“Obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22)
What ever happened to obedience? You don’t hear too much about that anymore. Rather than honoring God by obeying Him and adhering to His Holy Word, we have rationalized our disobedience, minimized it, made excuses for it and disguised it under an entitlement mentality. The history of Israel throughout God’s Word is an ongoing story of what was lost through disobedience and what was restored through obedience. The goal of evil is to always cause disobedience. Obedience was the first command in the Garden of Eden. It was not to have faith or to pray or to be kind and loving… it was to obey… “and the Lord commanded the man saying, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17) Pretty clear, huh?
Jesus is our example in all things. As He was obedient to the Father, so ought we to be. “And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8)
Blessings come from obedience. Obedience keeps us rightly related to God, maintains the work of God in us and is evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land”. (Isaiah 1:19)
True obedience obeys God in all things, not in just some things. Sporadic and periodic obedience is no obedience. Obeying God is not like a buffet line choosing what you like and what you don’t like to obey. True obedience in obeying God in all things, all the time covered by His grace and walking in His mercy.
True obedience trusts in God’s leading and guidance. Each time we obey, in the little things and in the big things, we come closer and closer to the place where God wants us to be… step by step. We see the immediate obedience but God sees the big picture. Through obedience, David went from the fields watching sheep to the palace watching a nation. Through obedience, Gideon defeated an enemy that overwhelmingly outnumbered them. Through obedience, Rebekah filled the water jars at the well and was led to the man she would marry.
True obedience destroys pride and builds humility. When Naaman, a proud and pagan officer was told by Elisha to dip himself seven times in the Jordan to cure his leprosy, he refused. But as he obeyed and his pride was crushed, he was healed. Obedience empties self and causes a dependence and reliance upon God.
True obedience trusts God for the outcome and results. Whatever God asks you to do, He will be responsible for the end result. When King Jehoshaphat prayed, as an enemy army was about to overwhelm God’s people, he trusted God for a miracle stating that he didn’t know what to do but “our eyes are upon you”. That night, God brought the victory and saved a nation.
So right now, purpose in your heart to obey God. The Holy Spirit is with you to help you and strengthen you to obey…”the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32) He will give you the heart to obey as we desire to please God. Confess your disobedience and repent. The power and blessings that come from obedience will change your life! “And being made perfect, He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…” (Hebrews 5:9)
Obedience… the heart of a believer, the measure of our love.