Obedience can be a challenge, especially when we feel tempted to believe that we stand to lose more through our obedience than we might gain. However, obeying God is essential to pleasing Him—not just in times of temptation, but at all times.
When God commands us to obey Him, He is giving us a principle by which to live. He is also setting a framework around our lives that forms a hedge of protection from evil.
Can you remember the last time you felt tempted to do the opposite of what you knew God desired for you to do? Most likely, a struggle erupted within your heart. The questions arose: Will obeying God cost me more than disobeying Him? Can I experience greater happiness by committing this sin than I would by obeying God?
When we choose to obey God, we take the way of wisdom. His promises of blessing for obedience far outweigh any possible consequences. He asks us to submit ourselves to Him and leave whatever happens to His loving care.
As we grow in our walks with the Lord, obedience becomes the avenue by which we know Him better. When we obey Him, He pulls us closer to Himself and teaches us more about His precepts and His love.
Disobedience sends a message to the Lord, declaring that we know better than He does when it comes to our lives and the circumstances surrounding them.
God loves us and is committed to us. He commands our obedience, not because He is a strict taskmaster, but because He knows the devastating effects disobedience and sin will have on our lives.
Satan, however, has another goal in mind. He seeks to tempt believers to disobey God, usually by telling them the Lord’s promises cannot be trusted and that we can enjoy life more if we ignore His commands.
Remember, disobedience always has fierce repercussions—feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness, broken lives, destroyed marriages, and bitter disputes, among them. While sin can never change God’s eternal love for His children, it certainly disrupts our fellowship with the Savior and alienates us from His blessings. In times of disobedience, we become spiritually weak and unable to discern right from wrong. We sink deeper into sin’s grasp and find it impossible to reverse our sinfulness on our own.
As we apply the following principles to our lives, we will begin to obey God with confidence and joy, knowing that He can be fully trusted to keep all of His promises:
- Trust God with your life and all that concerns you.
There is no way to go wrong if you place your hope and trust in God. He created you and He loves you with an eternal love. Therefore, He will always lead you in the very best way possible.
- Wait on the Lord for an answer to your problem or situation.
When in doubt, refuse to move ahead unless you know God is leading you.
- Meditate on God’s Word.
When you saturate your mind with the Word of God, you gain His viewpoint. When a temptation comes, you will know right from wrong and can act accordingly.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit.
God continues to speak to His people today. He speaks to us through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and through the words of a pastor or trusted Christian friend. We become sensitive to the Spirit of God by spending time with Him—praying and studying the principles in Scripture.
- Be willing to wait or walk away when the way before you is unclear.
If you desire to please God above all others, obedience to Him will require you to remain firm. If you do not sense clear guidance in your situation, ask God to confirm His will to you in His Word. He will never contradict Scripture. His will for your life always lines up perfectly with what the Bible says.
- Be willing to endure conflict.
When the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land at God’s direction, she had to face strong enemy opposition. God rarely empties our lives of trouble and conflict. If He did, we would not have any reason to depend upon Him. He allows enough difficulty to keep us turned toward Him.
- Leave the consequences to God.
Obedience may not be easy—you may receive criticism from others or face fierce obstacles and opposition—but it will always put you in a favorable position before God. He will take care of all that concerns you. Stay on the path of obedience and leave the rest to Him.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.
This post is a part of the series Life Principles to Live By.