People often misunderstood the purpose of obedience. The rebellious nature in everyone’s heart urges us not to conform to authority most of the time. We believe that we know the best most of the time. We believe that we know the best about what we need. So we fight for it and reject what others think.
But obedience in Christ is a different thing.
When I was a green Christian, I sometimes did think God wanted us to obey Him out of His jealousy or selfishness (gosh…..i know). But not anymore when I truly experienced His great love and sacrifice for us.
Laws written in the Bible are factual truth of how things spin around in this world. Like all sorts of physical formulas the physicists found, are undeniable. Preachers often give you the gravity as the example to illustrate this idea. If you go against the law, you ripe what you sow. Simple and true.
Obedience is a protective measure at the first place since the days in Eden. However Eve failed to obey the single rule set by her Creator. The request for obedience from God is largely out of His love for us. Because He knows the consequences of going against the rules, as He is the one who set them at the first place.
As a non-believer, people don’t know what the rules are about, so they live their lives according to their wishes or conform to their own culture and traditions. But as a believer, we know the rules from the Bible (yes there are complacent Christians never know the rules though…). But barely knowing the rules doesn’t exempt us from going against the rules. We still go against them from time to time. This is why James in the new testament emphasized on the importance of good deeds. He stood firmly that mere faith is not useful, although we are saved by faith only. Justification is one thing, but sanctification is also what God wants to do for us. This is why He left the Bible for Christians. Otherwise there is no such need to have a thick Bible as it is. We can just all read the Gospels and be a saved Christian.
I came to my understanding that obeying God is actually the wisest thing you can ever do in this world. Because I broke rules, and I suffered the consequences; so I know. I am thankful to have all those experience so I can tell others how I suffered due to my disobedience. The suffer might not be material. The suffer is usually more of physical, psychological and most importantly spiritual.
Physically my favourite example of all times is the Sabbath rule. You are gonna get messed up if you don’t follow the rule to take rest and refresh in God to gain your perspective back. Your body will literally scream at you by being sick and uncomfortable.
Psychologically, if you don’t practise the rule of gratification, you are likely to suffer from depression and bitterness in life. Because we have a tendency to want more all the time. If we don’t sit back and be thankful of what we have, we are just gonna set ourselves on the fire of greed or jealousy.
Spiritually, truly I know non-believers will not agree with the following, but only they themselves know the truth. If you don’t align your purpose with God’s purpose for you, you are likely to get an unfulfilled life. He designed each of us in precision and fine detail. He granted us a purpose-oriented life. That is the reason why we feel an urge to live for something bigger. Non-believers deny it, so they can live for swallow happiness derived from ecstasy of materialistic and lustful life. A fulfilled life is more than that and believers know.
The yoke of Him is light. It is because by following Him, He takes the burden of fighting against our own sinful/empty desires off our shoulders. We just need to put our faith in Him and follow Him. Done. (Deuteronomy 7:12, Psalm 5:12, Psalm 119:2, Proverbs 8:32, Luke 11:28, John 15:10 and Revelation 22:14).
Another thing that God grants to those who obey Him is the ultimate peace at our hearts. The peace that no one else can give. Because by obeying Him, we are at peace with our Creator – who creates our conscience, moral sense and the longing for divinity. “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I
give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Only those who obeyed Him can taste this sweet fruit in life.
As a rebellion, I disobeyed Him for countless of times, even in major decisions making. Of course I suffered the consequences of that. Those consequences to me, to be honest, are no comparison to the restlessness caused by the loss of His peace in my heart.
I am so thankful that I can be on the right track again and again.
And I am thankful that I can taste that sweet peace in my heart again.
God has already told us, we are not gonna be obedient all the time. But He also assures us He will always be there when we turn back to Him. As believers, the Holy Spirit is powerful alarm to urge and guide us back to Him. I am really thankful that I have this wonderful gift of life, second to the salvation gift He gave us through Christ.
Obedience is a disguised form of true freedom. Once you are able to do it, you will experience the freedom that you never experienced before.