Of course I started with the trite answer that's written in all the books: You have to read your Bible, and if the voice you're hearing doesn't go against scripture, you're pretty safe.
But I kept going... "But what about those times when God tells you to do or not do something and you can't find a verse that goes with it?" I asked him?
My answer: "Pretty much, if God tells you NOT to do something, you are going to want to do it. If he tells you TO do something, you're not going to want to it."
The greatest character trait that I hope to instill in my children is obedience. My expectation? Obey quickly and with a good attitude. Why? To me, if you can master obedience, you can master the Christian faith.
"Don't take the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory." For those of you who didn't know me at the time, I was part of the first class at Missouri Western State University's Entrepreneurship Program, which is now nationally recognized and awards several businesses a year to hopeful future business owners. The objective: develop a business plan, and convince a panel that they should give you the financing, and franchise/equipment discounts for your own business. I convinced the president of MWSU, the president of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a lender, and others that I was the best candidate. (Hello, pride!) I was going to get to move to Silverthorne, Colorado, and they were even going to let me pick out a new car...
But God told me to walk away.
When he told me to walk away, Josh had already decided to leave his job, and we would both soon be unemployed...
Long story short, a company that Josh had applied for FOUR years prior contacted him completely out of the blue, interviewed him THAT day, and offered him a job.
Who knew simple obedience would unfold God's plan for our lives?
Obey with a cheerful attitude. Why? Because, as mentioned above, our flesh will always war against the ways of the Lord. Our attitudes will flare as our flesh bucks at the idea of submission and obedience.
Now, can God use an resentful servant, who is mad that he has to obey? ABSOLUTELY! Look at Jonah! But unless you want to be alone under a tree all sunburned and mad at the world, you'd better figure out the cheerful side of obedience.