Have you ever felt God calling you to do something you didn’t feel equipped for? It’s hard to obey God when we feel burnt out, weary and exhausted. I’m not just talking about the big things, but sometimes it’s harder to find the strength to obey in the smaller things.
Loving a neighbor or coworker who doesn’t treat you well
Serving your spouse when it feels one-sided
Giving your time or money when things feel tight
The thing is, most of the time God isn’t calling us to cross the ocean or sell all of our possessions in order to obey Him. The biggest and most important place we are called to obey God is right where we are.
We are called to live out His love, serving, discipling and giving ourselves for His glory every day.
This is especially hard for me because when I feel weary, my first instinct is to put up walls and establish boundaries.
I spent years with far too few boundaries, allowing others and my circumstances to pummel me over - wave after wave. So when I learned how to establish boundaries, I built a wall around my heart and my time in an effort to protect myself. And while this allowed me to heal at the time, it took me far too long to finally lower these walls and learn to obey God despite hardship and my fears.
Lowering the walls we’ve learned to instinctually build when things get tough is essential to truly obeying God.
And friends, let me just say that this is an everyday battle for me.
Because we all need some boundaries. But we also need to let down the walls in order to let God’s love into our hearts and overflow through us to others.
So let’s take a look at how you can find the strength to obey God’s call - even when you’re feeling weary.
Understand What God is Calling You To
These are just some of the many callings we have been instructed to live out in our life, right where we are:
- Love your neighbor (Mark 12:31)
- Pray for your enemies and those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
- Go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Commit your path to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3)
- Be a part of a church (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Not conform to the world - be different (Romans 12:2)
- Don't just read Scripture, but do what it says (James 1:22)
- Correct, rebuke & encourage one another (2 Timothy 4:2)
- Give money to the poor (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- Pray continually & be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have (1 Peter 3:15)
I’m not saying that you aren’t supposed to take a leap of faith and follow God in big ways.
But ask God to show you where He wants you. And in the meantime, live out the calling that is already given to you all throughout Scripture.
Take a Long, Hard Look at Your Boundaries and Ask God to Reveal Healthy Ones
It’s easy to let our emotions determine our boundaries and reactions. I’ve done this for years and for most of us, this is a process on autopilot.
But it’s important for you to take a step back and ask God to show you where your boundaries are not of His will for you and where they may need to be adjusted.
I’ve written out prayers and prayed them over and over and watched as God asked me to humbly and yet boldly tear down certain boundaries.
I’ve seen motives of fear, anger, hurt, pride become unveiled as the purpose behind certain boundaries in my life.
Here are some ways that you can take a look at your boundaries and discover healthy ones:
- Counseling or Therapy for healing
- Journaling - ask yourself questions like “what makes me close up or put up walls” and “what is keeping me from living out these callings (whether good or bad)”
Remember, some boundaries are essential. If something is drawing you away from the Lord, causing you to fall into temptation or triggering severe anxiety or something similar, it may require enforcing a boundary.
This is a process that I highly recommend a lot of prayer and counseling for, especially if you struggle with anxiety or mental illness.
There is tremendous blessing when we step out and obey God right where we are. Take time to humbly consider what boundaries may be holding you back and surrender them to the Lord.
Renew Your Mind & Heart
It is impossible to fully obey God when our minds and hearts are clouded by the world and by Satan's lies. And we can so easily become entangled in these very things.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
You can renew your mind and heart by surrendering what is old and meditating on God's word. This is something we need to do daily. And as you do, you will notice the Holy Spirit transforming you.
When I've committed to doing this, God has revealed some amazing things to me. He has led me to places that required great faith but produced great blessing.
And in renewing my mind daily, I've found powerful peace. Because most of the time God's will isn't easy. He asks us to do courageous things and we need HIs all-consuming peace and strength to do them.
So I would encourage you to choose a few verses of Scripture and write them somewhere you can take with you. Meditate on these verses when your mind wanders. Allow God to transform your mind and heart and you will find tremendous strength to live out His will for you.
Take Small Steps in Obedience
Obeying God does not necessarily mean that you need to do something crazy. Sometimes it does, but most of the times, God asks us to obey Him in the small things.
If you are feeling weary, exhausted and burnt out, start by obeying God in small, baby steps. Look at the list above and choose one or two things that you can do today. Is that praying for someone who has hurt you? Is it giving a little bit more on Sunday?
When you start taking small steps in obedience, blessings will overflow and this blessing will fuel you to take bigger and bigger steps.
Obeying the Lord is an everyday thing. I want to greatly encourage you to spend a few minutes asking God each morning in what areas can you obey Him in that specific day.
Keep your eyes open, you will begin to see opportunities and see God’s amazing mercy and glory at work.