I know I’m not the only one having difficulty understanding how microchip technology works. I finally traded in my 12-year-old car and am amazed at the number of computerized innovations in my new vehicle. But they have frustrated me. The automated door’s sensor doesn’t operate consistently. My synced iPhone “cannot be found” when I want to make a Bluetooth call, and I can’t get the vehicle to connect with my iPod. There are so many options to process through--knobs, switches, and screens--along with ports and plug-ins, that I’m uncertain of “how to” and “where.” I’ve studied the manual, but I need more detailed information to help me use the new features.

This applies for other gizmos, too. I don’t like to “upgrade” computer software because I don’t know how to solve the inevitable problems I encounter. My husband had trouble with his new wireless surround sound system and spent days trying to connect or sync it with his cell phone and Wi-Fi. I tried to guide my 89-year-old mother in using a laptop, but we ended up abandoning the plan. She thought it was too complex to navigate through the necessary steps to use email and Skype.

I remember thinking the iPhone was too involved and I wanted my old flip phone back. Nevertheless, when I studied the instructions and started using the device regularly, I learned from experience. Now, it doesn’t seem to be so complicated anymore. It’s in the “doing” that I grasp the knowledge.

People can make that case for reading the Bible. Doing what the Bible teaches provides a better understanding of the principle, and experiencing the results are “aha” moments.

James advised his readers not to merely listen to the Word, but to actually do what it says (James 1:22). Jesus stated that man should live “on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He proclaimed that those who obey the word of God are blessed (Luke11:28). Certain attitudes and deeds are rewarded, but if people don’t develop or do them, they won’t experience the good outcome. Skepticism and laziness keep people from discovering that God’s Word is true and still relevant.

Jesus told His disciples to teach others to obey everything He commanded them (Matthew 28:20). He said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11). Jesus was filled with joy through the Holy Spirit and so were His disciples (Luke10:21; Acts13:52). This joy from the Spirit permeates our souls, like the inner peace we receive after praying.

Clearly, the psalmists also experienced joy from obeying God’s laws. “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart” (Psalm19:8). “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm119:111).

There is much information in the Bible to sort through and understand, but it’s there for a reason. Have you followed God’s directives and experienced the benefits? Do you consider the results to be worth the effort?

Surround sound enhances the speaking and adds a fuller and deeper sound quality to the movie. I can’t explain how the inside of a surround sound system or a computer works, but I know that if the manual’s instructions are followed, the result is enjoyable. It’s the same with the Lord’s guidelines. Doing what Jesus says brings unexpected pleasure in our hearts. The Holy Spirit helps us understand Scripture, obey it, and enjoy a more fulfilled life.

Go figure; I thought obeying God’s commands would be too restrictive and boring. Yet, when I finally submitted to Him and trusted Him with the steering wheel of my life, He took me places that I could never reach by myself, and it was exciting. Following Him generates an abundant life, so if Jesus is your co-pilot, change seats!

Sometimes we understand the manual on our own and sometimes we need someone to explain what we don’t comprehend. But if we follow the instructions, persevere through the frustrations and not give up, the results can be rewarding and bring pleasure, even joy, to our lives.

Cindy Rooy: Author of a Bible study, “Trusting God Through Troubles & Tears.” She is the contributing author in several devotional books and websites, and enjoys a speaking ministry. To contact Cindy, email her at