Obedience – It’s Not What You May Think It Is

It’s not hard to agree with those we trust. Trust breeds respect and vice versa. Obedience to God is about such a trust. It’s me trusting and serving Him no matter what, in full assurance that he will take care of my needs – whether financial, emotional, physical or otherwise. Just because things aren’t going the way I planned doesn’t mean they aren’t going the way they should. I need to remember not to lose myself in what is temporary because no one has seen and no one has heard what God has prepared for me. Unfortunately, in a given moment, I do forget.

Is 64:4 “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

Obedience is a way for me to honor the God who saved me. Other words for obedience, that don’t chafe so much: compliance, agreement, or simply, respect. It doesn’t earn me his love, he already gifted that to me, by His grace.

Is 1:11 “What makes you think I want your sacrifices?”

God wants my sacrifices to come from an overflow of my love for Him and out of respect. If I obey for the wrong reason it won’t last and it doesn’t please him. Sometimes I obey because I know it’s the right thing to do and I know I will reap the benefits. At work for example, I know that if I can choke down my pride or arrogance it will go over better for me and I will hopefully win some favor with those I work with. Yet, God wants me to obey not for the carnal benefit, but because ultimately it grieves him when I lack love for other people and allow my pride to stifle my witness of who He is and who they are to Him.

Obedience is about the condition of my heart towards God. He wants me to obey because he loves me and even when I miss it completely, He still draws near to me despite my self-centered tendencies.

Jer 31: 1-5 “I have love you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily”

I am Israel, I have to remember that my performance does not equal my worth to God. When I am called to obey his commands I am really just called to trust in His better all-knowing plan. God longs to pour His love out on me so that out of it obedience can follow. Sometimes obedience can be a call to action, other times, for me, it can be a call to inaction – to be still or quiet and just wait on Him.

Pv 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

A healthy fear of God is about respect for his awesomeness. God alone provides the wisdom, strength and faith for us to continually obey no matter what the circumstances. I need to trust and respect His plan. It does take great faith, but He also keeps it simple. Faith, comes from God’s word. The more I read His Word consistently, the more I understand his character and grow in trust and obedience. When I respect Him more I respect myself and others more.

Rm 10: 17 (ASV) “ So belief comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

There are times I will fail and still choose to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. In these moments, His word will give me the perspective I need to search and change the motives of my heart. It’s not so much about me as it is about Him, always. When I’m afraid I will fail God, he reminds me that He will not fail me.

Josh 1:5 “ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.”

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