Let’s say a mother asks her child to empty the dishwasher. How might that child respond?
- “Aw, Mom. Do I have to?” The child dawdles to the kitchen muttering, “Why do I always have to empty the dishwasher? Why can’t someone else do it?”
- “Sure, Mom.” An hour later, the child still hasn’t done the chore. He’s preoccupied with his own interests. Emptying the dishwasher isn’t on his radar.
- “Sure, Mom.” The child backs up his words with action until he loses interest. The sound of his siblings playing a video game entices him, and he leaves the task half-done.
- “Sure, Mom.” The child immediately pauses the activity in which he’s involved. He does exactly what his mother asked him of him, and he does so with a cheerful heart.
Which response, do you think, sparks the greatest joy in the mother’s heart?
As followers of Christ, we know He desires our obedience. Saying “yes” to His commands is vital to our well-being, but our attitude is no less important. Psalm 119 tells us what it should look like. Here’s a sampling:
- “I have rejoiced in your decrees as much as in riches.” (v. 14)
- “I will delight in your principles and not forget your word.” (v. 16)
- “I am overwhelmed continually with a desire for your laws.” (v. 20)
- “I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your laws.” (v. 30)
- “If you will help me, I will run to follow your commands.” (v. 32)
Truth be told, immediate and joyful obedience isn’t always easy. When God asks me to do something beyond my comfort zone, my human nature wants to drag its feet and look for something easier to do.
When obedience requires personal sacrifice on my part, I’m not exactly overwhelmed with desire to comply.
When obedience means humbling myself, my nature feels determined to defend personal rights.
But then I recall another verse, and everything changes. “I reflect at night on who you are, O LORD, and I obey your law because of this” (Psalm 119:55).
Why should we obey God’s commands with a good attitude? Not because He’ll bless us with joy for doing so (although this is true). Not because doing so benefits us (although this is true). Not because it’s the right thing to do (although this is true).
Our most important reason for obeying God’s commands with immediacy and delight is because of who He is—our Creator. Sovereign King. Almighty, all-wise One. Holy God. The Great I AM. Considering who He is, how can we even think about dragging our feet or whining about personal inconvenience when we do comply?
“Father, thank You for knowing what’s best for us in every way and for teaching us how to live well. Please forgive us for reluctant obedience. Forgive us for considering ourselves supreme above You. Grant us humility that we will run to obey Your commands with great delight. Amen.”
#bgbg2 #ObedienceIsBest #ObeyGod
Thank you for your post. It’s a good reminder on where my focus needs to be. I enjoy reading all of your posts.
Hi Nancy. It’s so easy to let one’s attitude slip, or to justify a not-so-positive response to obedience. Remembering Who’s wisest helps with that.
I’m glad you enjoy my posts. Writing them helps me process the things I’m learning. We can learn together 🙂
Know you are loved,