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We live in a world that sees being obedient as being dominated and giving someone control over us. Our culture screams that obedience takes away freedoms and pours hate and intolerance into our world. The world teaches us that we should create our own destiny while God offers us the Way to a better destiny – through obedience to Him. There’s a difference between obedience to the world and obedience to the Word, and obedience to the Word always leads us to a better destiny.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.John 14:15
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will make Our home with him.”John 14:23
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.1 John 2:5-6
God loves us so much that He paid the ultimate price, sacrificing His Son on the cross so that we may be justified and come into a right standing with Him through the salvation and acceptance of Jesus. We are so deeply loved that His blood was shed so that we could come into relationship with Him, and receive all that He wants to bless us with, and all that He promises us.
Obedience is how we show our love and gratitude to God as we are sanctified, growing spiritually, purified of sin, and learning to live more like His son who sacrificed Himself for our sake. When we express our love for our Father in Heaven this way, He fills us up with His Spirit, who is our helper as we learn to obey God’s commands and keep His Word.
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.Acts 5:29
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1John 2:15
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.John 15:18-19
It is easy to cling to this selfish, dark, broken world. We’re seeing intense examples right now as society rips itself apart over the things we cannot have or do while this pandemic rages. We had grown so comfortable day-to-day and now God is reminding us that He is the one who gives and the one who takes away. When He is put first, above the world, above fleshly desires, above people, we open the door for Him to bless us. When we trust Him to provide all we need we will see Him show up time and again. We must cling to the provisions of the Lord and trust His promises. If He calls you to it, He’ll provide for you through it. Trust God over people, money, and things. He will never fail you, but the world always will because He is the only one in control and He provides the only Way to eternity, salvation and freedom. He provides out of love, and we are called to obey Him out of love.
‘Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’2 Peter 1:2-4
Through various seasons and trials of our lives we will stray from His Word and commands. We will lose our passion sometimes and need to regain our craving for Him. This is not a one and done, it is a daily choice. Obeying God is strengthened through practice, through acting with intentional faith, prayer, and surrender to Him again and again. We cannot accomplish this on our own, and cannot conquer the storms of life on our own. We need to spend time with Him in prayer and in His word every single day to hear from Him more, recognize His voice better, learn about Him, apply what we learn about how we’re called to live, and become stronger in our faith and trust for Him. Faith and obedience are built through obedient perseverance which builds character that glorifies Him and habits that honor Him. His commands revive our souls, provide clarity throughout life’s circumstances, give us wisdom to live by, and His Spirit will guide and remind us along the way.
And I heard the voice of the Lord say “Whom can I send? Who will go for Us?” and I said “Here I am! Send me!”Isaiah 6:8
Have a heart so filled with love for the Lord that you obey His call without worrying about the mission or the cost. Grow closer to Him through prayer, His Word, His Spirit, and His salvation. Yearn for Him in all you do, and be so filled with love for Him you develop a habit of obedience and overflow with His love into the world around you. Obedience to God is an act of love and gratitude for all He does and promises. It is a beautiful gift that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us so much He takes all of life’s burdens and provides us with all we need to survive this dark, broken, sinful world.