5 Powerful Ways to Listen to the Spirit & Obey Jesus

| | |

Sharing is caring!

Jesus said the Spirit will remind us of the things He said. We want His loving promises but not His life--changing commands. Let's look at why we need to listen to the Spirit & obey Jesus.

As I sit quietly in my favorite chair, my Bible is on my lap and my journal is beside me.

And in the stillness, I ask the Lord to speak to me … I want to listen to the Spirit and hear His voice.

I thank Him for His promises and loving words of encouragement but then, the Spirit prompts me and I suddenly find myself asking…

Am I simply hearing what I want to hear or am I actually listening to the Spirit? Am I journaling words of love, hope, and promise while brushing past words of conviction that challenge my heart toward trust that obeys? Am I holding on to what I want and ignoring what I don’t?

John wrote the following as he introduced the Book of Revelation..

God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and He blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

And James wrote…

Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James 1:22

And it hit me … I want to do more than hear the promises that make me feel good. I want to listen to the Spirit and do my best to trust and obey Jesus’ commands. But the truth is, if I sincerely want to listen and obey I need to SEEK and KNOW His commands.

So, I’m looking to the words of Jesus, who said…

If you love me, obey my commandments. 

John 14:15

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 

John 15:12

Obeying Jesus’ commands means loving the way Jesus loved. It means:

  1. Loving and remaining close to the Father to know and do His will. (John 8:29)
  2. Treating everyone with love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
  3. Speaking the TRUTH in love even when it’s hard. (Ephesians 4:15)
  4. Spending time showing people God’s love. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John)
  5. And, it means, forgiving and loving like Jesus. (Ephesians 4:32)

That’s not easy, is it?

The enemy of our souls wants us to believe that Jesus is okay with us doing “whatever it takes to make us happy,” but the Bible tells us that living with wisdom and righteousness is what we need if we want true happiness…

Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
    happy are those who hold her tightly.

Proverbs 3:18

May the righteous be glad
    and rejoice before God;
    may they be happy and joyful.

Psalm 68:3

Again, not easy!

That’s why you and I need to listen to the Spirit … not just the promises that make us feel good but the words that challenge us to obey. Oh, how I want to make excuses. It’s so much easier to see the fault in others while making excuses for myself.

I think that’s one reason why I love God’s Word so much. I need the loving promises of God’s forgiveness and His commands for wise living if I truly want to be happy.

Take a minute to read Matthew 5:1–12 … the “Blessed are” verses from the Sermon on the Mount.

Did you know that the Greek word often translated as “blessed” is makarios, which means fortunate or “happy”?

Jesus said that these are the things we need to be happy … seek the kingdom, live with humility, pursue righteousness, repent, show mercy, and make every effort to live in peace.

That’s very different from the current culture’s message.

Jesus said the Spirit will remind us of the things He said. We want His loving promises but not His life--changing commands. Let's look at why we need to listen to the Spirit & obey Jesus.

So, let’s pause and ask the Father to help us listen to the Spirit and obey Jesus … after we thank Him for His promises…

A Prayer to Listen to the Spirit and Obey Jesus

Father God, Thank you so much for Your Word, the source of Your beautiful promises. They encourage me and give me hope and peace. They remind me of Your unfailing love and willingness to forgive. They inspire me when life is hard and I want to disappear and hide in the closet.

Thank you for meeting me in the quiet of the closet and for helping me understand that it is in the stillness when I “cease striving
that I can hear Your voice of truth over the noise that fills my head and distracts my thoughts.

Please forgive me for selectively choosing the parts of Your Word I want to take to heart. Forgive me for clinging to Your feel-good promises while neglecting Your instructions and directions. I want to SEEK Your Kingdom so that I might KNOW Your will given in love for my good and Your glory. Help me LOVE You so much that it will fill me with joy to TRUST and OBEY Your will.

You promise that when I SEEK You and Your Kingdom above everything else, You will give me everything I need. I believe that means You will give me what I need to KNOW, TRUST, LOVE, and OBEY YOU.

That is my heart’s desire. To know the peace, joy, and happiness of following Your plans and purposes for me. Your grace is sufficient, Lord. Please open my heart and mind so I might listen to the Spirit and reverently follow wherever You lead. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Jesus said the Spirit will remind us of the things He said. We want His loving promises but not His life--changing commands. Let's look at why we need to listen to the Spirit & obey Jesus.

