If you have children or nanny at all then you will have a pretty good concept map in your mind about what it means to be obedient. As a nanny, when I think obedience – I expect first time obedience. When it is said you go do it. That is what my parents taught me and it’s what I have come to think of when I think obedience.
Lately I’ve been wondering what obedience to God would look like, besides the obvious. This was brought to my mind when I was reading The Pursuit by Lori Wick, yes I enjoy Christian romance novels. In this story the main character stated:
“I can think of God as my savior and even my friend, but I must never forget that He is God, and after He saves me, I must put myself into subjection to Him and His will.”
Just ponder that for a moment. He’s a savior and a friend, But he is God!
When we get saved – we are not only letting him into our hearts but we are agreeing to follow him and live a life that is worthy of His name.
Ok – It is one thing for me to say it and another thing for me to show it – here we go from the Bible!
- Matthew 12:50 tells us “For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
While this seems like an odd and sort of hard to comprehend verse – I believe it’s really quite simple. Message: Doing God’s will draws us closer to him and closer to knowing Christ.
Think about it like this – we receive the Holy Spirit when we become believers. When we walk with God it makes it easier to walk in the Spirit. This doesn’t mean we don’t struggle but that it’s easier. Walking in the Spirit and following with complete obedience to God does mean that we draw close, learn his will, and act upon it. The benefits are knowing him more and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
2. John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
I grew up in a farming town. I helped on a sheep farm – largest east of the Mississippi – over 8,000 female sheep alone (This doesn’t include the babies – expect each female to have at least 1, maybe 2; and the males). Every morning the farmer would walk out to his sheep and say a word that sounded like “good-day”; he would say this over and over while the sheep followed him to the feeding trough. When I said it they ran away. They knew the farmer.
This verse spoke to me greatly, because of the symbolism. Here’s what I believe God said to me via this verse:
- We are sheep. Follow with me – not only is he using symbolism for believers to be sheep but we really are. Sheep are stupid. It just takes one stupid sheep to run into the road and the whole flock follows. Humans are sheep – not trying to be mean but it’s true. It just takes one leader and the whole flock follows. Think about it – Hitler (one leader) and the holocaust happened; None of his followers questioned if it was right or wrong, blind obedience. God is asking that we be obedient to his word. That is why we have the Bible. If you think something is of God – Pray and Seek his word before you act!
- The only way to really know God is to follow him closely. Not only do the sheep in this verse know his name but they follow him. Fun Fact – the disciples followed Christ so closely they were in his dust. Maybe that’s what we need to aim for – listen, not just hear but listen to God and then accept his will and act on it in obedience to him. Obedience will draw us closer to him.
- If we follow him in obedience – we will be able to tell when it is his voice and when it isn’t. We will know the truth. If sheep hear their shepherd daily, they know him. If we walk and live in obedience to God daily, we will know him. Obedience to God’s commands will help us discern truth from lies.
3. John 14:15 “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”
When you love your child, you want them to obey you not because you are power-hungry (at least I hope that isn’t the reason), but because you are trying to do what is right for them. You are trying to help them not get hurt and be the best person they can be. You teach them through obedience that they can trust you because you have their best interests at heart.
- God has our best interests at heart. He wishes nothing but good for you and that is why he asks that we keep his commandments. When you love someone you trust them. If we love God, we trust God, and we live out his commandments as best we can.
4. John 14:23 “Jesus answered 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 home with him.”
Lets start basic – If we love him, we will keep his word. Obedience. This will result in two things:
- The father will love him. Obedience results in blessings. That being said it doesn’t always mean immediate or physical blessings – ok? But it will result in blessings in your life.
- You will have a better knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says they will make their home with you. I believe this to mean that you will have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. You will understand when the Spirit is guiding you better.
5. Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
This one is hard. Being subject to governing authorities….. everyone loves this verse (total sarcasm). Lets start small:
- All authorities are placed in power by God. He allows rulers to be elected or placed in power and he removes them – only in his timing. Which means, to me, that the current president of the United States of America, was allowed by God to be placed into that station. It also means that, my husband was placed into the leadership role of our household by God.
- We are to be subject to the governing authorities. Obedient. Subject. Respectful. Follow the laws as long as they don’t go against God and his teaching.
- Daniel is great example of this. He was subject, obedient, and respectful to King Darius but when Darius said “worship only me”, Daniel knew it was going against God. That is where he drew the line.
- Abigail was married to Nabal. She lived with a difficult man and was subject to him in respectful obedience. When he snubbed King David and it would cost the family their lives, then Abigail stepped up and respectfully changed King Davids mind – that saved her family.
- When we accept Christ we not only accept that he saved us but we are committing to a new way of life – a life in subjection to his will.
- The more we follow God the more we will understand his will and understand when the Spirit is talking to us.
- We are to be obedient to God first and second to authorities placed above us.
Have feed back or questions – please leave a comment. God bless.