Obedience is the fuel that puts God's will into action!
Faith in God is the foundation of our house of Christianity. Without this foundation, our house will fall. The facts of what Christ did and who He is are the walls that hold. Our obedience is the roof that keeps us safe on God's path by protecting us from the elements of deception. Our feelings are merely the paint that makes us shine, but alone does not stand up!
Open Question: How would you define obedience? Do your friends and family see you making sacrifices to obey God?
Have you ever thought that Faith needs obedience to keep it going?
This is what Obedience is from the Bible (Deuteronomy 13: 4; 1 Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 19:16; Acts 5:29; John 14:14; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Hebrews 13:17). It is submitting to what God requires of us. This is a character that motivates us to keep seeking our Lord and cleaving to Him, regardless of the circumstances we are in. Obedience helps us to be able to keep His precepts and be loyal to His call and to one another. It is also recognizing authority and direction from others, such as the pastor and church, so winning situations can result.
Now what are the opposites? Disobedience, Defiance, and Rebellion! With these attitudes, we will flee from God's love and precepts, ignore His call, and just do our own thing. Sounds good, but we need to think this through a bit as it will choke us. We think we are being cool and rebellious, doing what we want to do, but all it will do is end up hurting us and those around us! Disobedience will cause us to have no fear of God; we will do as we please, thus placing us on a path of chaos, strife, and destruction. We will have no desire to serve Him or do the right thing outside of obligation. We will miss out on true intimacy, destroy our relationships, and hinder our personal growth and joy in ourselves and others. We will miss out on maturity and on the wonder of His plan; and then on top of all that, we will be miserable too!
Obedience is not Willfulness, or having a strong玅willed mindset; rather, it is our lining up with God's best plan, precepts, and call. It is the self-surrender of our will so we become less in our spirit and more in His Spirit (John 3:5, 30). Even in the Old Testament, God was more concerned with people's trust and obedience than their offerings and sacrifices. Did you know that God delights in our obedience? Yet, He does not demand it, nor is it required for our salvation. It is something we do because we are grateful for what He has done for us; as the hymn goes, there is no other way!
Obedience helps us out in our life and relationships. It is the willingness to cooperate with God and with others in their godly directions and plans. It is working together to further the Kingdom as a community, shining with the glory of our Lord together. We may think we are sacrificing our will and pride to our detriment, but our pride only results in separation and strife from others. Whereas, when we work tighter and together, we bring and build community and relationships.
Discussion Ideas Read Colossians 3:23:
1. Why do we, as people, not like to be obedient?
2. What happens to your relationship with God, with others, and with the opportunities God gives you when you are disobedient?
3. In what situation did you fail to be cooperative when you should have been?
4. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Obedience? Are you willing to be a cooperative person? Do you know when it is biblically necessary not to be?
5. Think through the steps you need to take to put Obedience into action in a specific instance. Read Romans 13:1-2. Ask yourself, how can I accept the word, "no," from those in authority (when it does not violate God's precepts) without appeals, discussions, complaining, gossip, and such? Instead of jumping to no, I cannot, how can we rather seek, how can I, with God and others?
Spend time in PRAYER
Deeper thought: Obedience is pure loyalty to our Lord. It helps us focus on Him and what He has done for us. We will see our sinful nature and how He has rescued us from our self destruction, so we will know where we came from and have no desire to go back, and so we will stick with Him even in times of dire suffering. It means not being ashamed of the Gospel, as Paul proclaimed in Romans 1:16, so that your devotion becomes contagious to those around you. Obedience is not something we dread, or feel we have to do, nor is it bondage in a negative sense. It is the joy of knowing our Lord and staying with Him so as to partake in His love and grow in Him further, deeper, and stronger. The result is that we become more mature, of more use to His glory, and become willing to express His love with eagerness to others.
More ideas and help available at www.intothyword.org on the God's Will Channel
© R. J. Krejcir 1994,2001 www.intothyword.com