The Proof’s in Obedience

Categories Christian Living

What’s the Deal with obedience? What is it exactly? Why do I need it? What should I do about it? Oh! I’m so glad you asked – because I have the answer! 

Obedience is proof of your relationship with God! Obedience is the practical application of love for and trust in God. Obedience proves the relationship. Somewhere on the web (I forget where) stated it like this: 

Obedience is the practical acceptance of the authority and will of God. It includes both submitting to Him and then expressing that submission in actions, words and thoughts. To be obedient is to be in agreement with God. To be in agreement with God is to be in a position of power in Christ. To be disobedient is to yield to self-will instead of surrendering to God and desiring His will in all things.

With that being said, let’s look at why it’s important and what you should do about it. 

Obedience is important so we don’t fool ourselves and so we steer clear of idols.

Obedience is important because without it, we’re in disagreement with God, and often fool ourselves if we think we’re not idolizing ourselves. Let me explain: 

That definition above of disobedience is an important one to take note of because I would even say that yielding to self will is a form of idolatry – idolizing self.

So let’s talk about this obedience thing –  It’s such an annoying term and concept. We love hearing about freedom in Christ but ignore the fact that we’re set free from sin to OBEY and become slaves to Christ. It’s the whole point of our freedom! 

But no matter what you’re a slave to, obedience and disobedience are always of free will – we have free will to act either way – and we act one way or the other often depending on what WE think is best. We tend to trust ourselves more than we trust God.

Biblical examples include Adam and Eve. They were just certain they knew what the fruit really did despite God’s warning. There’s also Lot’s wife. Even though the angel of the Lord warned her and Lot to flee and “not look back”, she was like “yo I do what I want” Salty little thing isn’t she? (Ha – see what I did there?). Then, there’s Jonah who was told to preach to the Ninevites that they might turn from evil, but Jonah was of the firm believe they don’t deserve to be saved and went on a cruise. 

Proverbs 16:25 is clear that there’s a way that seems right to man (Adam, Eve, Lot’s wife, Jonah) but in the end it leads to death. Let me be quite clear that if you don’t obey, it displays a lack of trust in God your father – and if you don’t trust Him, do you even really know Him like you think you do or like you claim you do ? I know that sounds harsh but a quote I read when I was young that has stuck by me is by Martha Tennison, a speaker and author, and it says “if you can’t trust God, it may be because you don’t know Him”

Because In each of these stories, the disobeyers lacked faith and trust in God. Instead of trusting God to know what was best for them and submitting to His will, these people acted impulsively out of fear, anger, or greed. – all reactions that lead to self idolizing. 

So, what should I do?

Again, thanks for asking. I gotchu. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your disobedience to you. Then, repent and purpose to obey. 

I love the response of King David when he was caught by God through Nathan after his sin concerning Bathsheba and her hubby. Psalm 51 (in part): 

Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

    blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

    and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict

    and justified when you judge.

5 9 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

    or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Acknowledge in humility what you’ve done and how you’ve thought you knew better. Then, repent as David did and purpose to obey to the point that you become a man after God’s own heart. 

Obedience proves relationship. Obedience would prove you’re one after God’s own heart. Obedience puts you in an attitude of agreement with God so that you’re positioned to harness the power of Christ – What a great place to be!

Jen Ervig #PNW Pastor
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