Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Someone that creates something is the owner of that which is created; he/she has full control of the Intellectual Property and the creation must obey the creator. We are the creation and God is the creator; we are to obey his every command.
Men that fear God obey God, however, men that love God do not always obey God. A husband that is fully devoted to his wife does not always obey his wife; nor the wife, her husband. Love does not cause that utmost respect to occur, however, fear does. To fear God is far greater than to love God.
We are to be obedient if we want to be friends of God. In John 15:14, Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command;” a clear desire exemplified on behalf of the Father, that we are to obey Him in order to receive His blessing of friendship. First of all, let me make clear that God manifests Himself in the person of His Son, and, despite His ability to commandeer, He still, with grace, stooped down in order to relate with us mere humans, soliciting us as friends upon obedience to His Will. How amazing? The Almighty King of Kings, willing to step down and be our friends? Yes! However, we are not to disregard our role as bondslaves of Christ either. It is clear that the treatment of the Lord upon His servants is far better than any servant deserves. We do not deserve anything, yet we receive so much, and, as a result, the least we can do is obey His commands. Moreover, the obedience of the commands of God has benefits. What incredible grace! The benefit - having a friendship with our King. Wow! But, we do have a motive in place here and that is, to obey. Charles Spurgeon, who was a Baptist Preacher in the 1800s, highly influential in the Christian faith once emphasized, “Man was not originally made to mourn; he was made to rejoice. The Garden of Eden was his place of happy abode, and as long as he continued in obedience to God, nothing grew in that Garden that could cause him sorrow.” Blessings, abundance, and joy come out of obedience to God. Just imagine a world where Adam continued in obedience to God. In such a world, we can see the blessings, prosperities and eternal rewards of obedience, yet, despite these benefits, men obey because of the fact that disobedience equates to death, further extended by the story of Adam and Eve. Adam's fall from God's grace, as many know, resulted in consequences for mankind, still experienced today. A careful interpretation of this narrative divulges the power obedience has as a pathway to abundance and joyfulness; and disobedience, separation from God. The only thing that disobedience is good for is the revelation that obedience is the right thing to do; really, disobedience is simply the wiping away of the fog in front of our eyes, enabling us to see the importance of obedience. Furthermore, it is clear that Adam could not have understood nor appreciate the beauty of our God without, in fact, seeing the ugliness of separation from God. Disobedience separates us from God; obedience brings us closer in our relationship with God.
“It is only through the experience of sorrow through disobedience to God that we are able to comprehend the paradoxical nature of our natural ability to believe that disobedience is the right thing to do.”
If we want to love Him, we must obey Him. Jesus said to the disciples, in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commands,” in other words, don't just tell me you love me, but keep my commands that you might show me that you love me. To do is much better than to say. When Peter denied Jesus three times, he still loved Jesus, however, his actions did not match up with his love for Him. Let's ensure that we keep His commands, because, by doing so, we say, “I love you” to our King. There are three powerful and key lessons that can be learned from this message of obedience in John 14 and that is; firstly, obedience of His commands as the guide for our lives; secondly, the means to which we are able to communicate our love to our Lord; and third, the clear and often forgotten reason why we are to be obedient. First, the obedience of His commands and adherence to His will is our guide which, when followed, enables us to follow our God-given purpose. In John 14:15, Jesus is not speaking to a handful of men, indeed not, but is speaking to all generations in the now and who are to come right through to the end of time. Christ has the right to impose whatever laws He wants on any living creature anywhere in all the galaxies, and, to make known His will to every one of them. In addition, from our viewpoint, it is in our best interests to follow these commands and also His will, because the combination of the two equates to a unique guide of human conduct, which, when followed results in prosperity in the world. The will of God and His commands, in combination, is a blueprint for human prosperity. Now, you might ask, what are His commands? Some Christians may scratch the writing of every scripture in the Bible to identify specifically what these commands are, but, fortunate for us, our Lord made things really easy for us to comprehend: The commands of Christ are Christ Himself. Our Lord is our compass. A traveler that has no smartphone, Global Positioning System (GPS) or map needs to use a compass to identify the best direction of travel. Our Lord is our compass Who tells us where to go, therefore, let's choose to follow Christ's directions, His commands. Christ is our moral Teacher, our life guide, not Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey - people read Tony’s and Oprah’s books more than they read the bible, which, I believe, is dangerous. They cannot and should not be the life guide because there is only one life guide and His name is Jesus, Who said in Matthew 11:29, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
Second, obedience is the means to which we are able to communicate our love to our Lord. The principle in play is simple for us to understand, and this is, that love is the building blocks of obedience, and obedience, the result of love. Going to the devil is an action which only occurs upon the neglect of obedience to the commands of the Lord, and, this is done mainly for the increase in power of self; partnering with the human will rather than the Lord's will, in order to live out human knowledge rather than Godly knowledge. To do this, partnering with our own weak human will, is, well, to say the least, useless like a small man following a useless manifest backed by no power or authority. The difference between the moral inclinations of the world and commands of Jesus Christ are obvious; powerless vs powerful. To partner with our mere human will and listen to lies of the devil is to attempt to drive a car with no fuel inside of it, powerless but apparently able. What we want is power - power in its true sense is the empowerment of action, whether that be electricity to power up a television or fuel for a car to move; the input to get the output. The world and our human will sell us the output but it doesn't have the input, and without the input, the output is never really what we expected it to be, simply because the power wasn't there. To the contrary, we have the Gospel, which is not only the will of God, His knowledge and the revelation of what we were created to be, but also, in addition to all these great things, the power that enables us to become what we were created to be.
