Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love. – Augustine
Obedience is not to be done slavishly, out of servile fear or out of some rigid, stoical desire for rule-keeping, but rather from a profound desire to express our love for the Father. Jesus said ‘‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’’ (John 14:15).
For us today obedience is out of fashion in our culture. You can find lessons that provide assertiveness training., but try to find classes in submissiveness training! Obedience is the willing submission of one person to the authority of another. It means more than a child doing what he is told. It means doing what he is told; Without Challenge, Without Excuse, and Without Delay.
Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement. Submission necessarily means doing what you do not wish to do. It is never easy or painless. True biblical submission must be found in knowing Christ and His grace.
Now it is true that the view that the law of God revealed in the Old Testament has nothing to do with the New Testament church; that the New Testament church is a church without law, a church that lives and breathes exclusively on the basis of grace… But the New Testament is far from abolishing God’s moral law. Jesus calls his disciples to obedience.
Scott Hafenman wrote: Jesus’ gospel of forgiveness is not unrelated to the Bible’s demand for holiness. Obedience is not a “second step” added to our faith, so that “accepting Jesus as Saviour” must be supplemented by “accepting Jesus as Lord.” We are not saved by grace and then sanctified (made holy) by our own works. Being a Christian is not a matter of adding our will to God’s, our efforts to his. Rather,…”putting away sin,” which is faith in action, is the means to persevering, which we do by depending on Jesus from beginning to end. In other words, repenting from the disobedience of disbelief, and the life of persevering faith that this brings about, which entails obeying God, are all one expression of “looking to Jesus.” One cannot exist without the other…. There is only one thing, not two, that we must do to be saved: trust God with the needs of our lives. This one thing in God’s provision (now supremely manifested in Christ) will show itself, from beginning to end, in our many acts of repentance and obedience.
E.M Bounds said something which I find very challenging, ‘If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will.
Were does our obedience rest. In the sure perfect will of God and doing his pleasure or in our own will, obeying only when it suits us to do so. Augustine wrote ‘If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.’ Jesus set us an example of a life lived in total submission to the Father, let us stride to obey God in all things.