Merriam-Webster defines obey in this way – “to follow the commands or guidance of; to conform to or comply with.”
The Learners Dictionary definition is: “to do what someone tells you to do or what a rule, law, etc., says you must do.”
For most of us being obedient isn’t much of a problem in the ordinary course of our lives. We stop at red lights, don’t take what isn’t ours, refrain from harming others, just to name a few. However, when it comes to those intangibles – the choices I make in my personal life – it gets a bit stickier. After all, we’re apt to think, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else, I should be free to do whatever I choose to do. And so we are. It’s called free will.
Making the choice to walk in obedience to a higher authority can be a frightening proposition. What if we’re asked to do something we don’t want to do; what if it’s something dangerous or frightening? Even when that higher authority is a God we say is good and loving, obedience often comes with a certain degree of fear.
Until we catch just a tiny glimpse of life from a heavenly perspective.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham had an extraordinary relationship with God. He walked in obedient faith, and the Lord blessed him. Isaac, Abraham’s beloved son, was tangible evidence of God’s hand of blessing on Abraham’s life – the fulfillment of promises made long ago.
Than came the day when obedience to the God he loved, led Abraham on a three day journey to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his only son. He had no way of knowing what God would do, he simply trusted as he took one step after another toward the place he had been told to go.
Our Pastor recently spoke about this moment in Abraham’s life – that moment when he raised the knife over the bound body of his boy and, before he could bring it down, hearing the voice from heaven telling him to stop. Then, perhaps through tear dimmed eyes, seeing the ram in the thicket – God’s provision.
Rams, our Pastor said, don’t inhabit Mt. Moriah at that altitude. Yet, as Abraham walked obediently up the side of that mountain, God was sending his provision up the other side to meet him. He had no way of knowing what God was doing on his behalf, He only knew he could trust Him to make all things right.
So it is with us. Often obedience looks frightening and even foolish from our limited point of view. But if we will faithfully follow, taking one sometimes shaky step at a time, we will find He is faithful. This God, who loves us more than our minds can fully comprehend, longs for a trusting relationship with us. I think he asks us, just as He did in so many ways in so many places throughout scripture, “Do you love Me? Do you love Me enough to trust I am who I say I am?”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make all your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.” Psalm 143: 8
My granddaughter, Stephanie Savage, is the artist who painted the beautiful picture.
- Don’t Ever Lose Hope
- TRUST IN THE LORD