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Sustainable Obedience


Sustainable keep up or keep going, as an action or process. To support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.

For those who desire to know God and do the "will of God" it is critical that we discover ways to do that which are sustainable. I have learned over the years that guilt, fear and obligation are not sustainable processes when it comes to knowing God or doing the will of God. I have found 3 key things that are doable, repeatable, and give vitality that I think you will find helpful. 

First:   Know the Bible

To the degree you spend time reading, studying, meditating, and praying through the scriptures you will "understand what is right and just and fair - every good path". Proverbs 2:1-9

Second:   Know Yourself

We are in a process of discovering who we are as God is in the process of working in us. Scripture tells us "it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose." Phillippians 2:13

As we learn about what God has placed in us (spiritual gifts and passions) as well as understand how we are developing (background, personality, interests) we come to a better understanding of how to make good decisions. God created us and likes us. We are in a lifelong process that God initiated and continues to develop.

Third: Know God

We have not been called to a religious obligation but to an organic relationship. Jesus speaks of himself as "The Vine" and us as "branches".  John 15:5

Our God experience has to be alive, real, and connected to be sustainable. Guilt, fear and obligation are not healthy or sustainable responses to a meaningful relationship. Prayer is simply a process or action that describes talking to God. In order to grow a relationship you have to keep talking. Talking keeps us connected.

Simplicity:  As simple as these 3 things are they represent the meaningful processes that give vitality and encourage me in my attempts to know and obey God. What do you find helpful?

4 comments so far:

All true and well put my friend. A good reminder to me to get into His Word today! God Bless.

I have always assumed that there was something wrong with me, in a very basic way. I was raised by parents that didn’t like my basic approach to life because it was so different than theirs. After 39 years as a believer I am finally starting to see that my personality is a gift from God and it is how He designed me. I am also learning that I am special to Him!

Great thoughts Tom. We have to focus on the things that will keep us close to the heart of God and keep us from being overwhelmed by the world.


I agree that guilt and fear should not be sustainable both of these will destroy you from the inside out. But I see obligation different. I make obligations by choice, I have obligated myself to my wife, by choice, I have obligated myself to my family by choice. Obligation and responsibility go hand and hand. I do not see that in the same frame of reference. If you are using obligation as religious duty separate from a personal fellowship with Christ then sure. But I would question, if obligation is the correct word.

I like that comment from Barry. Knowing God and knowing yourself is a long process for sure. I am in that process. It seems like Christianity in the USA in the 80’s and 90’s seemed to speak more negatively of the “self” and the “soul”. But we are definitely in a process of becoming more fully ourselves as we know God. I think God made individuals for a reason…so we could all be unique. That’s the fun of life anyways. Diversity is more fun and more beautiful.

The combination of valuing diversity and learning from Scripture is the way to go. Then we can learn where personal expression and personal responsibility meet. That’s where humans can be fully themselves and also learn how to love and respect others.


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