Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why do we obey? (conclusion)

As we finish our deep dive into this passage, we will discover some key things about our obedience to our Lord. All of us want to obey out of a loving heart, so let's check this out . . .

We can see in both the Old and the New Testaments that a heart of love for God will obey His commands wholeheartedly.

               I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.
               Psalm 40:8

               Jesus said, Blessed .... are those who hear the word of God and
               obey it.  Luke 11:28

We who love Christ will obey His commands simply because it is Christ's words that are spoken to them, whether it is by the statements of Jesus in scripture, or the Old Testament scriptures inspired by His Spirit, or the still, small voice of His Spirit speaking in our hearts. I think that as Christians, we want to obey Christ and serve only Him. If our obedience is because of convenience, or because of our personal self-righteousness, then we are serving self, and not Him.  In the same way, if our obedience is simply because of those in authority over us, and we are desiring to please them, then we are serving man. It is when we wholeheartedly respond to Christ with a willing heart, that we serve Him alone.

We also are going to obey Christ's commands cheerfully, without question. Oh, this is a tough one, isn't it?  Ouch.  We can't pick or choose which command to obey, and we need to make certain that we are willing and joyful in our obedience.  Sure, we might think that we know a better way -- if only God would do this at a different time, or in a different way . . . but remember, He tells us that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are different from ours, too. (Isaiah 55:8)  If our desire is to please Him, we will be glad:

                Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97)

                Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make
                them stumble. (Psalm 119:165)

And even though we are human, and sinful, with His grace we can have a consistent obedience, and a sweet testimony for Him.

                  I will always obey your law, forever and ever. (Psalm 119:44)

It truly is possible to faithfully obey Christ. Our love for Him will produce obedience, from a heart overflowing with devotion. Look at Deuteronomy 30:14 for a clue:

                  ...the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart
                 so you may obey it. 

Our hearts can be guided in obedience by our knowledge of the Word.  Ask the Spirit today to guide you in your study of His Word. He will show you the verses that you need -- place them on a card and carry them with you, to refresh your memory in times of stress. And ask Him for wisdom; that is a request that He will always honor.


Belinda said...

I know this may sound strange, but I've learned that even if I don't FEEL like doing God's will, spending time with Him, following his commandments...if I go ahead and push to do them, I feel better and it becomes easier and more important to me. Just because we are human and fail sometimes, that is no reason to give it up and say, "why bother if my heart isn't in it". The heart will jump into it if we give it a chance.

Cathy said...

Oh dear, I think I need a bandaid or 2 or 3. I used to get upset with my kids when they would do as they were asked with a grudging or sullen attitude. I do the same thing with my heavenly Father.