Matthew 3:1 -12; John 3:30; 15:13-15; Hebrews 2:14-18; Titus 2:11-14
Obedience must infuse everything; it is the capstone to our stones of faith and life in Christ. All that you do in life must be a reflection of a life surrendered to Christ. If you are so self-willed that there can be no room for the living Christ, this may mean that others will use you, take advantage of you, get mad at you, ignore you, go around you, ridicule you, and persecute you! But, remember, what they do to you, they do to Him! Make sure you are not the one persecuting the Lord! God wants us first. So, let God work in you and have Him open your eyes to the fallacies to avoid; embrace the wonders of His truth!
When God touches us, our eyes are open to Him. Yet, remember the struggle of our sin nature. If we love Jesus with passion and conviction, then the outcome will be obvious. If we are determined to do something else, as we warm the pews with our rears, then our eyes become closed. The closure of our eyes is our choice and our choice alone. "Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." (John 12:24). Will you allow your life to be rooted in the soil of Christ and what He has done so you can rise in maturity by complying and learning in His word?
Remember, the Christian life is not about you; it's about God. It's not what we do that makes us a Christian; it's what Jesus has done for us! Our Obedience is merely a response and this Discipline is a tool for our endeavor to respond to Him in gratitude and faith.
Thoughts on Obedience
- Our natural selfish will must be sacrificed through discipline; this is hard but the rewards are plentiful!
- We are called to obedience, but God will not make us obey; it must come out of our free will.
- We can disobey God out of our free will and He will give us His grace. What good would we be?
- Obedience does not get us right with God; it is what God has done for us. Obedience is merely the response.
- It is easy to be a frantic devotee of a sporting event, but what does it take to be a devotee of Christ?
- Our obedience may cause difficulties that are not meant as a personal attack upon us. Rather, they enable us to be better used by God and so we can identify with a plight of others.
- Remember your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, live your life responsibly (1 Cor. 6:19).
- Our confusion and toils in life can only be solved by obedience!
- We are to bring every thought, concern, and argument into the captivity of obedience because we are responsible (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Making the choice to martyr ourselves or undergo undue suffering is a very wrong move unless it comes from choosing God's will. God is in control!
- Knowledge and insight happen only by obedience, not just from our experiences.
- If you do not understand something spiritual, it is usually because of a lack of obedience.
- We cannot pretend to comply. God will uncover our falseness.
- Do not be an imitation Christian; our Lord does not need more impostors!
- Perfect obedience is also perfect trust. Discernment comes out of obedience! So, let your rest be in Jesus, not in unrest!
When you are going through the joys of life, the mundane, or suffering, God knows and cares. He is there for you. Let your effort of focusing on the difficulties and uncertainties of life fall away. Why should we worry when the Creator of all things is in charge? In the midst of difficulties, it may appear God has abandoned you, but He has not. His love and grace remain the same (Matt. 11:28)!
By our obedience in faith, we may suffer temptations, trouble, persecution, and condemnation from the world. It may seem our foundation has shifted by that constant beating, but He will remain steadfast in us when we remain steadfast in our faith! Keep your faith real, valuable, and practical on His solid Rock. He will not leave you, nor forsake you (1 Cor. 3:11; 10:4; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4-6; Heb. 13:5). So, let Him be the Rock-solid foundation of your life (Matt. 7)!
One of the interesting aspects of the Christian faith is that our obedience may cause others to suffer. Our faith may have a cost that others will have to pay, such as the sacrifices of a wife for her husband's ministry, or a child's sacrifice to move to a foreign land because of his or her missionary parents. At the very least, other's plans will be disturbed. Our lives may be used by God to convict and to convert. A cost may be required, but we have to see that cost as glorious, as it is for the Lord. And, we can never compare it to the cost He gave for us!
We are urgently called to accept the absolute authority of God; we come under His authority whether or not we acknowledge Him, so we might as well acquiesce. It does no good to fight God, as Jacob discovered (Gen. 32:22-32). The subject of submission often refers to fights and quarrels so they do not build and take us over. Jacob's dispute with his brother had to be resolved; connecting with God enables us to connect with others, a gift that comes back to us and into all of our relationships which cannot happen unless we acquiesce to God (Gen 33; Phil. 2:5-8; James 4:1-6).
1. Do you feel distant and cold in your faith? Do you desire to have more intimacy with Him? Then what can you do to achieve this?
2. Why does is d no good to fight God?
3. How does obedience permeate you? How can it do so more?
4. Look over the Thoughts on Obedience, which ones do you have trouble with? What can you do about it? Which ones can you practice more?
5. How can you speak and model to others so they might be inclined to accept the authority of Jesus Christ? How does Obedience play out here?
6. What would real, authentic Obedience look like in your life?
7. We all need to come to the point where we realize our need both for salvation, and to know God. So, how can your obedience come into play here? How would you explain this to non-believers?
8. Where is your obedience built? Has it changed over the experiences of your life? What were the circumstances for those changes? How does hope play in this?
9. When will you make a conscious decision to give ourselves totally to Christ if you have not done so already?
10. How does hope allow us to take hold of Christ in a deeper, firmer way and fuel our obedience?
11. What can you do to allow Christ's work and your faith development to be more in conformity to His precepts to His will permeates you?
12. What more can you do to take to heart in a deeper manner the fact that your true treasure is the knowledge that God knows you, and you can know Him?
(This lesson is taken in part from the Character of Obedience and the Discipline of Obedience)
© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools http://www.discipleshiptools.org/