God tailors unique opportunities for each of us to obey. We can surrender our agendas and learn to hear Him more clearly as we do the following:
Practice listening. When I practice listening to God in the quiet of my bedroom, I can better recognize His voice in the noise of the world.
Be honest. Sometimes I don’t want to be obedient and care only about myself. When I honestly admit my feelings to God, I’m more likely to hear Him when He speaks to me.
Be willing to be different. Sometimes obedience feels weird. Like Martha, many people believe that we must be busy to be productive. We overcommit because that might impress others. If we’re not busy, we fear others will see us as lazy or unspiritual or unimportant. But if I want to be obedient in each moment, I do and say what the Father directs. How often do I say “no” when God’s leading seems strange to me or when I fear it will appear strange to others? How many people tried to make Jesus feel weird in staying two extra days, knowing that Lazarus was dying? Mary and Martha certainly did not understand at first. Likewise, obedience may sometimes feel strange to us.
It’s our job to be obedient moment by moment, sometimes in spite of our feelings; it’s up to God to weave those moments of obedience into a tapestry that glorifies Him.