Obedience is a sticky word. It is the cause of many debates. To me, it seems simple, according to Christ. If you love me, He said, you will obey me (Jn. 14:15). Why is there such a stir, then, to obey and keep obeying Jesus? Rule followers like me appreciate knowing the terms of engagement; obedience is key to a “successful” Christian life. Rule rebels focus on the other important tenets of the faith peripheral to obedience: faith, good works, and even a good heart.
Obedience is an act of love. Maybe the fuss is because those responsible for teaching us made obedience about law and duty. It seems to have begun that way, in the days of the patriarchs, except that we had the examples of friendship with God. Friends of God who walked and talked with God, and who understood His plan. Their obedience was not coerced. In John 15:10 we learn that obedience keeps us living and abiding in God’s love. WOW! You mean love is not how we treat people or do good works? You mean that loving and obeying God allows us to live a life in God’s love? Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.
Are we committed to obey God? As much as depends on us, to the best of our ability and understanding, are we willing to obey Him? If we do not want to obey, will we ask Holy Spirit to help us obey?
These are important questions to ask ourselves.
There’s a wonderful passage in Luke 14:25-35 about the test of discipleship. We count the cost of following Jesus. There is no shame in pausing to see if we can walk this walk. In truth, Jesus encourages us to consider whether we can give up everything to follow him. Discipleship and obedience are conditions of the relationship. We allow ourselves to be led and taught.
Let’s check our commitment to obedience, and that we obey from love — not fear, not duty, not rules or law. Love is the motive or the source of our obedience. May Holy Spirit reveal everything in the way of a committed and loyal love to Him. And in that revelation, may we be free to obey as we love the Father with our whole hearts.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the founder of The Bereans’ Commentary.
Studying the Bible for love and with integrity.
Educator - Advocate - Writer
"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."