Everyone knows that a good foundation is essential to build a house. In the same vein, most Christians understand that obedience to God gives them a solid foundation in life. Yet, obedience is one of the hardest parts about being a Christian. We reason that once we have accepted Christ into our hearts and lives, we don’t really have to do anything (good works) to win our eternal reward. If there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, and our salvation is not in jeopardy, why should we struggle to obey?
The fact is, obedience to God is a requirement to live a full Christian life, but not in the way you may think. It’s not because you “have to” or because “if you don’t, you’ll be in BIG TROUBLE with God.” It’s because God knows and understands more (everything) about you and more about life in general than you could ever possibly be able to comprehend. Therefore, His commandments are not arbitrary hoops to jump through. They are sensible instructions that will keep you happy and productive today, tomorrow, and forever.
1 John 2: 4-5 “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him…”
It’s the same reason you have an earthly mentor in whatever career choice you’ve made. You’re looking for someone wiser, more experienced and capable to show you the ropes. You understand that you can be more productive and on a faster track to success if you follow in the footsteps of someone more knowledgeable than you are. Why do you not do the same with God?
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Here are a few reasons you should obey God.
1. Love. When you love someone, you want to make them happy, right? Harmony with your spouse means harmony in your life and the same is the case with God. When your desires are in harmony with His desires for you, the rest of your life falls into place. Simply put, we obey God because we love Him.
2. It’s for your own good. As mentioned before, God has the wisdom and foresight to know how we should live our lives, what works best in our lives, and what causes the most happiness in the long run. His perspective is far vaster than ours and his desires for us are perfect.
3. Future blessings are in store for those who obey. God rewards those who seek him in this life and in the life beyond. This is echoed multiple times throughout the Bible.
4. Obedience is evangelism in action. When you obey God’s commandments and put his requests into action, your very life becomes a testimony of God’s love for others.
John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
Making obedience to God a lifelong focus is easy if we simply ask the Lord to give us the desire to choose to do the right thing. God is working in you to make obedience a more natural response.
Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
When making choices, focus on honoring God. Ask yourself whether your choice and/or decision will honor Him or yourself? Does your lifestyle show others your love for God? When you make it your aim to please the Lord Jesus, the very way you live your life will change for the better.
Exercise: In your journal, write one area of your life where you are obeying God and one where you are not. Ask God to show you what he wants you to do, and then to give you the strength to do it.