Before we are able to obey, we must be able to perceive that which is being asked of us. St. John the Baptist says that Jesus comes as one with a winnowing fork in hand to separate the wheat from the chaff. On a personal level, I have experienced this to mean that Jesus, my Master, comes to separate that which is true from that which is false within me.
Each morning I ask my Master to gather me onto his threshing floor and separate that which has grown by the will of God in the soil of my soul--the wheat--from that which has grown by my own will, desires, and agendas--the chaff. I ask him to burn the chaff "with unquenchable fire." I then ask him to gather the wheat into God's granary to be distributed according to God's direction in realms seen and unseen for the nourishment of the world.
Obedience for me, as a Benedictine, is to act in light of the truth, the wheat, that Jesus reveals to me through the lenses of spiritual practice, Holy Scripture, the Rule, and community. It is to learn the difference within myself between the wheat and the chaff, and to respond, in the pinpoint of the given moment, by releasing my grasp on whatever my mind and heart have fixed upon and opening to the Master's word.
This word comes to the Benedictine in many forms and from many mediating voices. My role as the Superior of a Benedictine community is to cultivate the capacity to truly listen and to fully obey so that my words to those in my care can serve as the voice of Christ in their lives.