Brennan Manning wrote the following about what it means to be a “Christian”…

“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”

I want that. I want to surrender to the Spirit that burns within me, be faithful to the Word of God, and boldly and passionately live obedient to His command to love in a way that shows the world the truth about Jesus.

May the Lord bless you as you quietly listen to the Spirit and make it your heart’s desire to obey Jesus.

We would love to pray for you.
You can leave your prayer requests here

and even take a few minutes to pray over the list left by our friends.

Never Miss an Update

Leave your email address and I’ll send you a short email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to alert you to each new devotion. Plus you’ll receive a copy of 30 Ways to Bless Your Marriage and Keep the Spark Burning

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi” and share your thoughts in the comments below.

And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…

Thanks again for visiting! Don’t forget to check out the links below to find additional posts that will bless you…

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Martha Orlando says:

    May I listen to the Holy Spirit and follow the commandments that Jesus gave us. Beautiful post, Deb!

    1. Thank you, Martha! I’m joining you in that prayer as well. Oh that I might LOVE, TRUST, and OBEY! Blessings, dear friend!

  2. Raquel G. says:

    Good morning, my dear sister in Christ,
    I trust that you had a blessed and joyful weekend.
    A heart that overflows with joy, song, and thankfulness to God signals a believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit. We can be filled with the Holy Spirit by always yielding to God in submission and always in obedience to His word.
    Paul, described spirit-filled believers as those who submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21.

    Deb, may the days ahead bring you a bounty of beautiful joy, happiness, and good health.

    Because of Calvary,
    Raquel G.

    1. You’re right! It is only by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit that we are willing to surrender ourselves to God in faith and love. Thank you for your words of encouragement. God bless you!

  3. Maree Dee says:

    Deb, you caught me not obeying God’s will for my day. But you have pointed back to what I need to do. Thank you. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Maree

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Maree. And for your kind words. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. God bless you!

  4. Julie Plagens says:

    I always love what you have to say. So glad for your insights into all things spiritual. Surrender is one of the ways we do this.

    1. Thank you, Julie! I truly appreciate your kind encouragement. Blessings!

  5. I love this and the honesty you shared when you said that at times you ask yourself if it is what God wants you to do, or is it your own voice you hear! I am guilty of the same question. I think of Isaiah 30:15 that says, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Sitting quietly, early, very early in the mornings is when I have my special time with God. I talk to Him all day, but that is my quiet time. A very special time I need. Starting the day with God starts my day the right way.
    Thank you for this wisdom today.
    God bless you my sweet, dear friend. You are very special to all of us.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I completely agree. My day is just not right if I don’t begin it quietly with the Lord. I’m praying each day that He will help me focus on one day at a time and give me the peace and strength I need in the moment. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has become my frequent prayer throughout the day. God’s blessings to you! I thank the Lord for you and for your friendship!

  6. Convicting in the best possible way. I especially love where you draw the question about if we’re just hearing what we want to hear. Appreciate this good council.

    1. Thank you, Jen! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. God bless you!

  7. Ana Cordova says:

    Amen Deb, what strong words and prayers to try to live by when times get tough. Lord Jesus I want to have the strong Spirit within me so I can apply your word to my life. Give me wisdom and patience in difficult times to love and forgive others. Blessing Deb and to everyone follow your podcast.

    1. Amen, Ana! I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want His wisdom and strength to trust and obey the Lord’s will. God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Deborah! I just noticed that you might be a Deborah Ruth also. My paternal grandfather’s family was Jewish and when my parents gave me my O.T. name they were sure I would leave Christianity and come back to the “true” faith. They gave up after I married a minister. God’s blessings!

  8. Stacey Pardoe says:

    Thanks for this nudge to soak in his Word, Deb! You are an inspiration to me in SO many ways!

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! I am so blessed by you! Blessings!

  9. Thanks may the Lord continue to bless you and your family in Jesus’s name amen

  10. Susan Newton says:

    Can I send you a private prayer request? Thank you so much.

    1. Marie Miller says:

      Jesus I want to understand to how to fix my finances and for my dog be returned to me. Thank you for all you have done for me and for peace.

      1. Praying for you, Marie! God be with you and bless you!