The Blessing of Setting Our Hearts on 100-Percent Obedience
by Mike Bickle
It is empowering and satisfying to set our heart to love God with 100-percent obedience. The pursuit of 98-percent obedience has a limited blessing. The last 2 percent positions us to live with a vibrant heart. Powerful and surprising dynamics occur in our emotions as we pursue the last 2 percent. There is a “spark” of the Spirit in our heart as we “reach,” or aim, to live this way. For those who don’t want to obey God in the areas of that last 2 percent, the Spirit often speaks to them about their lack of agreement with Him instead of God’s beauty.
It is easy to pursue God with an attitude of 98-percent obedience, keeping 2 percent to ourselves. That is when we tell the Holy Spirit that He can have everything, except a few things. For example, when He convicts us for talking in a slandering or gossiping way about someone else, and we ignore that sense of conviction. “I want to talk the way I want to talk. Leave that part alone.” Or He speaks to us about an activity in our life, how we are using our time. “Holy Spirit, I am totally Yours, but this amount of time, come on, come on, give me some room.”
Remember, I am talking about seeking God to obey 100 percent, not attaining complete obedience—the setting of our hearts to obey. There is a difference between the two. I am talking about the desire in the secret place of our heart, where we say, “I am going to obey You with all my heart.” There is an emotional dynamic, a very powerful one that happens when you have brought everything in your life under this banner of obeying the Lord, everything.
Aiming for 100-percent obedience includes bridling our speech (Jas. 3:2), making a covenant with our eyes and refusing to look at anything that stirs up lust (Job 31:1), disciplining our appetites, and managing our time (for service and prayer) and our money for the increase of God’s kingdom. This commitment is more than a casual commitment to obey God in a general way; it must be so deliberate that it becomes part of our daily dialogue with God in our prayer times, as we ask for grace to pursue 100-percent obedience.
Sometimes, in our dullness, we do what we know is wrong—this is sin. But we can come to the Lord in repentance, with full confidence of His forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus, and renew our resolve to go after obedience again, saying, “My money, my time, my words, my eyes, my appetites—I am bringing them all back under Your leadership, I am recommitting now.” We don’t have to make big vows; we just tell Him, “Lord, this is how I want to live.” We push delete on our failure, live in the confidence that God enjoys us and delights in us, and we commit to follow God’s ways with all of our heart again.
Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship. He is also the founder of International House of Prayer University, which includes full-time ministry, music, and media schools.
Mike’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer, and the end times. He is the author of several books, including Growing in Prayer, Passion for Jesus, God’s Answer to the Growing Crisis, Growing in the Prophetic, and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. Mike and his wife, Diane, have two married sons and six grandchildren.