As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct (I Peter 1:14-15 ESV).
As Christians, we have an obligation to be obedient to God. When we were out of the ark of safety, we did not know any better. As the adage confirms, “When you know better, you will do better.”
God is faithful to us, so we must be faithful to Him. However, that is much easier said than done. When we are unfaithful to Him, there are consequences to pay. On the other hand, when we are obedient to Him, it is rewarding.
Then, what is obedience to God? Biblical obedience to God means to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and His word. According to Mary Fairchild in “Learn Religions,” in the story of the Ten Commandments, we see just how important the concept of obedience is to God. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 sums it up like this: “Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed.” Fairchild goes on to share eight reasons why obedience to God is important:
• Jesus calls us to obey. Our motivation for obedience to God should be love. Jesus demonstrates the perfect example of obedience. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 ESV)
• Obedience is an act of worship. “You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God).” (Exodus 34:13-14 ESV)
• God rewards obedience. “And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed — all because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:18 NLT)
• Obedience to God proves our love. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (I John 5:3 ESV)
• Obedience to God demonstrates faith. “So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all — it is dead and useless.” (James 2:17 TLB)
• Obedience is better than sacrifice. “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3 ESV)
• Disobedience leads to sin and death. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:6 ESV)
Through obedience, we experience the blessings of holy living. “One man disobeyed God and many became sinners. But in the same way, one man obeyed God and many will be made right.” (Romans 5:19 ERV)
Learning how to be obedient to God is not something that you will be able to do overnight. It will be a process that you will have to work on daily. First, you must set it as a goal in your Christian way of behavior. In order to learn obedience, you must know what is required, and that is, knowing His word. The only way that you can know His word is through studying it daily.
Studying the word is not all that you must do. You must pray for guidance in your learning obedience, also. Consequently, all of this must come honestly from the heart, out of love for God. Then you will receive God’s reward for your obedience.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, stay safe, get involved in righting the wrongs of social injustice, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)