Let’s face it, we all mess up and fail to live up to God’s will for our lives at one time or another. Some of us make bigger messes than others and some people mess up more frequently. But there’s no sense in comparing ourselves to other people in this regard because God doesn’t grade on the curve. He doesn’t compare us to each other to determine if our obedience meets His standard. He compares our lives to His perfect standard which was demonstrated in the life of Jesus.
Because we have a sinful nature, we all fail to live up to God’s perfect standard. As we become more mature in our Christian walk, we should be able to recognize as soon as we’ve messed up, and then confess it, repent of it, and move on. We should be able to stop repeating the same sins over and over again. Like everything else in life, we need to learn from our mistakes. After all, as Christians, we’re a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Whether our sins are large or small we need to stay vigilant in our pursuit of righteous living if we want to please God and fully benefit from his blessings. Our goal should be to break the habits of our sinful nature. After all, if we live in a continual cycle of committing the same mistakes and sins over and over again, then we’re not being obedient to God’s word, which means we're not being obedient to God. When we live like this, we don't grow in our Christian walk and we don't become more like Christ.
If we truly desire to be obedient to God’s word then we need to do something different, right? Here are some things you can start doing right now to help you increase your obedience towards Christ.
Stay focused on heavenly things and not on the things of the worldIf our desire is to live an obedient life, then we need to keep our mind focused on heavenly things.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.It helps to have the mindset that this world is not our home. We are only passing through this world until we arrive at our true home in heaven. If our focus is constantly on the things of this world, which are temporary, then we miss out on what’s really important, which is doing God’s will for our life.
If your desire is to live an obedient life, you need to keep our mind focused on heavenly things.
Keep a tight reign on your thought lifeWe naturally focus our attention on what’s most important or pleasurable to us. When these thoughts don’t glorify God, or even worse when we have sinful thoughts, like thoughts of greed, covetousness, or lust, then we’re not operating according to God’s will.
So, what do we do?
I’ve learned that an effective way to tackle a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. When it comes to our thought life, this means having thoughts that please God.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.The apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This means that every thought that isn’t aligned with God’s will needs to be locked out of your mind. Ask God to help you with this. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Once the thought is taken into captivity, remember to practice Philippians 4:8.
As soon as a bad thought is taken captive, remember to practice Philippians 4:8.
Read God’s word dailyBefore I made a decision to be obedient to Christ, to make Him the Lord of my life, it was easy to sin. When I made the commitment to follow Christ, I started to read the bible every day. And you know what? It’s hard to sin when every time you have a sinful thought you remember a half dozen bible verses that tell you why you shouldn’t do the thing you’re thinking about.
The key takeaway here is that the more you know God’s word, the easier it is to be obedient. So make a commitment to read scripture daily. I recommend setting aside a specific time every day for this. I like to read the bible just before I go to sleep each night. That way, I can meditate on God’s word as I fall asleep but others like to do it first thing in the morning. The important thing is that you do it every day.
But someone will say “I’m just too busy. I don’t have time for anything else”. Really? My friend, you can find the time to do whatever you make a priority. You might have to cut back on something less important in order to fit it in. I stopped playing video games, which are designed to be addictive. I regretted how much time I wasted playing them that I quit them cold-turkey. Now I have plenty of time to study the Bible and share what I learn with others.
You can find time to do whatever you make a priority.
Pray about itI’ve heard stories from people who were instantly released from a drug addiction or another type of sinful addiction as soon as they were saved. That doesn’t always happen that way for all of us. If you’ve been trying to be obedient to God’s word but just can’t shake a particular bad habit, (pornography is a common one in this generation, even among the Christian community) then you need to ask God for help. And don’t stop asking Him until you finally break free from whatever is causing you to sin. Also, find an accountability partner and have them pray for you as well.
May God bless you richly as you stay on the narrow path that leads to life,