HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Obedience (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) is submitting to what God requires of us. This character motivates us to keep seeking our Lord and cleaving to Him, regardless of the circumstances so we will be able to keep His precepts and be loyal to His call. It is also recognizing authority and direction from others, such as the pastor and church, so winning situations can result.
Disobedience, Defiance, and Rebellion are the opposites. With these attitudes, we will flee from God’s love and precepts, ignore His call, and just do our own thing. We will 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 relationships, hinder growth in ourselves and others, miss out on maturity, and on the wonder of His plan.
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, become of more use to His glory, and become willing to express His love with eagerness to others.
Obedience is also 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 sacrifice our will and pride, for these things result in separation and strife. Whereas, when we work tighter together, we bring and build community and relationships.
Obedience is not Willfulness or having a strong-willed mindset, rather it is our lining up with His precepts and call. It is the self-surrender of our will so we become less in our spirit and more in His Spirit. Even in the Old Testament, God was more concerned with people’s trust and obedience than their offerings and sacrifices. God delights in our obedience. He does not demand it, nor is it required for our salvation. It is something we do because, as the hymn goes, there is no other way!
To see this character further, sing and meditate on the hymn, Trust and Obey! I think we all need to get back to the place where we started serving the Lord.