Obedience is a trigger word for many. Whenever I heard the word obey, immediately I heard restrict, constrain, and being told what to do. However, as I have been journeying in obedience, I’m finding that obedience simply means submit. The problem with obeying is, we’ve been taught that to obey means do as you’re told and don’t ask question. The problem with that is, my God is far from a task master. He’s gentle, loving, forgiving, kind, gracious, and welcomes all questions so He can give perspective.
I believe obedience is a choice. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 4:19, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. They had the option not to listen and continue their lives, however, I believe their hearts were impacted by Jesus in a way that they wanted to obey. Let’s look at another example, Romans 6:19 states that because of one man’s disobedience many were made sinners(missed the mark), but by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous(right standing). Both have consequences. Let’s look at it in a practical lens. I’m a mother, my sons have specific chores. Because they are children, I have to teach them that their obedience will result in favorable outcomes, that doesn’t mean it’s always tangible, but the result of obedience keeps them in right standing with me. If they choose to disobey I won’t abandon them, but they will loose out on the benefits. It’s the same with God. We have the power to choose, but whichever choice we make, has an outcome.
Now that we have a clear understanding, I want to dive a bit deeper into why our initial reaction is disobedience. The word makes it clear that we were born into sin, which means we’re wired to do opposite of what is right. We don’t have to stay that way. The biggest reason we disobey is because we don’t want to relinquish control. Yes I said RELINQUISH CONTROL! It can manifest in various forms, but the bottom line is our human nature wants CONTROL. When we choose to live a life of obedience to God, we have to relinquish control to Him. The best part of that is, he has the BEST for us.
Obedience will open doors you could never open naturally. Obedience also disciplines, instructs, rescues, protects, and much more. I believe you are starting to understand the true power in it. As a child I was told to obey, but never taught the reason I should. The benefit with God, he teaches us! We never have to second guess or wonder. He makes it plain for us in his word and he will reveal more to us as we seek Him. There WILL BE times that our obedience feels hard and that we are “missing out”, however, Mark 10:28-31 states that there is nothing we give up to follow Christ that we won’t receive 100 fold in this time, that means IN THIS EARTHLY LIFE. We don’t obey for benefits solely, but because he’s a good Father, he gives great gifts.
Let me share my testimony on obedience. October 2019 I quit my job. I was seeking God about my next opportunity a year prior. I knew there was so much that I needed do, but I wasn’t sure what or how. My fear of the unknown held me hostage. One day in prayer I heard Holy Spirit say once I left the job I was in, I would not be going back to a 9-5 style job. I kept looking, trying to make something work for me. I have never had issues getting hired or working, I’ve always held a job since age 16. As I was applying and interviewing NOTHING OPENED UP. I began getting frustrated until God reminded me of what he spoke to me. Everything after that reminder was confirmation, but I was still FEARFUL. I have children, bills, rent, etc. When I finally decided to let go, an opportunity presented itself. I won’t say it was God, but I firmly believe He causes all things to work together for our good. After I quit, I started working from home with an associate, that lasted 3 weeks! THREE WEEKS!!! Again, I had my own plan forged into this plan. I saw what I could do and make happen and not what God was doing. I stopped working with her and was now unemployed. OMG… like unemployed yall! I had no idea what I was going to do, but I leaned into God and expressed my situation to my community. Within that time I lost my car, was almost evicted, but not one time did God allow me lose MY MIND or FIGHT. I pressed into HIM, let go of pride, and received help that was offered.
I started training as a school bus operator. I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS, but I received some sound advice and pushed past my feelings and obeyed. It was a 3 month process. March 6th, 2020 I was hired on, March 13th, 2020 was my last day of work due to COVID19. I wasn’t worried, I knew that God would provide. NOT ONLY DID HE PROVIDE BUT ALLOWED ME TO EXPERIENCE OVERFLOW. I wasn’t eligible for unemployment because I hadn’t been on my job long enough and the previous employer was a NON-PROFIT.