The first step in obedience is to listen attentively. We need to incline our ear, which means to listen favorably. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live…”
Numerous times the Lord gave Jeremiah a word for the children of Israel. They would not listen. King Zedekiah was warned by God. If he would submit to the king of Babylon he would live. He would not listen. His disobedience cost many lives. All of his sons were killed before his eyes, and then they put out his eyes. Then he was bound with bronze fetters and carried off to Babylon.
In 1975 the Lord gave me specific instructions of what not to do. However, a seemingly great opportunity just fell into my lap and I disobeyed. I reaped that disobedience TEN years.
Why don’t we obey? There are hidden pockets of rebellion in our hearts. They come from unresolved issues. We failed to guard our heart and they took up residence.
Listening attentively is the first step. Then we need to engage our heart. Our heart is our belief center. Doubt, fear, or unbelief can reside in our heart. Romans 10:10 says that it is with our heart that we believe.
Our heart is designed to be a reservoir of God’s word. The enemy of our soul does everything he can to fill it with empty things that do not profit. He desires to thwart God’s purpose in our lives.
A heart that obeys, is lined with a foundation of truth. When the lie comes through a fiery dart, the truth within rises as a sentinel to block it from penetrating. Truth within causes the dart to veer off course.
In 1975 I had verses memorized, but they were not actively applied. At that time I did not understand how a hidden desire could align with the enticement of a temptation (James 1:14-15).
Obeying from our heart is a decision to please the Lord above all else. When His truth lines our heart, our thoughts will come from that hidden truth. They will rise to give honor and glory to the Lord first and foremost in every circumstance of our lives.