How important is obedience?


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s point

Christian, how well do you obey God?

Some may ask, Why should I obey God? God has washed my sins away; we are under the age of grace. The sin problem is taken care of. Didn’t Paul say all things were lawful for me?

Yes, Paul said it twice (1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:23). However, just because it is lawful does not mean it is a good thing to do. Eating fast food every meal of your life is perfectly legal. Still, after decades of digesting all those calories every time you eat, it will likely lead to health problems. Paul also understood that principle because each time he said, “All things are lawful,” he also said, “but all things are not expedient.” In other words, even with salvation coming by grace, it is best for everyone if we obey what God says.

Both the Old and New Testaments tell us we should obey God, if for no other reason than that we are His people.

Deuteronomy 27:9-10, “And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and harken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.”

1 Peter 2:9-10, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

All those who are God’s people should obey His Word.

Many Christians are running around sacrificing their time, talents, and resources, but God prefers obedience over sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Stop telling God what you will do for Him, and start doing what His Word tells you to do.

Some may ask, “How can I obey God?”

Here are the seven ingredients that make obedience acceptable to God.

Faith – Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Willingness – Isaiah 1:19, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”

Extensiveness, reaching to all of God’s commands (we cannot pick and choose where we obey) – Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

Fervency – “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.”

Sincerity – King Amaziah did what God said, but he really did not want to. Sometimes, he had alterer motives, but regardless of the reason, Amaziah’s heart was not always in it. 2 Chronicles 25:2 states, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.”

Obedience must be according to the Word of God. The Bible tells us of King Uzziah, who went into the Temple to burn incense. The job of burning incense was the duty of the priest. Eighty-one priests ran into the Temple to stop the king, but Uzziah burnt in incense anyway. God immediately struck Uzziah with leprosy. King Uzziah paid a price for doing a good thing but not doing it God’s way (2 Chronicles 26:16-20). The ends do not justify the means.

Consistency – Psalms 106:3, “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he tht doeth righteousness at all times.”

Every day is a day closer to the rapture. Every day is a day closer to the Tribulation. Every day is a day closer to the second coming of Christ. We should portray Christ in our daily lives. Even if you think these prophetic events are centuries away, your death isn’t. We do not have much time to accomplish God’s word.

Many Christians are selfish toward God, treating God like Aladdin’s genie. But with God, we get more than three wishes. When we center our Christian life around what God can do for us, it is a self-centered and not a Christ-centered Christianity.

If you want joy in your life, apply this formula:

Jesus first.

Others second.

Yourself third.

Joy starts with obedience to Jesus. After all, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website:; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: All Scripture KJV.

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