In our last Relationship Tuesdays, we talked about how Jesus wants us to demonstrate our love for Him through Obeying God and came to the conclusion that you’re basically lying if you say, “I love Jesus” or “I love God”, but you’re not doing what He said to do.
Why does obedience mean so much to God? I think if we look at the metaphors of how God sees our relationship, we can start to get a good idea of why obedience is so important.
Let’s start with the metaphor of Father:
One of the big ten commandments in the Bible is “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 Paul says that part of “honor” means obedience: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
I wrote about this topic sometime back as it relates to our physical parents, namely that there are no qualifiers in this statement; scripture does not say honor and obey your parents unless fill in the reason . It just says: honor and obey in the Lord, which means the only reason to withhold obedience is if it means sinning against God. You can read more in the post titled: How to Honor Your Parents.
The point of the matter though is that God is our heavenly Father, and our earthly parents are just a reflection of Him.
Within that paradigm, consider that our parents have our best interest in mind when they are giving commands. They may be misguided or selfish at times, but who of us isn’t. Ultimately, they really do want what’s best for us. Likewise, God wants what’s best for us. The difference is He’s never misguided. He always knows what’s actually best.
Jesus puts it like this: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Scripture repeatedly tells that God’s commands are best for us:
This is what the LORD says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! Deuteronomy 5:29
Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18
The list can go on and on.
Conversely, much like when we refuse to honor our earthly father and mother, when we refuse to honor and obey our heavenly Father, things will not go well for us.
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today. And the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today. Deuteronomy 11:26-28
And what’s the whole reason for this blessing and cursing from God when it comes to obedience?
When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:1-3
The blessings and the cursings are all about restoring relationship with God, which is the whole point of this series: Relationship with God. He rewards our obedience and disciplines our disobedience all in an effort to bring us closer to Him and by proxy what is good for us.
What an amazing Father we have! And when we obey Him, then we are in essence saying, "I love you, Daddy! Thank you for watching out for me and helping me. I couldn't make it without you." So why wouldn't we obey Him?
Next week we’ll look at Obeying Our Bridegroom.