Trust and Obedience

Posted: July 6, 2010 in Christianity, Growing
Tags: , , , , ,

I love God. And I’m learning to align my thinking and my heart with His more and more every day. Even today.

That God asks us to be obedient to Him is not such a far-fetched idea. It’s plastered all through-out His word and something He expects of His Children.

But “how” you approach God with your Heart when you are being obedient is key – it has to be out of a trusting, loving relationship, otherwise, my friend, it’s out of a religious work – which won’t bring you the joy in obedience you would get from a “trust+obedience” relationship with God.

Did you catch that?

I had done a post a while back titled “Excellence versus Obedience” which went into the paradigm that we – as humans – find ourselves in and the one that we – as Christians – should more often find ourselves in, namely, is it better to be “excellent” or is it better to be “obedient”? (Read it here to find out.)

Bottom line: Why do we obey? What’s our motivation? What’s the heart here?

If we think back to the Old Testament, the Israelites had responded to God because of His Law, and in fact, that was the only way He could “get through to them”:

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Romans 9:31, 32; 10:3

Our reaction to God’s commands cannot be (and shouldn’t need to be, because of Jesus Christ) based on fear or anything beside a loving, caring reaction. This is the difference between trusting obedience and any other form of obedience.

Anyone can obey someone else, but the idea that they are obeying out of “trust” may be far from them.

If you are in a battle, in a war, your commander must be someone that you obey. Obviously. But, if you don’t need to trust that commander to follow them. No, because it is possible to be obedient, but because of authority or fear or other powers above your own. There comes a point with the commander makes a request that you won’t follow – into a field spotted with death. You’ll need something other than authority or rule or duty to push you into that fray. You’ll need trust.

It takes time to get to know a commander to the point where you can trust them with a command such as above. But, with that trust comes obedience. Having a relationship with the commander, you know where he has been, what he has seen and how he values life above all else. But also, what the costs may be. But, because you trust him, you say “Yes” to what he commands, even though you might have run the other way had you the chance. Your commander has proved himself trustworthy and so – you trust.

Now, is it any different with God? As we get to know God, we find that He has proved Himself trustworthy in His Word. That should mean something great for you and for me:

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:3

The word “grievous” is the greek word “barys“, which means “heavy in weight” or “burdensome”. God’s commandments are not a burden – because we love Him and because we trust Him.

To me, it’s getting simpler. It’s getting more black and white. Which is good.

I’m working on changing my heart to want to obey God, not out of fear or even “reverence”, but out of a loving, trusting relationship with my God.

Ah, yes – and it’s going to fun.

  1. Wu Siu Yan says:

    If you were a father, would you expect your child not to exercise his judgment ?
    Yes, when he was young, you instruct him all things, and he obeys.
    But when he grows older, do you still expect him to obey all things without exercising his own judgement.
    You expect him to exercise his own judgement based on what you taught him in the past.
    So is our heavenly Father to us. We learn of the teachings of Jehovah in the Old Testament (Torah and the Prophet books), and learn of the teachings of Jesus (in [Matthew,Mark,Luke,John]), then GOD will leave us to our own judgment.
    GOD will guide us, but at the same time, allow Satan to lead us astray.
    We have to made decisions at all times, based on what we have learnt from Jehovah/Jesus.
    Have you read about the story of Balaam, how GOD told him to follow the messengers of King of Moabite, but when Balaam did follow them, GOD was angry and sent an angel with a sword to stop him?
    Wu Siu Yan
    (*) Law of GOD and His commandments

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