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 “Blessed are those who do His commands that they have the right to the tree of life.” To do His commands is obedience.

           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.

          When Jesus came He changed the relationship we have with God. “In Jesus and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12). “I will give you a new heart and put my Spirit in you…”Ezekiel 36:26. Jeremiah (7:23) predicted that God expected obedience.   “Obey my voice and I will be your God.”

          Acts 5:32 reveals that “The 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. “Although 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…” 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 of  that but it is only with the help of the Holy Spirit. Only by His grace can we be taught and led to obedience.

          “This 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.” Hebrews 10:16-17.

          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.

          1 John 3:21-22 “If 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.”

          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.

          Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart” And those desires will become to love, to trust and to obey our Lord Jesus Christ. 

          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 “I delight to do your will, Oh God.” Psalm 40:6

           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.

Obedience, the Key to Life Eternal

“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

Hebrews 5:8

          We have shared much of my understanding from God’s Word; what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Life in the Spirit and the Vine and the Branch. I would like to conclude this series of devotions with the burden of my heart; the true purpose in the life of each child of God for without obedience we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. I realize this is a profound statement but let’s read from God’s word in Romans 6:16:

“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”

          This is the essence of our trials and tribulations in this life as children of God; we learn obedience, but rarely never to the extent that Jesus suffered!  Obedience was the purpose in the life of Christ, to do the will of His Father, this was His desire!  The love of His Father made Him obedient to death. As our love for Jesus grows; through much quiet time spent alone with Him, so does our willingness to obey. The stronger our relationship to Jesus, greater will be our love for Him!

          I have found as I yield my heart and love obediently to God’s will, His blessings flow so generously, All He desires of us is our love and devotion and a willingness to obey His commands. So little is asked of us and Jesus gave so much, what shall we be willing to give in return?  Obedience is the key to life eternal!

“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

John 14:24

Obedience, the key to The Kingdom

“Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”

James 2:5

          Our first act of obedience is Prayer; it is an open confession of our faith and an expression of our deep love and devotion for our Heavenly Father!  I found the following to be so meaningful:          

Prayer is not a passive undertaking, but an aggressive engagement with God. It is a labor of love. It is toil of trust. It is a work of the Holy Spirit through holy intercessors. Indeed, prayer without spiritual perspiration lacks the intensity the Spirit requires. Pray in the face of fatigue and you will find God. Pray proactively as a servant of Jesus for those who are servants of Jesus. Pray earnestly for a friend who faces disease to be healed. Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray.

          This study in obedience is taking me deep into the truths of God’s Word. It is very personal and indeed a commitment that is accomplished only through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.  Our greatest desire is to be obedient as was Jesus, and the spirit is willing, but our flesh is so very weak.  I have found in my search some very delicate and precious wisdom in a book by Andrew Murray, my favorite author, “A Life of Obedience.” I will be sharing some of this in the following devotions as I am led by the Spirit.

          As my life has progressed in years the knowledge of the necessity of obedience has become more and more imperative, it is the key to the wisdom of God, and without it we will not enjoy all of our benefits as His children. I have learned that obedience is trusting His time, His place and His will!  It is the starting point of true holiness.

“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

1 John 3:22