The beginning and the end of the Bible both deal with disobedience and obedience. It was disobedience that banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and it is still disobedience today that is hindering us from reaping the full benefits of our God. Revelation 22:14 â€œBlessed are those who do His commands that they have the right to the tree of life.â€ To do His commands is obedience.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In the laws given to Moses all the commandments had to be met completely; Every one of them. If one commandment was broken the person was guilty of sin for all of them. The old covenant expected perfection but provided no power to reach that goal.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â When Jesus came He changed the relationship we have with God. â€œIn Jesus and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12). â€œI will give you a new heart and put my Spirit in you…â€Ezekiel 36:26. Jeremiah (7:23) predicted that God expected obedience.Â Â â€œObey my voice and I will be your God.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Acts 5:32 reveals that â€œThe Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him. In the new covenant the Holy Spirit gives us a willing heart to obey God’s wishes but He knows we have our limitations. We can never be perfect in our obedience because only Jesus was perfect. â€œAlthough He (Jesus) was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him…â€ Hebrews 5:8-9. We may want with all our heart to know God’s will and it is possible to achieve a strong measure ofÂ that but it is only with the help of the Holy Spirit. Only by His grace can we be taught and led to obedience.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œThis is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds. Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.â€ Hebrews 10:16-17.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The first step toward obedience is to surrender to God’s will. Unless we are willing to give up pleasing ourselves, until we give up the notion of doing things our way, until we start listening to what God wants of us, we cannot be obedient to Him. We must be willing to admit our sins and hand them over to God for forgiveness before we can expect to live a life of obedience. It is only by the grace given to us in the new covenant that we can have even the hope of living in obedience.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 John 3:21-22 â€œIf our heart does not condemn us, we have the confidence toward God. Whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do things that are pleasing to Him.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Some Christians are satisfied to go to church on Sunday, read the Bible and pray but are not willing to give up any other part of their lives. It is a scary thing to give complete control of your life to another. But until we are willing to take that step we are missing out on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead our lives and give us the many blessings God wants us to have. He will guide us and teach us how to live fuller lives and to strengthen our trust in Him. We need that assurance of His love we need to grow in our faith we need to want to make Jesus a priority in our lives.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 37:4 â€œDelight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heartâ€ And those desires will become to love, to trust and to obey our Lord Jesus Christ.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Only when we have committed our lives completely to Christ can we receive from the Holy Spirit the grace we need to be obedient. Only when we have surrendered our will, only when we have the depth of faith, only when we have complete trust and have a clear conscience can we know God’s will for us. We must come to where David said â€œI delight to do your will, Oh God.â€ Psalm 40:6
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Many Christians fail to reach a personal relationship with Jesus because they may still be living part of their lives by the law rather than a full understanding of God’s grace. It is through fellowship with Him all day, every day that we can attain a life of obedience and with obedience comes love and the joy of living in His presence.