Several years ago, I was praying for someone and felt the Lord direct me to pray the word obedience because it was a quality he desired to greatly use in this person’s life. My first thougt was how difficult it can be to obey the Lord and his word, but as I began to study and read more about this quality I was surprised by what I found. What started as a simple word to pray for someone became a powerful lesson for me.
The first thing I discovered was that obedience has set us free. This is seen in the life of Jesus, “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Not only have we been set free by Christ’s obedience on the cross, but his act of submission has made us righteous and set us free from sin (see Romans 5:19). Even though I have known these scriptures for many years, my heart was deeply moved that Jesus had a choice to make regarding the cross and he chose to be obedient to what the Father was asking him to do.
The next thing I found was obedience is a quality that has far reaching effects. When Abraham obeyed God many people were blessed, “And through your offspring all nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18). Wow, how did I not ever notice the obedience of one person touched so many lives? When we choose to obey, it will have an effect on those around us and will bless others. Imagine the affect this could have on our family, friends, our work place and even our nation when we obey the Lord’s voice? In those times when obedience is difficult and costly, cling to what Acts 5:29 tells us to do, “We must obey God rather than men.” Each one of us will face situations the Father will not want us to be involved in and will be hard to say no to, but the decision of obedience will be blessed and used in ways you may not ever see. An obedient heart is one that can be trusted with many things of the kingdom.
Something else I discovered was that obedience results in intimacy with God, “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples” (Exodus 19:5). How interesting that obedience is tied to relationship. This made me evalulate my life, even the simple things I don’t give much thought too. What areas am I not obeying that has affected my walk with Christ, my life of prayer and relationship with him? My prayer was, “Lord, it is my desire to have fellowship with you, please show me those areas that I have not obeyed you and your word” and he did. Is it fair to say that obedience = devotion? I believe so.