Why must I obey God?
Do you ever feel like obedience is such a drag? Sometimes I do, especially when I realize that as a Christian, there are things I cannot do because they do not please God! Because many of us may feel like God’s rules and regulations for obedience to him may be a little stringent, I thought I would find out what the Bible says about obedience. Enjoy the read!
Obedience is a sign of love
If you love somebody, you try to prove your love by obeying him or her, right? In romantic relationships, for example, people obey their partners because they love them and because they want to ‘score’ points with them. Now – God loved us even before we knew he existed and sought each one of us out so that he could build a relationship with us. Why, then, should we not obey him?
John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (NLT)
Let me put this verse in my own words.
“If you love me, and acknowledge the gift of salvation that I have freely given you, you will find it easy to obey my commands because we have a relationship.”
How about this verse below?
1 John 5:3 “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (NLT)
God gives us strength, grace, and wisdom to do all that he has commanded us to do. Let us, therefore, obey him, as a sign of our love for him.
If we obey God, he will regard us as his treasured possessions!
Exodus 19:5 “Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.” (NLT)
Now, who doesn’t like to be called special, or referred to as treasured? Everybody yearns to hear those words, even if they are only said once in a lifetime, right? Well, God declares in his Word that if we obey him, he will consider us his treasured possessions!
Think about this – God does not give us impossible tasks. Rather, he gives us all that we need to accomplish what he requires us to do! God does not send you on a journey without a map – he gives you a detailed map, supplies, and helpers, and on top of that, he walks beside you all the way!
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Once the journey is complete, even though he has already given you more than enough help along the way, he still calls you his treasure! That, friends, is how God works!
He dwells with those who obey him
Picture this. You are in a relationship with someone, and due to the dynamics of the relationship, there are things that you sometimes require this person to do. If that person does not do them, how do you feel? With time, the relationship becomes very uncomfortable because there is no obedience and mutual respect being displayed.
As loving as God is, he does not impose himself on us. He gives us time to accept him and to let him begin to work in our lives. Most of the time, when he begins to change us, he requires some form of obedience. When we refuse to obey and choose to walk in our own direction, he backs off. He does not dwell with us anymore.
On the contrary, if we obey him, he sticks with us to the very end, as the verse below indicates.
John 14:23 ‘Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”’(NIV)
If we obey God, he will give us whatever we ask for
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1 John 3:22 “And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” (NLT)
Over the years, I have noticed that my students are always more eager to please me when there is a sticker, treat or house point up for grabs. Similarly, my kids will always be more eager to please if there is a little reward attached!
Does the same principle apply in our relationship with God? Well, I believe (this is an entirely personal view) that when I please God and do what he asks, he will grant my requests, but in his own way and at his own time. I should, therefore, focus more on pleasing him, rather than fix my eyes on the rewards that may come as a result of my obedience. Interestingly, every time I use this approach, he always gives me what I ask for!
How do you feel when you do the right thing? Do you feel pleased with yourself, as if you have accomplished something great? Well, obedience to God is simply doing the right thing, i.e. what pleases him and brings glory to him. The answer to the initial question, therefore, is yes, I really have to obey God.