“The difference between the moral inclinations of the world and commands of Jesus Christ are obvious; powerless vs powerful.”
Thirdly, obedience is something we must do, as a thank you for that which has already been done. Communion, an important act of remembrance that often happens at Sunday morning gatherings, yet, many times, Christians forget the immense declaration of love, by God, toward us. He gave us His only Son, and eternity as a bonus if we believe in His Son, and His resurrection. This is amazing. To grasp unto Christ in this character as the Son of God who died for you, with faith-filled meditation and reflection, will, without a doubt, truly kindle in your heart, deep love for Him. Contemplation of this fact calls us to love Jesus Christ. It is impossible not to love Him after we meditate on His love toward us and what He did for us. In this moment, we receive power to contain our weak and rebellious will. Any other “love” emotion that we might have, whether admiration or affection for Jesus is tepid in relation to the power and warmth of love that comes from conviction and belief, that He died for every one of us, individually, and that today, He lives as helper and Lover of our souls. That conviction that He endured that cross for us, and rose again, will awaken within us a power to obey His commands. In its most basic form, we love Him because He first loved us, and that love causes obedience to be birthed within us, keeping His commands because we love Him.
“When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love him.” Elisabeth Elliot
There are three key points discussed thus far: firstly, how disobedience leads to separation from God; secondly, how, by doing what He commands us, we can be His friends; and thirdly, how, obedience tells Him that we love Him. However, there is something powerful written all over the bible that encompasses all three of these things, under one pattern of reverence and veneration to God, and that is called the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the Lord, according to Psalm 111:10 is “the beginning of wisdom” further stating that “a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” and, according to Proverbs 1:7, “the foundation of true knowledge.” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom which is the understanding possessed by those that do what He commands, therefore, you cannot have wisdom without the fear of the Lord, and wisdom cannot coexist with disobedience. The fear of the Lord is essentially reverence, or, as some translations depict, veneration for God - a deep respect for Him; His law, will and governance. This respect for Him causes us to be aware of our actions, leading us to do what is right. The fear of the Lord is not the fear felt by a slave who is told what to do; those feelings of dread, terror or anxiety, but, it is consistent with, related to, and based on love. The Hebrew word here, “fear” יִרְאַ֣ת (yir·’aṯ) is a noun similar to the word, venerate, which means; to hold in deep respect and to honor in recognition of those God-like qualities of holiness, excellence, wisdom, characterized by actions of love, admiration, exaltation, worship, and reverence. What venerating God means is that we hold onto, embrace, adhere to, understand and take into account His desire, heart and will which, over time, compels us to love what He loves and hate what He hates - what is important to Him becomes important to us and what is not important to Him become unimportant to us. When we love what He loves and hate what He hates, then we automatically do what He commands. The fear of the Lord is the “beginning of Wisdom” meaning it is the starting point, origin, commencement of wisdom. In life, in order to acquire something, one must first do something to acquire the tool for its acquisition - to buy something, one must first work to have money, the tool which can be used for acquisition purposes. In much the same way, God is telling us that the way in which we can acquire wisdom is first by having a fear for the Lord, a reverential and venerating love and adoration for God. Wisdom is never in its true form unless it comes from the recognition of that perfect being, God. This true wisdom of the highest, most elevated form is in the knowing and venerating honoring of God, the Father. This knowing and honoring can make one man wiser, in comparison to another who does not partake in such actions, beginning wisdom in his heart as an inheritance in return for fearing the Father. The Hebrew word, “beginning” comes from ראשׁית (reishith) which signifies the principal point, similar to the moment of creation created by the Father. See, wisdom is only created in our lives when we fear God when we are deeply abided in Jesus Christ with an unreserved obedience to His will, not our will. To agree with the fundamentals of the Christian faith and to profess of its practices as being the only true system of justification that exists is only one aspect, however, let us not forget the power of full surrender of ourselves as his redeemed people.
“Obedience to God's will is the secret of spiritual knowledge and insight. It is not willingness to know, but willingness to DO (obey) God's will that brings certainty.” Eric Liddel
Men and woman that fear God obey instantly, without hesitation: Whether it makes sense to the flesh to do so or not, they do it anyway. In Exodus 1:17, Moses says, “But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” The word “but” here implies that the fearing of God was the reasoning behind the obedience toward God and the disobedience toward the king of Egypt. Here, the reverence toward God was greater, most certainly, than the reverence toward the king of Egypt and, as a result, the reverence toward God had greater influence over their decision making.
“When our directions are influenced by the supremacy of God, we are shielded from the stupidity of the flesh.”
In Hebrews 5:7, it says that “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,” and then thereafter, in the AMPC version, it says that “He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].” Jesus was heard by God because He feared God.
“God is responsible for the consequences of our obedience, we are responsible for the consequences of our disobedience.” Charles Stanley
Let’s be a people that fear God, not a people that just love God.
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