Perhaps “compelled” is not the right word here. I much prefer “persuaded” because it directs us to the Holy Spirit-inspired converted human heart. We need to pray more for the Spirit of God to truly renew us and we need to be sure that we do not confuse our renewal with moral activism as though “doing more stuff” makes us better disciples. God calls us to humble, quiet obedience in the ordinary, daily affairs of our life (in our families first, then in our churches and our communities). We need to respect the different gifts, energies, and passions that God gives his people and not create priorities and hierarchies of obedience (for example, thinking that going overseas as a missionary is far more important than being a good Christian parent or student and therefore makes us better Christians). However, some are called to follow Christ in what we might consider “radical ways” and we need to go where God calls us; he does not call us all to the same place (that’s why the church is a body of many and diverse members) and we must respect this variety of callings. The best practical advice I can give to firm-up our life of Christian discipleship? In addition to the staples—“read your Bible, pray every day”—read the accounts of the martyrs, especially modern ones, and then reread them.
John Bolt was born in the Netherlands; immigrated to Canada at the age of three; grew up in a sleeping village south of Vancouver, British Columbia. He is retired professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan; his favorite movie is The Sting; favorite smells are food smells, especially bakery (cinnamon rolls!!); favorite color is green; his first (paid) job was delivering a morning newspaper, The Vancouver Province (up at 5:00 AM); non-academic passions: watching sports, especially my grandkids, reading novels, especially good mystery novels.