The subject of obedience is not a popular subject. No matter the culture, obedience to authority strikes against everything the human hearts desires. I understand that there are many people who obey without any concern for what is being asked of them, but at the core, the human heart does not enjoy being told what to do. The fleshly part of every person resists having someone tell them how they should live life. And unfortunately, that thinking or that desire of the heart, creates lots of problems for people. Not only in homes and workplaces but also with God.
Unfortunately, when people do not obey the authorities over them, whomever they might be, that will filter into the church eventually. For example, in the church in Corinth. Paul wrote a lot to the people of the church who were not dealing with sin issues. Those issues resulted because sin is a part of all of us. The Word of God says, we are born into sin. (Psalm 51:5) Therefore, we all bring with us, everyday and into every situation and relationship, sin.
So God tells us we must never neglect dealing with our sin. If we do, two things will happen, we will be negatively affected and so will the church. Because individually, we make up the church. Those who profess to be true followers of Christ. Those who have placed their lives in Jesus because He paid the price of death for our sin.
And we have other examples of the effects of sin in the life of the church. The letter of Revelation gives us seven letters that the Lord Jesus wrote to actual churches, assessing them according to where He viewed them spiritually. All but one received some form of rebuke or correction, due to sin in their midst. The church at Sardis, for example, was told by Christ that He understood they did many deeds and good deeds at that. But the problem He had with them was they were not doing what they did out of a heart of love and obedience. They were caught up in the motions of doing things for God instead of having a heart sold out to God.
The result of the Lord’s assessment was, they needed to clean up their act, to use the vernacular of our day, so that God would be pleased with them. In other words, their hearts were not bent on obedience, but duty.
Too often, churches can get lost in the duty, instead of doing the work for the Lord out of love for Him. Can I remind us all. We have been rescued from the darkness, forever, eternally. (Colossians 1:13) And because we have been rescued from the clutches of Satan and his demonic world, we have peace with God and our sins have been forgiven. If you understand what the Lord is saying, He has kept us from eternal destruction. That is a cause to celebrate. Our lives should be a celebration of what the Lord has done for us. And the best way we can celebrate is to be obedient to all the Lord commands us.
Many people, who don’t understand what the Lord has done for us, wonder how anyone could enjoy obeying commands. Well, for those of us who love the Lord, it is not a burden to obey the One who set us free from destruction. I can’t imaging anyone denying someone who gave their life as a random payment for them. In other words, what person, would fail in their love for someone who had paid such a price?
Never-the-less, living obediently is not only commanded by the Lord, but it is a joy to follow His commands. If, you understand His great love for you.