Obedience is defined as the willingness to comply with orders or requests; being submissive to another’s will. On the other hand, biblical Obedience (obedience to God) means to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and his Word.
I have been involved with bible studies for the last 20 plus years, trying to learn God’s Word and know Jesus. It has only been in the last 4 years (or so) that I started to feel a tug in my heart each time we studied obedience or I read about it in scripture. Obedience to God is now my top priority, but it can be a struggle for many people, myself included. I wanted to share a little about my walk to being obedient. I pray you will find some words of comfort and maybe a little guidance on how you too can be obedient to the Lord.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it – Luke 11:28 NIV
Notice how long I had been studying the Word, growing in my faith, developing a loving, committed relationship with Jesus before He started knocking on my hearts’ door about obedience. That’s correct; I feel God waited until we had the relationship we needed before asking me (well, he wasn’t really asking;)) to obey. He knew if our relationship weren’t in the right place, obedience wouldn’t work. When you consider that obedience is to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and his Word, one must have the right relationship with Him.
Love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength – Mark 12:30 NIV
Obedience is hard! Think about the last time you wanted to lose a few pounds, but you really wanted a piece of cake. If your mind and heart are not in the right place, that diet will not last long. The concept for obedience to God is the same, you have to be committed to him, you have to really want that strong of a relationship with him, or obedience can be as allusive as those last few pounds.
I know for me, if he would have come knocking before I was completely committed to him, it would have been easier to hedge around or ignore the calling. Over the years, as I have studied the Word and my walk with Christ has become a calling, I have just fallen more in love with Him and all that he has blessed me with and all He has walked me through.
Even though it has become my heart’s desire to be obedient to Him and his calling for me, there are still days I stumble and doubt. The fear of believing in me is so second nature that I find myself inventing ways to get myself out of what I know God patiently waits for me to step into.
To busy to walk in obedience
Show of hands (figuratively speaking) who is busy? I am 99.9% sure there was not one person who didn’t say, ME! Have you noticed how busy we can get when something needs to be done, but we are just unsure if we want to do it?
You have a feeling- a thought maybe- that keeps coming to mind, ideas popping in your head, entire conversations you have with yourself (in the privacy of your head, of course)! You know God is trying to tell you the next step of your journey is ready for you, or maybe a completely new journey…and what do we do? We get busy.
Suddenly many jobs need to get done first, like cleaning the house, taking on a new project at work, or my personal favorite, a new committee at my kid’s school. I find it humorous that we think we can out busy God, I mean, really?! Like showing him we have so much on our plate we can’t possibly take on what he wants us to do too, maybe at a later time, just not right now, is that okay with you God? I have to laugh because I so did that! Well, let me share what happened; God laughed too, right in my face!
Busy does not scare God; he just took some of my busy away and kept nudging me about being obedient to Him. You see when God is in your life, and his eye is on you, there is no avoiding it, no putting it off, and certainly no getting out of it. Trying to avoid God and His calling for you can become like a game you can play, but it’s a game that has no end.
Our doubt feeds our fear
“Hi Jesus, it’s me, Christine; I really want to thank you for all that you have blessed me with. I know this path I walk on was designed just for me by you…and it’s great! I love where I’m at; everything is good. I was thinking, you know, about this calling…that I may need to study some more, pray more for discernment, make sure I know what I am doing before I do anything new. I want to make sure it’s what you want me to do, and I want to be obedient, but are you sure it’s the right time?”
Wow, that’s a conversation I have had with myself about a hundred times. I can tell you, my friend, it’s not God’s message I needed clarity on; no, He has always known what he was doing. It was me, letting my doubt of myself turn into fear of doing something I have never done. That next step where I felt God was taking me, where I desperately wanted to go but still dragged my feet, doubting I could fulfill my calling.
What I can share for certain, my friend, if you have a special desire in your heart, you think it may be your calling; and if you have prayed on it, wondered about it, and prayed some more, chances are God put that desire on your heart. Believe me, if it is not what he wants you to be doing, He will close that door. Then bring you right back to where he wants you to be. Just trust in Him and take it to him in prayer. You do not have to worry about doubting yourself if you trust in Jesus.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask, we receive from him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.—1 John 3:21-22 ESV
I am not a big believer in things just popping into my head (unless it’s what to make for dinner). I am a firm believer in the Holy Spirit of God giving me that desire. We have a choice to make; we can believe God is who He says he is, (Jeremiah 10:12– He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.) or we can fall into the trap of our mind and let doubt pull us away from Gods next blessing.
The Cost of Disobedience
Some people may want you to believe that there are no real consequences if you are not obedient, but they are wrong. The bible clearly says your obedience affects those around you.
For as by the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience, the many will be made righteous.— Romans 5:19 ESV
Do you think you can do your own thing and have no influence on your family, your peers, even people you don’t know very well? If you profess to be a Christian, people will expect you to act a certain way, whether they are believers or not. But what people think really does not matter, nor should we fall into letting it matter.
It all goes back to the relationship you have with God. The closer you get to him through his Word, the desire to be more like him in every way will lay heavy on your heart. Your obedience to God will shine through you like the sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day. You will be an example of how to walk in obedience because the love you have for Christ will transform you. You will want to be like Him, you will want your walk to be like his walk, and you will want to portray him to the world through the way you live. And you will be blessed by God.
The Blessings of Obedience
When some people think about God blessing us, they may think more monetarily that they will be blessed with a great job, a big bonus, a large home, or another tangible way. To me, blessings from my Father are much more from the heart.
I am blessed with his love, with his presence in my life; he is my own personal guide through this world we live in. I feel his peace in my heart and his joy in my soul. He is my daily compass, my constant companion that will talk with me anywhere I go. Of course, we can’t forget about the blessings of our family, our friends, our health, the jobs we have. All of the wonderful things He gives us because he loves us and wants to bless us.
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock-the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.- Deuteronomy 28:1-5 NIV
And God can bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.- 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV
It’s easy to be disobedient if your walk with Christ is not strong. If you’re struggling with obedience to God, I highly recommend you look at your relationship with Jesus. Can it be strengthened? Can you spend more time in the Word to draw closer to Him? If you are having a difficult time, turn to him, pray to him about your struggle, He will hear you and guide you closer to him. The closer you walk with Jesus, the more you want to be like him. The closer you are with him, the easier it is to be obedient because it becomes your heart’s desire. I’ll be praying for you.