OBEY! I don’t know about you, but when I hear that word at first, I cringe a little bit. Do what you tell me to do? Come on. But this word is essential to our faith as Christians. This word is more than just do what your parents tell you to do, it is more than a list of commands, it’s even more than a popular clothing brand, it is a word which is the essence of the Christian faith.
Obedience is defined as “dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority.” Even looking at this definition from the dictionary, we can see how this word fits right into the biblical definition God lays out for us. “Dutifully” means we are responsible to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty of dying on the cross for us. “Commands, orders, or instructions” refers to the Bible and all of the teachings God has laid out for us in this amazing book. “One authority” is God Himself whose authority overrides anything else in this world. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded because it is our duty to do so.
There is a difference in straight up obeying and the spirit of obedience. If your parents gave you a list of things to obey and do and you just get it done because you have to do it, your relationship with your parents would seem like a burden because they just tell you to do certain things and if you don’t obey you will be in trouble. If you are obedient to them because you love and respect them and trust they know what is best for you then your relationship with them would be much closer because you obey them because you WANT to. Same with God, if you were to look at obedience like a list of things to get done because you HAVE to do them, of course you are going to resist it and think it is a burden. When you have the mind set of of love and respect for God, and have the spirit of obedience, you obey because you WANT to our of love for Him.
Because of Jesus, all of the Old Testament Laws and rules were fulfilled. Jesus calls all of us to a new law to abide to. A law He summed up in two commandments. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).
We are not going to do this perfectly. We are imperfect people. But if we love God, we will obey Him to the best of our ability and have the desire to do so our lives will be evidence of that desire. When we love God and obey Him we naturally have love for one another. Obedience is commanded by God, it is a must, but not only because it glorifies Him, because His commands are best for us to follow. Obedience brings joy, comfort and peace in a world where such things are hard to find, mainly due to disobedience and rejection of God and His Word.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9-“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
John 15:14- “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jesus’ speaking)
Galatians 5:13-14- For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
John 14:23-24- Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
- Am I obeying God? What has He prompted me to do that I have not yet done?
- What are things in my life that I have not listened to God about?
- Have I even been open to what God has to say about my life?
- That God will give you the spirit of obedience.
- That you will serve and obey Him because you want to out of love.
- Others will see love pouring out of you because of your obedience to Him.
- For God to reveal anything in your life that He has called for you to do but you have not been obedient with.
- That you do those things He commanded for you to do.