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Steps of Obedience—When God Says Go

On the path toward living a missional life, the first step is obedience.

Understanding the tug of the Holy Spirit is different for everyone, because how the Lord speaks to us is different for everyone. For some, it’s an audible voice. For others, a gut feeling that won’t go away. Maybe it’s an opportunity that nags a part of your brain until you say yes.

Whenever, and however, that nudging of the Holy Spirit comes, it’s our job to obey. Discernment of the Holy Spirit and understanding God’s voice comes with maturity in faith. Just another reason our personal walk with the Lord is essential. Also, discipleship under mature Christians we trust can help us tune in to the Holy Spirit.

God Says Go, You Say No

In my life, one of my steps of obedience was saying yes when I really wasn’t feeling it. At the time, I had served at Faith Academy (in Asia) for two years, come back to Colorado, and was working contentedly at OC’s U.S. sending base for about five years. Deep into my ministry and life.

In June, the head of school at Faith at the time, and a dear family friend, messaged me. He said he had a dream where I came up to him and said, “I’m going to teach at Faith next year.” The school needed an English teacher, which I taught while there, and he wrote, “I felt like I needed to follow up this dream and ask.” His step of obedience to the Holy Spirit.

I immediately started crying, not from joy but from dread. Something in my gut told me I was going to Faith for the year, but my heart was not having it. Thankfully, I was surrounded by lifelong mentors of mine who prayed with me, counseled me, and encouraged me in this process.

Crumbling Barriers

I put up barrier after barrier before the Lord (before I said yes). He tore them all down! So, I was on a plane in one month. Everyone said, “Maybe God is sending you to Faith for a reason.” Dreams of what that could be floated around my head. Maybe I’d mentor future leaders, transform teaching, find the love of my life, etc. None of that happened.

Don’t get me wrong, there were reasons God had me at Faith that year, but none of those grandiose dreams of my world changing or me changing the world. The whole story is another blog post for another time.

I knew what God was asking, and to say “no” would have been a step of disobedience. Not the route you want to take with the Lord.

Dramatic Doesn’t Always Mean Fruitful

Now, my story is dramatic, moving across the world, and honestly, has little tangible fruit.

Not every dramatic story has a dramatic bearing of fruit, but a dramatic bearing of fruit doesn’t need a drastic move across the world, either.


Kelli, Journalist, US-Mobilization Center