Turning from Tarshish
04/09/21 – 04/20/21
The Choice of Obedience
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 04/20/21
In his book of devotions Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “[T]he first thing God requires of His child is obedience.” But human nature often rebels against obedience.
The Bible is full of examples of individuals who disobeyed God. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Lot’s wife blatantly looked back to see the destruction of Sodom. Jonah refused to go to Nineveh. Moses struck the rock, instead of speaking to it as God commanded.
We all can remember incidents when we have disobeyed—whether it was against an authority figure, a law of the land, or a Biblical principle. Most likely, we even remember our punishment or the consequences we suffered. The act of disobedience brings guilt, sadness, and shame.
There is no long-lasting pleasure in getting our own way. It brings grief to our heavenly Father because He longs for us to walk with Him. Our disobedience separates us from Him. Yet God extends His grace toward us even when we disobey His Word. Therefore, our response should be to seek His forgiveness with a repentant heart and to learn from the consequences of our disobedience.
What about when we face a hard decision? Do we do what we know is right or what we want? The choice of obedience is blessed with a heart filled with joy and peace. No matter how you may be ridiculed or how hard it may be to follow God’s guidance, obedience is its own reward.
Jesus lived a life of obedience. His earthly ministry was to do the will of His Father. However, He did have a choice, and He said, “[N]ot my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). The Lord desires our obedience, but He doesn’t force us to obey. The choice is ours. Commit your life to Christ. He will enable you to walk in obedience.
Prayer: Father, thank You for making me Your child, a co-heir with Christ. I know that You have given me a new identity, a new life that rightly requires me to put off the old self. Forgive me for the times I choose to disobey You, Lord. Help me walk in Your ways. I know they are good and right and lead to You, my eternal reward. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands” (2 John 1:6).