My brother Dylan and I attended a Christian school growing up in Columbus Georgia. There, on chapel day, we would sing a song I have never been able to forget. It went like this, “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” There’s truth in these words and I believe that when they are understood in light of our redemption and right standing with the Father we find ourselves in the position to see the fulfillment of all that we have been standing for.
It seems that “obedience” has taken a hit with some believers as a word that holds bondage and requires works to acquire affection and approval from God. The Lord spoke a powerful phrase to my heart that I want you to hear and think about. He said, “Obedience is not the action of achieving, but the response of receiving.” In short, obedience is produced by revelation, not obligation.
My son does not have to obey me to acquire my love and support. I freely choose to give it to him. I choose to love him no matter what he decides to do, but when he obeys me I’m well pleased. It is my responsibility to reveal to him my love so that he begins to respond to my commands and requests not out of duty, but because of what he has learned to be true of me, as his Father. I only ask him to obey because I want the best for his life and well-being.
Paul stood in front of King Agrippa in Acts 26:19 and said, “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” Paul had an experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus where his life was altered and completely changed. A revelation of Jesus brought understanding to Paul’s new calling and God’s will for his life. The second thing we see from Paul’s encounter is that he calls Jesus Lord and said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” In this statement it is evident that Paul has a new revelation concerning the One whom moments ago he was hard bent on destroying, yet now has a heart to serve and assist.
When someone has a revelation of Christ and what they have become in Him and what they have obtained through His obedience to the Father, two things will be present. The first indication of obedience in the life of a believer is a heart of humility that radically and with all abandonment places full and complete trust in God. This trust does not waver in the face of opposition or trial, but instead remains constant and fully aware of Whom it is that is supporting them. The second sign that obedience is active in a believer is a willing heart.
Again, willingness is not accomplished by self-determination alone, but an active awareness of the working of the Spirit of God in one’s life. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Humility and a willing heart will produce God’s desire in every area of your life.
The blessing that God has given to us through Christ awaits our response to what He has revealed in us, for 1 Peter 1:13-14 says, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;” When we fully believe that God knows the end from the beginning and has the very best for us, our obedience will be quick and without hesitation. His love will compel us to action, which in turn will reach the world for His glory and honor!
I want to challenge you this month to allow the revelation of Jesus to grow in your heart. Think on Him and ask Him to reveal Himself even more to you by the Holy Spirit. This will create in you an obedient heart and abundant blessing.
Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.