Obedience just isn’t certainly one of my favourite phrases (besides once I’m with my children). It doesn’t give me all of the feels; it doesn’t make me heat inside. In actual fact, the idea appears reasonably chilly. There’s an virtually robotic high quality to it.
Possibly that’s simply me, although. Possibly you could have the phrase framed in your wall, or Instagrammed over a pleasant filter, and even tattooed in your ankle. In Hebrew, in fact.
All through our lives we’re being informed to obey. Obey your mother and father. Obey your instructor. Obey your coach. Obey your professors. Obey your landlord. Obey your governing authorities. Obey your medical doctors.
Obey, obey, obey. I doubt anybody studying this text is on a quest to seek out one other particular person or establishment to whom they need to submit.
Precisely, you might be considering. So why would I wish to obey the Bible? I’ve seen one; it’s thick sufficient with guidelines to make an excellent doorstop. And I hear the writer is sort of demanding. I’ve loads of obligations already, thanks.
I used to dwell out of the country, and, regardless of attending class every day, I by no means mastered the language. I used to be purposeful however not fluent. As you’ll be able to think about, this made it tough when making an attempt to share the gospel story with the buddies I’d made. Illustrations needed to be actually easy. For instance, I might typically say one thing to this impact:
Fish are made for the water, and birds for the air, proper? Now think about a fish who decides he’s uninterested in being restricted to the water. He needs to be free, to expertise the enjoyment of life on land. So he manages to flop round and “free” himself onto dry floor—which seems to be a loss of life sentence. Why? He was solely designed for water, not for air. Conversely, think about a seagull rising jealous of the liberty he witnesses within the ocean beneath. I’m sick of being confined to the air, he thinks. I wish to be actually free. So he plunges in and perishes. Why? He was solely designed for air, not for water.
In an analogous manner, simply because the fish was constructed for water and the fowl for air, so that you have been constructed for God—and you’ll not discover true life and freedom wherever else. (See Keller, 39)
It’s an elementary metaphor, I do know. But it surely’s additionally a mirror. We’re extra like these disgruntled creatures than we might care to confess. The gap between their logic and ours will be uncomfortably skinny.
Biblical obedience just isn’t about holding an arbitrary algorithm; it’s about residing in accordance with our design, in concord with our Maker. As a result of he needs us to flourish, he restricts us with the intention to actually free us. He prohibits us to drive us to what’s good. He lays boundaries with palms of affection.
As a result of he needs us to flourish, God restricts us with the intention to actually free us. He prohibits us to drive us to what’s good. He lays boundaries with palms of affection.
Good for You
To the diploma that we method Scripture prayerfully and studiously, we will probably be positioned to catch easy-to-miss phrases. Hear, for instance, the phrases of Moses:
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you however to concern the LORD your God, to stroll in obedience to him, to like him, to serve the LORD your God with all of your coronary heart and with all of your soul, and to look at the LORD’s instructions and decrees that I’m providing you with in the present day in your personal good? (Deut. 10:12–13).
Did you catch these rapid-fire necessities? There are 5: concern, stroll, serve, obey, and the central one, love. They perform like hyperlinks in a sequence, or like distinct notes of obedience within the music of your life. Moses’s name is complete; God is all for each your actions and your perspective. Toes, palms, thoughts, coronary heart—he needs all of it.
Quite daunting, huh?
However right here’s the half we’re inclined to overlook fully: “for your own good.” Did you catch these 4 phrases if you learn the passage? They revolutionize it. So why is God making all-encompassing claims in your life in the present day, at the same time as you learn this e-book? It’s as a result of he deserves your obedience. However it is usually since you have been made for obedience, like fish for water and birds for air.
You have been made for obedience, like fish for water and birds for air.
This information just isn’t at all times simple to swallow, but it surely’s good: The One who flung the celebs into area and spoke galaxies into being is way too certified to control only one or two small provinces in your life. He loves you an excessive amount of to go away you answerable for an existence you didn’t design. Simply as there are bodily legal guidelines like gravity constructed into creation, there are ethical legal guidelines you have been born to honor. A disobedient believer makes no extra sense than a disenchanted fowl making an attempt to succeed in the ocean flooring. In infinite knowledge and goodness, God has structured his ethical universe in a selected manner. We are able to belief him. If we refuse, we gained’t simply be breaking his legal guidelines; we’ll be breaking ourselves towards them.
Notice of Urgency
“Slow obedience is no obedience,” we inform our youngsters. An identical observe of urgency rings by means of the pages of the New Testomony.
Think about the phrases of Jesus within the Sermon on the Mount:
Subsequently everybody who hears these phrases of mine and places them into apply is sort of a sensible man who constructed his home on the rock. The rain got here down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat towards that home; but it didn’t fall, as a result of it had its basis on the rock. However everybody who hears these phrases of mine and doesn’t put them into apply is sort of a silly man who constructed his home on sand. The rain got here down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat towards that home, and it fell with an excellent crash. (Matt. 7:24–27, emphasis mine)
Don’t merely take heed to the phrase, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
And in addition John:
Whoever says “I know him,” however doesn’t do what he instructions is a liar, and the reality just isn’t in that particular person. (1 John 2:4–5)
The Bible just isn’t an arbitrary record of prohibitions; it’s an epic story of a Creator extra dedicated to your pleasure than you can think about.
And on and on. In actual fact, let’s return to Jesus for a second. Shortly earlier than his ascension and enthronement, he delivers marching orders to his disciples. We all know it because the Nice Fee:
Jesus got here to them and mentioned, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18–20)
After we take into consideration this well-known cost, we frequently give attention to themes like evangelism, discipleship, and missions. As we must always. However once more, it’s very important to learn slowly and studiously, lest we miss easy-to-overlook phrases.
Jesus doesn’t merely say, “Teach them everything I have commanded you.” That will be a easy name for info switch. As an alternative he says, “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” The risen King sends his servants into the world not merely to impart info, however to advertise obedience. Have you ever ever considered the truth that holiness is a part of the Nice Fee? Which means that regardless of what number of disciples you make or how jazzed up about missions you’re feeling, in case you are not pursuing obedience, then the Nice Fee stays unfulfilled in your life.
Possibly you’re nonetheless skeptical. Following a demanding God nonetheless looks as if a drag. Once more, I wish to reiterate that the Bible just isn’t an arbitrary record of prohibitions; it’s an epic story of a Creator extra dedicated to your pleasure than you can think about. Entrusting every sphere of your life to him, due to this fact, just isn’t one thing you do as an alternative of having fun with him; it’s the way in which you take pleasure in him. Following him just isn’t an alternative choice to your pleasure; it’s the key to it.
So method your Bible obediently, as a result of obedience produces pleasure.