The Act of Obedience
Recently, the topic of obedience has been reoccurring in my daily walk with Christ. When I first started to recognize this, I thought it was strange; I have followed Him and have grown and matured in my relationship with Him over the past few years, so why was I being reminded of something that seemed so simple? After all, the act of obedience in Christ is something that should happen daily and something that plays an essential part in our walk with Him. However, I soon came to recognize that the Lord was using this reoccurring topic of obedience to prepare me for a time of decision-making that ultimately resulted in my obedience to Him.
What is obedience and why is it such an essential part in our relationships with Christ? The Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines biblical obedience as, “to hear God's Word and act accordingly”. We cannot hear the Word of God and act on it if we are not intentional in spending time with Him. By setting ourselves and our selfish desires aside to instead focus solely on Him, we are demonstrating obedience. Through His Word and surrendering ourselves to Him, we are able to make Christ-centered decisions and actions. Obedience is essential in our relationships with Christ because it demonstrates our love for Him and our faith in Him. Through our obedience to Him, Christ recognizes our love for Him and through our love for Him is the knowledge that we have faith in Him and that we trust Him.
The story of Abraham and Isaac is a beautiful demonstration of true obedience in Christ. Hebrews 11:17-19 says, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” It was through faith and his love for God that Abraham entrusted Him with his one and only son. This is a story that I have heard time and time again, yet it never ceases to amaze me; it’s hard to grasp the concept of willingly sacrificing the life of someone (especially your own child!) you love so dearly, yet Abraham obeyed, having faith and trusting that God was in control. When I read about Abraham and Isaac, I feel so silly for struggling to obey and often even failing to obey. I’ve never dealt with such a difficult decision before!
As followers of Christ, we know that we must obey God, yet we are prone to instead act in disobedience. Although the act of obedience is a seemingly simple one, it can be tough. Obedience takes sacrifice. It’s an act of surrender and means choosing to trust His will over your own. Our fleshly desires will always differ from His desire for our lives, but we must acknowledge and know that His will and His desire will always, always trump our own fleshly desires. It’s through obedience that we are able to demonstrate our ultimate faith in Christ and as a result, are set apart as holy, honorable children of God. Obedience sets us apart from the world around us and can ultimately be what draws someone to question what makes you so different from everyone else around them.
As I reflect on the recent decisions I have made as a result of obedience in Him, I have seen that His plan is always greater and that I have ultimately grown so much closer to Him through the simple act of trusting Him and obeying Him. Obedience is tough, but it will always be worth it.
“If you love me, you will keep my commands.” John 14:15
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the NSU BCM but are solely those of the author(s).