us personally. 

Now, the Christian life is not a personal life. It is communal, and that means we should live it within a church community. Church gives us a context to grow. There, we find spiritual mentors who are wiser than us. They will lead us to walk in obedience in a down-to-earth way. They’ve trod the path, and so we have a lot to learn from them. In church, we also learn to serve and love others. Once we get our hands dirty, we will know that these are harder than it seems. 

From these things, we learn to be obedient to God’s calling for us in our everyday lives. For the majority of us, God has called us to be students. So, study well in your daily life. Also, God has called us to have friends and family. We are called to love those around us. This includes taking up our household responsibilities and obeying our parents. Then, God has given each of us specific talents. We are called to discover, develop and use them for God’s kingdom. In everyday life, this could look like practising an instrument, reading books on a particular subject, writing, cooking for others, refining your art skills, the list goes on. 

Lockdown has taken a toll on all of us. Sometimes we just feel like sleeping, wasting our time away on endless social media, and wishing all this was over. Yet, God has given us all a context to practice obedience in doing these little things at home. So let us ask God to refire a zeal in our hearts to obey Him in the simple things. 

Lord, please burn a zeal in my heart to obey You in the little things. Plunge me deeper into Your love and show to me more of Your wondrous grace for me. Deepen my love for You and help me to manifest this through my simple obedience. Lord, all this is impossible without Your mercy. Forgive us and have mercy on us, for we love our laziness and sinful nature all too much. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.