Obedience To God
Biblical definition of Obedience
"The moral virtue that inclines the will to comply with the will of another who has the right to command."
Jesuit theologian Father John Anthony Hardon
Therefore, a person who is rooted in obedience submits his will to the one who possesses legitimate authority over him
Submitting will requires us to let go of what we want to do and allow someone else to guide us in some areas
Obedience is a shrinking part of the Christian character
As we become more and more a self orientated society
Our priority is
What we like
What we want
What we think is right
Opinions that conflict with our own are often dismissed easily
Looking at the world around us tells us something about our “wisdom”
Animal species (white rhino gone)
Level of global warfare
Put toxins in our food
Sewer in our drinking water
What was medical “genius” 50 years ago we discover is actually harmful
Heroine cough syrop
Radioactive water to drink
Smoking on a plane
ME TOO MOVEMENT
Well those were way back when we did not have the science we do now.....
List of drugs that were recalled
If someone from outer space came to our planet-what would they say about us
Are we smart or stupid?
We are now relying on our own wisdom about what is spiritually right and wrong
You speak with anyone about faith and they speak as if they have a Phd in theology
We came from extraterrestrials
All Gods are the same- all lead to the same place
I am a good person
There is no God.
Based on humanities track record....maybe we should not trust our “wisdom” so much
We may not be right after all
We may need to submit to someone else’s idea of things instead of our own or society’s
The “me” priority when it comes to church is also growing
I have rarely heard someone looking for a home church say:
Where is a church that needs help and I can go and serve others and help it grow
this from Christians all over 10 years old in faith
I have often heard this statement about why people want to go to a church
It has great music (worship)
It has a lot of young people
It has a great Sunday School
In this atmosphere of “me and what I want” emphasis
Obedience has a fight on its hands
Obedience is easy when we agree and want to do something
Obedience is tougher when we are simply called to obey
What does the bible say about obedience
Obedience is stressed so much in the bible because we are in a war
A war we cannot see, hear or judge on our own
We need to rely on God and his word and Spirit to guide us through this war
Why does basic training for war work so hard to eliminate the individual and their ideas and replace it with simple obedience?
“If you love me, obey my commandments.
The core characteristic of being a Christian is that we obey Christs commands
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Love your neighbor as yourself
What does that look like?
Sermon on the mount
Turn the other cheek (don’t allow offense)
Go the extra mile (show love through generosity)
Bless your enemy (people who dislike you and show it)
This will all take obedience…you will not FEEL like doing this
We will need to submit to God’s instructions on this and not rely on what we think is right
In two instances God used obedience to change Peter’s life significantly
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”
In this case Peter had good reason to not obey
Tried all night was not working
Daytime fishing was not as successful as night time fishing
This small act of obedience resulted in Peter’s conversion and start of ministry
The second time this happened to Peter…Jesus has been crucified
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Peter again had good reason to not obey this stranger
It was again a morning of failure for Peter
No fish after trying all night
But this simple act of obedience reinstated Peter in his ministry and started a new phase to his life.
In both cases Peter did not recognize Christ for who he was
He took advice from someone who knew nothing about fishing (humility and submission)
What is God asking us to do today?
What stranger/ or person is actually Christ in your life, asking you to do something, change something, obey something?