Being Obedient to God’s Will Even When You Don’t Like It

what is obedience to god

Saying yes to God’s will when your heart says no is one of the hardest things to do in life. Whether it’s a relationship, career, or life ambition, sometimes God’s plans for us are different than we imagine. Sometimes God asks us to let go and trust Him so He can give us something better.

I personally experienced this a while back when I went through a difficult breakup with a man I could see my future with.

I didn’t understand it and I was upset, confused, and heartbroken. The pain I felt made it so easy to question God’s plan and ask why. What we had was good, so it didn’t make sense to me.

Peace in the Midst of Sorrow

However, even amidst my immense sorrow and confusion, I had this strange sense of peace I knew was only from Christ. In time, I saw how God needed to work on our hearts. But I couldn’t see it in the moment. The Lord was trying to pull us into a period of growth, and naturally we were going to experience growing pains.

During any transition period when Christ calls you out of one point of life into another, it’s going to hurt. There’s going to be pain. But He wants to use the cross to draw you closer to Him. By recognizing your hurt, by recognizing your cross and carrying it strong, you can receive incredible graces to make you into the saint God wants you to be.

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Just Say Yes

While I was going through my difficult time, I was talking with a close friend of mine. She told me how proud of us she was for listening to God’s voice and being obedient to His will in our relationship. I hadn’t really thought about it from the standpoint of obedience before. But I realized that’s why I was able to find peace in such a hard time in my life.

Knowing thatches was God’s will is what gave me the peace. I didn’t need to understand everything because I knew He did. If it was part of His plan, there was no need to worry because He had my back. I just needed to keep being obedient.

The following quote sums it all up pretty well:

Obedience unites us so closely to God that it transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God. -St. Thomas Aquinas

If we say we want God’s will for our lives, but then don’t obey, what’s the point?

If we truly want Him to transform us into the saints we can be, then we must go where Christ leads us. But how in the world do we do this if we don’t know where He’s leading us?

It starts with being open, listening well, and then saying yes!

If we truly want Him to transform us into the saints we can be, then we must go where Christ leads us #BISblog // Click To Tweet

Opening Your Heart to God’s Will

In order to be obedient to God, we must first be open to hearing His voice and following His will for us. That means inviting Him into all of our relationships, all of our plans, and all of our dreams. If we don’t invite God into all areas of our life, we will just be following our own will and not His.

In order to truly allow Christ to transform our lives, we must not be afraid to let Him in and constantly ask for His guidance. I know it’s scary because we wonder, “Well what if He doesn’t want what I do?”

I’ve realized that, ultimately, what He has planned for me is far better than anything I could plan myself. So if I want to be truly happy in my relationships, career, or vocation, I know I have to invite God in.

And after we invite Him in, we just need to listen.

Listening Well

Sometimes it’s really hard to hear Him. But the tools that help us hear His voice better are prayer and the Sacraments.

Whatever your situation is, simply asking God to show you the way and praying for His will in your life will make things so much clearer. If you’re praying about something and the situation brings you lasting peace, it’s probably from God. On the other hand, if something isn’t bringing you peace, but rather uneasiness or turmoil, maybe it’s time to let go. Even if your heart is saying no.

Don’t be fooled though, being obedient to God when your heart and emotions are saying otherwise doesn’t happen overnight. But the more we pursue Christ in prayer and the Sacraments, the more graces we receive to have the courage to let go. We learn to abandon our own emotions and desires to Christ because we realize He knows best. And after that, we just have to say yes.

The Daily Yes

When I hear the words, “Just say yes,” for some reason a marriage proposal jumps into my head. But in actuality, there are similarities between the “yes” a husband and wife make in the Sacrament of Marriage and the “yes” Christ calls us to daily.

When you say yes in the Sacrament of Marriage, you vow to commit to that person forever, no matter what. Every day, whether you wake up joyful or angry with that person, your vocation calls you to die to yourself and say yes. So that’s what you must do!

Being Obedient is Part of Our Vocation

Similarly, the Lord calls us all to be saints. Regardless of whether we are called to married, religious, or single life, sainthood is and always will be our primary vocation. And that also entails a yes. But a yes to Christ. A yes to His will. A Yes to His plans for us, whether we agree with them or not.

As Christians, we were baptized and born into a new life with Christ. Therefore, we are called to be obedient to our Catholic faith, to Christ embodied in the Church. We are called to listen to the voice of God in our lives and follow.

So my challenge for you is this: Let God into all areas of your life. Listen for His quiet voice. Ask Him to reveal to you the things you need to let go. And lastly, I challenge you to say yes to God daily, and don’t ever stop!

Whatever happens, wherever you feel the Lord calling you, whether it’s what you want or not, just be obedient. You won’t regret it.

He has a wonderful story planned for you, and it’s way better than that relationship, career, or life goal you thought you wanted.

When in your life have you been obedient to God even when you didn’t feel like it? Let’s share stories and encourage one another in the comments!

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Josie Kuhlman is a recent college graduate from the University of Florida where she competed on the women’s tennis team for four years. She currently traveling the world and pursuing my dream of playing professional tennis. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family in Florida, reading, taking pictures and writing for her blog. Her hope is that her story can inspire others to passionately pursue the true joy found in Christ in their own lives. You can find out more about her here.

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  • Reply
    November 8, 2018 at 2:02 am

    I had a really similar breakup experience; one that was painful but I knew was a part of God’s will. It’s hard to explain but I felt such an overwhelming peace- even through the tears. I knew that God needed me to step out of that relationship and into a time of growth and alone time with Him.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Currently going through a time where I am resigning from my current job in ministry. Thank you for writing this!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I have been doing this for 25 plus years, being obedient when I can’t stand it. Doing what He says to do regardless of the sacrifice. Going with His plan instead of mine. Except His plan for me was a life I wouldn’t wish on Satan himself. He has given me a life worse than my worst nightmare, I could have never imagined something this horrible. How do you keep obeying when you know that trusting Him will only bring you more pain and nothing good? Is there even a point to trying when there is no hope left except to avoid Hell.

    • Reply
      Olivia Spears
      July 2, 2019 at 10:49 am

      Hi Ann! First, thanks for being here and sharing a bit of your heart with us. I’m so sorry that life has been difficult; I know many of us wouldn’t wish our sufferings on our worst enemies. I do know that God desires our good and that He is with us always, especially holding us in the midst of our terrible heartbreaks. I’ll be praying for you!

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