The Priority of Obedience (John 14:22-23)
Does the Bible describe to us the best way to God’s heart in John 14:22-23? Judas not (Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. The way to God’s heart! Is it humility, love, perseverance, or faith? Although each of these attributes plays a vital role in the Christian’s life, today’s Scripture passage reveals the true path: obedience.
The Bible tells us that the best way to express our love, honor, and reverence for God is through obedience. The concept is so simple, and yet because God has given us free will, we were naturally bent toward rebellion. You may not want to admit that you are rebellious. But, have you ever stopped to consider that disobedience, in God’s eyes, is equivalent to rebellion? King Saul certainly learned this lesson when he ignored the specific command God gave him. (1 Samuel 13: 8-9) His disobedience resulted in the loss of his kingdom.
So what can we learn from this example in order to pursue God through obedience? First, we must realize that, although we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and can never achieve perfection on this earth, Jesus’ blood was spilled as an atonement for our wickedness.
Second, pursuing obedience is a process. We must study and understand God’s word in order to please Him, but we must also live in humility, confessing our transgressions as they occur. Obedience to God never proves to be a disappointment. We should understand has His dear children that pleasing God requires, not perfection, but a commitment to obedience. When Jesus is Lord of your life, He will guide you as you seek to demonstrate your love by honoring is word.
Reasons to Obey God (Acts 5:27-32)
Peter and other apostles were brought before the council. The high priest asked them, saying. “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in Jesus’ name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:27-32)
When we consider Daniel: Daniel and his friends were in a strange land, prisoners of a king who sought to benefit from their superior skills and intellect. As he grew to manhood, Daniel managed to operate within the foreign system without compromising the beliefs in his God. He did not eat forbidden foods. He did not bow to idols. He valiantly maintained his prayer times, even in the face of persecution. God honored Daniel’s obedience and faithfulness, rescuing him with great favor. At every crossroads, Daniel chose the way of the lord. He still had to endure trying situations, but God was ever faithful in His protection and provision.
The biblical principles in effect during the Babylonian captivity still hold true today. Our heavenly Father will secure those who obey His Word. We are facing crisis after crisis in our country. Our young people are being killed and slaughtered with these deadly weapons in our schools and in our streets every day. When are we going to wake up as a nation and realize that the system is rigged? More guns will not solve the problem, it is a sin problem and it is in the heart. Killing off the future of this nation, along with those dying in war, and sending the rest of them that was brought here as children will drain our precious resources and we die as a nation.
God doesn’t promise that we will avoid trials, but He does promise He will accompany and help us every step of the way. Proverbs 12: 13 states that the wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips; but the just shall come out of trouble.
If you know that there is sin or disobedience in your life, then be sure that fear, doubt, anxiety, and frustration are certain to follow. America has become fearful due to her lack of returning to God as a nation and as a people who once were honoring God and living according to His dictates. God’s comforting security is available to anyone, but the prerequisite is obedience to His Word. Do not expect God’s blessing if you are in rebellion.
Conversely, obedience will result in courage and contentment regardless of your circumstances. Throughout his life, Daniel repeatedly refused to bend his principles, even in the face of sure doom. God intervened every single time—and He will also act on this nations behalf if we are willing to repent and turn back to Him.
A Passion to Obey Him
When did you last hear a sermon on obedience? It’s not a subject that draws large crowds. It sounds too much like following orders or submitting to laws and commandments. After all, did not Jesus come to set us free from all that? No, not really. He came to set us free from the law of sin and of death “so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:4) In other words; He set us free from disobedience. Christian liberty frees us to obey our Father’s commandments. Hebrews 5:8 says of Jesus, “Although He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” We have to enroll in the same school.
The Cry from Our Heavenly Father is the Same
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. (2 Cron. 7:14-16)
Individually and collectively, let’s pray that God will heal America’s land. We also pray that His eyes will be open and His ears be attentive to our prayers made in our homes, schools, churches, and governments. Our God promises to choose this nation again and to sanctify it has his house. Now let’s repent and give the Almighty His due.