Obedience is compliance with an order, request, law, or submission to another’s authority. Biblical obedience is hearing, trusting, submitting, and surrendering to God and His Word. It is the submission of one’s will to the will of God. Matt. 6:10 says: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. These words of the Our Father prayer express a desire that the will of our all-knowing, pre-eminent God prevail upon the earth even as it prevails in heaven.
Disobedience, conversely, is defined as the failure or refusal to obey rules or someone’s authority. Rebellion, a synonym for disobedience, is identified with witchcraft according to the Bible. 1 Samuel 15:23 says:
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
In the afore-named scripture, Saul willfully disobeyed God and was therefore rejected as being King over Israel.
God hates disobedience, for it is, in His eyes, equal to divination by the help of evil spirits. Obstinate resistance to Him is no better than worshipping idols. It elevates self-will into the status of a god. If Saul could not get away with it, neither can we. How much better for us is it to submit our will to that of our All-Mighty God.
Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior, is our perfect example of obedience to God. As He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He agonized over the pain, cruelty, and ultimate death that He was soon to encounter for the sins of all of humanity. Fortunately for us, He allowed the will of God to take pre-eminence over His natural will.
In Luke 22:41-43, He prayed.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
As Jesus cried out to Our Heavenly Father, God dispatched an angel to strengthen Him for the task ahead.
I recall an instance in which I needed God to strengthen me to comply with His will which occurred when I first got saved back in 1975. I had found the church that I had been searching for all of my life. God gave me the assurance that I was where He had planned to worship, grow, and work for Him. I loved the people, and it was where God saved me and filled me with the Holy Ghost. There was this one minor issue that I didn’t want to comply with. I was not willing to go along with this one rule of the church because it did not make “sense” to me.
But the sweet young woman that was instrumental in bringing me to the church came to me and said, “When you are ready to obey God concerning (the matter), just cry out to God, and He will help you to do it.” That night I cried out to God, telling Him that I was willing to comply, but I needed Him to help me. The next day, I was able to obey God and have not gone back on God since that day.
It does not matter what the obedience issue may be; if anyone is having trouble with obedience to the Will of God, the latter half of Luke 22 is the answer: Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. We must first realize that God’s choices for our lives are best. We must always see His Will as pre-eminent over our own. Then, when we are ready to comply (and there should never be any hesitation), we cry out to God, ask Him to strengthen us as we submit to His will, and we get it done. Walking in disobedience is a dangerous state and should be avoided at all costs. The Will of God is supreme, and we should walk in it.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me if and when I have allowed my own will to prevail over Yours. My heart desires to please you in every way, for I realize that You see the outcome of things that I cannot see, You know those things that I cannot know, and that You are working for my good. I love You with my whole heart and yield to Your will. Strengthen me as I bow my will to Yours, for You are my All-Mighty God. Amen.
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