Submission and Obedience

Casual Obedience

Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." He coupled obedience with love for God. We are to obey God because we love Him. We are to cherish His corrections and guide posts along the way to heaven because He gives them to us from His heart of love.

Today's society has destroyed obedience. Children no longer honor and obey their parents. Adults flaunt speed laws, cheat on their taxes and even their spouses! Employers lose untold dollars annually because employees steal supplies as well as time on the job. On and on it goes!

Worst of all, God loses members of His body because they do not take His Word and its words seriously. They selectively obey what God has said to them, but He requires total obedience.

"Follow the science" is the world's current watchword. Science has become THE god for most people, Christians included. Disobeyers of God's Spirit rationalize (the 'science' of psychology!) their disobedience when it better fits a situation or their preferences. It's easy for them to cut corners just like Grandma used to cut off the corners of her Sunday dinner ham because the meat would better fit the roasting pan when trimmed.

The Revelation letter to the church of Ephesus zeroes in on her departure from her first love for Christ. She was occupied with other things and Jesus had to take a secondary place in her affections. She still went through the motions of worship, but her heart was not in it any more.

She no longer delighted in the romantic advances of her heavenly Bridegroom. She no longer had eyes for Him alone. She was no longer devoted to Him and Him only. Therefore, it was easy not to obey His words and justify herself in the process.

Obedience is not a singular action. It is the outworking of a heart love for and an adoration of the One who has spoken to her. The Old Testament is replete with God's promises based on obedience to His precepts, laws, commandments and statutes.

Today's church is powerless and stymied in the face of evil. Many Christians quote Bible promises as though they have the bull by the horns, yet they fail to see the hoped-for fulfillment of those promises. Why is that?

One huge reason is because the Church is walking in disobedience. God's promises always have a contingency: "You should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you. You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers" (Deuteronomy 6:17-18). Jesus does not hear requests from His bride when she is hanging around with other lovers.

Probably one of the most scathing criticisms of Judah was voiced by Jeremiah when he accused Judah of chasing down other lovers. They did not come to her like lovers seek out a prostitute; no, she ran out to find other lovers and paid them to cozy up to her advances.

In today's world that means the Church as individual members goes after more money, larger houses, more expensive cars, finer clothes, higher academic degrees and better employment conditions, to name a few. Professing believers hunt these things down to make them their own. They become their gods. Think of it: A house never hunted an owner. A car never sought out a certain driver.

The Church prostitutes herself by trying to gain more by going after more, rather than by obeying God and loving Him most. He promises in Matthew 6:33: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." When we put Him first, really first, in our affections, He will supply all other things that we need.

A more relevant verse for the Last Days Church and her departure from her First Love is found in II Chronicles 7:14, where God promises to heal our land AFTER His believers humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways (idolatry).

Then what will it be? Love of the world nurtured by disobedience, or total love for God evidenced by careful obedience to all He says? The crux of the matter is obedience! But that demands repentance for loving other things more than God, and repentance demands spending time before God in prayer. Who is willing to make that commitment? Are you?

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
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