Do As You are Told

By G.P. Avants

And this is love: That we walk in obedience to His commands.”

                                    2 John 6

            Stop me if you have heard this story. Do you remember Forest Gump? He had a stint in the Army for a number of years. He said he never had any problems and things flowed for him because he did what he was told to do; “Yes, Drill Sergeant, Sir!”

            I have an old friend who put this to the test. His name was Ron. He came to the Lord the same time I came back to the Lord. What really blew me away was how fast he matured in the Lord. It was humbling to say that he matured in a few years what it took me decades to understand. Why was that? Ron didn’t tell the Lord no when He asked him to do something.

            Jesus knows what is inside a person. He knows how argumentative, lazy, complacent, and stubborn we all are. We may not see it but, when the tests come, we shine out with all those “wonderful” attributes. Our human nature is corrupted and it will do whatever it can not to obey the Lord. It comes oh so natural to us. 

            He can get very strict and direct with us and our flesh hates it. That is where we struggle because we think He is telling us to do these things, but He isn’t.

            These commands are to that new spirit that He puts in us. It’s the Spirit of Jesus who is able to obey not you or me. So, to my natural ears I hear orders but, to my new ears I hear joyful commands.

            When I let Him do what He wants to do then they are no longer demands but desires. I may not want to leave my hometown and move back to a place that’s far from paradise but, He asks me to. Maybe I’m to take the lessons I learned and share them with folks there.

            God always does what is good for you and for all His children. He will never ask you to do something that compromises you to sin. God does everything out of love even discipline. There are times when He appears harsh and to the point yet, consider who He is talking to. Your flesh may be the one that needs a little correcting and is out of line. God cares about that new life in you that the flesh might have to suffer a while to get the point. 

            If you are a believer and Christ is in your heart, then you will be in this place. You have a battle within you to obey or disobey. You have two natures that battle it out daily. To experience real freedom from this struggle you must decide which nature you will consider worth nurturing.

            I can tell you that Forest and Ron would tell you obeying God is the only way to go.  It’s the only option that comes with a guarantee of a new and everlasting life. The Bible says that obedience is better than sacrifice. I think that means that instead of doing what I think is right at the moment we obey the unchanging truths of God. When He gives marching orders it’s a certainty that we are listening to one commander who knows full well what He is doing.


  1. AMEN, Gary. I appreciate your adjective for God’s commands: JOYFUL. That’s the attitude we need to take! I listened to a Pete Briscoe podast just this morning in which he said, “To say ‘yes’ to temptation means you’re saying ‘no’ to God’s best for you.” Why would we do that?! As you pointed out, our God is “one commander who knows full well what He is doing!”

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I am glad He is in control, especially when we feel out of control.

      On Sat, Feb 26, 2022 at 2:21 PM Be Encouraged by G.P. Avants wrote:


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