Have you ever told God, “I’ll go wherever you want me to go, except…”? Or you might have said, “I’ll do anything you want me to, except…” it’s crazy how we sometimes put conditions on our obedience. The truth is that we’ve got a mindset that we’ve adopted on earth that makes us think we can do that. For some reason we’ve bought the lie that we get to pick and choose what we want to obey. You can’t say, “God, I’ll honor you, but I’m not going to honor my spouse or my parents.” To dishonor them is to dishonor God and the commandment He’s given. The mindset that tells God what we are and are not going to do is wrong.
Take Jonah for example. God told him where to go and what to say. He didn’t say anything back to God. He went down to the shore, bought a ticket like he was going and boarded a ship in the opposite direction. His mindset was the kind that said, “I’ll go wherever you want except Nineveh.” God wasn’t pleased with Jonah, nor is He pleased with us when we adopt the same mindset. He might not send a great fish to swallow you so you’ll get an attitude adjustment and a mindset change, but He will try to get your attention so you’ll follow and say what the Spirit leads you to do and say. We can’t forget that He is the potter and we are the clay.
Romans 8:7 puts it plainly what’s happening when we do this to God. It says, “In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot!” (TPT) When we refuse to submit to God’s direction for our lives, we’ve adopted a flesh driven mindset rather than a Spirit led one. It’s a visible sign of rebellion because of a lack of submission to God. To live by the Spirit is to live in obedience and without conditions to what God says on how to live, where to go and what to say. It’s the way God has asked you and I to live. The next time you find yourself putting conditions on obeying, stop the sentence, repent and say, “I’m your servant. I’ll do whatever you want.” It may not be easy, but that’s what a Spirit led life looks like.