If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, catch that now here.
Our choice of life and blessing is made by loving God. But according to Moses, and later Jesus, loving God is not enough. We must also firmly commit ourselves to Him and obey Him.
It’s either-or. Black-or-white.
There’s no room for gray.
But don’t you wish there was?
Obedience is difficult, hellacious, exacting, and hard.
We can’t deny it.
We’d be fools to even try.
I’m not telling you anything new. You already know this. You struggle with obedience just as much as I do.
But, my sweet friend, there is hope!
Obedience out of obligation is indeed difficult, hellacious, exacting, and hard.
Obedience out of love is liberating! Fulfilling. Life-giving. Refreshing. Rejuvenating. Reviving.
Obedience is Difficult because it requires our complete surrender to God’s authority and control. It’s difficult because it demands our compliance, submission, and subordination. It’s difficult because it insists we humble ourselves before God and serve Him only.
Obedience is Hellacious because it opposes our sinful nature and contradicts our pride.
Obedience is Exacting because it’s the little things that derail us. The almost-but-not-quites that destroy us. The “missed it by that much” moments that demolish us.
Obedience is Hard because partial/selective obedience is still disobedience.
Obedience is liberating. When we chose to follow Jesus, He freed us from eternal separation from God and slavery to sin. He freed us to know and understand God’s Truth. To be in His presence. To know Him deeply and personally. To fall in love with Him and chase after His heart. It’s when we live in this freedom we want to obey Him. To please Him. Because it’s here we are close to Him. It’s where we find true joy and discover His burden is indeed light.
Obedience is fulfilling. Our purpose here on earth starts and ends with God. Our God is the God of action. He works. Creates. Heals. Forgives. Nurtures. Loves. Pursues. As we are created in His image, we too have received the gift of work and purpose. Like Adam, we’re each given a specific task to tend and watch over. A role that He invites us to play in His Story. But we will never discover our purpose or the fullness of our purpose if we live in opposition to God’s principles and precepts. If we allow our pride to lead us down the dark path of disobedience.
Obedience is life-giving. When we surrender our life to Christ, we’re grafted into His Family. This is where we find sustenance to grow and produce spiritual fruit—fruit with seeds. Fruit to encourage fellow believers to grow in faith, so they too can grow and bear fruit. Seeds to spread as we love on those around us and share our faith with those who don’t yet know Jesus and the love and salvation He offers.
Obedience is refreshing. God is unwaveringly faithful and His mercies are new every morning. When we’re tired and weary, He alone restores our soul. When we’ve reached our limit, He strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls to keep us going because, let’s face it—what He calls us to do is beyond us and our natural human abilities. When our emotions are frayed and threadbare, when weariness is our constant companion, when we just want to retreat and be alone, He provides the grace to be kind and compassionate to those before us in need. When we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and about to give up on His task before us, He gives us the endurance to accomplish what He’s called us to do and leads us to victory.
Obedience is rejuvenating. God alone can bring beauty from ashes. Make scars shine. Heal the brokenhearted. And create life from dust. He’s The Master of taking nobodies from nowhere and making them somebodies to carry out His purpose and plan. All He requires is our hearts to chase after His. To be committed to Him. To find our identity, joy, and fullness in Him. For example: When the inferno of our passion for God, the ministry He’s given us, and the purpose He’s called us to has died out, He breathes His Breath of Life onto the flickering coals and sets them ablaze, while adding fresh fuel to keep the fire going—and growing.
Obedience is reviving. God raises dead marriages, relationships, and dreams back to life. He fills the barrenness in our lives, careers, education, souls, and families. He makes hope erupt like a spring in a parched land. He gives joy in a torrent of sorrow. The more we walk in obedience, the more we see His fingerprints, His movements in all areas of our lives and the lives of those around us.
Obedience. It really is liberating. Fulfilling. Life-giving. Refreshing. Rejuvenating. Reviving.
When we’re determined to make obedience a deliberate daily decision we deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ and become more like Him. And He then becomes our everything. The One our hearts long for. The One our souls ache for.
And do you know what He promise us in return?
But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)
I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
This, Beloved, is the heartbeat of John 3:16. Say it with me:
For God so loved the World He gave His only Son, that who-so-ever believes in Him will Have everlasting life.
And this means…
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
Kinda sheds a new light on Deuteronomy 30:19-20a and John 14:2, doesn’t it?
Truly, this is The Key to Our Life!
Want another blaze of hope?
God didn’t leave us to figure this all out alone…PRAISE HIM!…we will look at that next time.
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