Back in the day, there is no way on God’s green earth a child could say to a parent “why?” without consequence. The expectation was that they would be obedient when given an instruction.
Jump into the current day, my children dare not say it to me either but I know deep down in their heart of hearts they may want to.
While I feel I owe them no explanation when I have given them an instruction, I do my best to help them understand my reason.
Upon explanation, children don’t always immediately understand our reason. But as I look back and reflect on my own mother’s instruction to me, it’s obvious she knew what she was talking about. Go figure. I’d like to trust that my children too will come to this same conclusion.
What Is Obedience?
So, what is obedience you ask? Well, Obedience, biblically speaking, boils down to our willingness to submit to God and His will. It means giving up our will and agenda for His. Period.
What’s funny, is that the same person who wrote the above statements about not asking a parent “why”, is the same person who has an admission to make. I am that person and I am guilty of sometimes asking God “why?”.
I don’t mean any disrespect but sometimes I just need to understand. He’ll ask me to do something and it makes no sense. At least, not at the time of instruction. Unfortunately, His instruction rarely comes with an explanation. But just as in a childlike manner, I prefer to choose submission. I know a little about what He’s capable of and I don’t want any problems.
Examples of Obedience in the Bible
The Bible is full of stories that exemplify obedience. There are far too many to squeeze into this post. But I would like to list a few. If you aren’t familiar, take some time to read about these for yourself. If you are familiar, read them again as a reminder that you aren’t the first person ever called to obedience. And you surely won’t be the last.
- Noah building the ark – Genesis 6:22
- Abram leaving his home to go to Canaan – Genesis 12:1-4
- Abraham sacrificing Isaac – Genesis 22:2-3
- Moses setting up the tabernacle – Exodus 40:16
- Jonah going to Nineveh – Jonah 3:3
Why Is Obedience Important?
I’ll be the first to admit that it can be difficult to obey when I don’t understand. However, doing things according to our own will likely put us into an unpleasant cycle.
We have to start over. We have to repeat steps. Realization eventually sets in. Had we just listened to begin with, we probably would already be at the desired end result. I’d say that doing it His way is much easier.
Let’s not forget that our King, The Messiah, the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ was obedient. He not only was obedient but he was obedient to the point of death. (Philippians 2:8 CSB)
If He is truly our Savior, then what makes us think we too should not abide by what God calls us to do?
Obedience Demonstrates Our Love towards God
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that someone doesn’t love God if they aren’t obedient to His command. But thank God for his grace that He doesn’t measure our love for Him solely on our obedience.
Argue with me if you want, but in this world that we live in, we tend to allow the selfish culture to drive our actions and decisions. However, it should be our love for God that steers us.
For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey].1 John 5:3 AMP
Obedience Demonstrates Our Faith in God
As we nurture our relationship with God we should be growing spiritually. As we grow spiritually, we will be tested and met with challenges. Every test is an opportunity for us to exercise our faith.
We are quick to say, “I have faith in God”, but when the going gets tough many of us tap out. We fall prey to our flesh. We try to play God because He isn’t moving fast enough or responding to our prayers the way that we deem fit.
With faith, you have got to relinquish full control over to God. We cannot allow your eyes to guide us because they will fail us every time. (2 Corinthians 5:7 CSB)
It’s a bit of an oxymoron to say that you have faith in God yet fail to be obedient. Just as it says in James 2:26, faith without works is DEAD.
For just as the [human] body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works [of obedience] is also dead.James 2:26 AMP
God Rewards Those Who Obey Him
Faith requires absolute trust in God and it displeases Him when we don’t exercise it well. But when we are obedient, we will be rewarded. (Hebrews 11:6)
Raise your hand if God has ever told you to do something that makes zero sense. I don’t know about you but I have both of my hands up. Sometimes I get prompting from the Holy Spirit and I respond, “wait a minute God, you want me to do what?” It could just be me but, if you can relate you may have found that after being obedient, it was to your benefit.
Take for instance when Jesus told the disciples to drop their nets for a catch in Luke 5:4-7. This story is the epitome of a child telling their parent they don’t know what they are talking about.
Although Simon was reluctant, he obeyed anyway. The result of his obedience most likely yielded the largest catch these seasoned fishermen had ever had.
We should have the same expectations when God asks us to do something that makes us want to give Him the side eye. Whenever we are willing to be obedient to God, we will always receive more than we could ever imagine. (Ephesians 3:20 CSB)
God Requires Obedience to His Word (Because I said so)
If the first three reasons aren’t enough then let’s just go with what any parent has the right to tell their child when asked why. “Because I said so”. I say to my children all of the time, “Mama knows best”.
Just like our Father in Heaven, we have knowledge and insight into life that our children don’t yet have. But let’s keep it all the way real…God is Elohim. That is, He is the creator of all things. Why would anyone want to do anything contrary to Him who is in full control of the entire universe??
He not only knows best because he is Omniscient. But He is everywhere in His Omnipresence and He is Omnipotent. That means His power is limitless. How great is our God!
There are many benefits of obedience to God’s Word but if it was necessary to sum it up in one sentence, I’d offer you 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We should obey God because He teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains, and completes us.
After all, Father knows best.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17