Do you think of yourself as obedient? Do you readily obey your parents, the codes of conduct in your society or even your own heart’s desires? All of those may be in conflict with God’s desires for your life and the necessary obedience needed to follow Him. Because we are sinners and live in a sinful world, obedience does not come naturally. It is against our sin nature to do what others desire of us or even what we desire ourselves for our future since we are rebellious at heart. So how do we become obedient to God and His Word? Peter gives us direction in 1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” God calls us to be holy and to follow Him in obedience. Peter goes on in verses 18-19 to explain to root of our ability to obey, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” Because of Christ’s death on the cross we become His children through faith in Him and His redeeming work. We are given the godly motivation, godly direction and ability to be obedient from our heart through our faith in Jesus.
I love the way Paul explains this transformation in Romans 6:17-18 “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Faith in Jesus sets me free from the bondage of sin that holds my heart and actions and frees me to serve with an obedient heart the Jesus I love.
What about you? Does your love and faith in Jesus cause you to desire to be obedient to Him and His Word? Do you find following Jesus hard? Even Paul stated in Romans that he struggled to do what God wants him to do because of his own sin nature. Romans 7:19-20 “19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” He summarizes his condition of faith in verse 24-25. “ Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” His final conclusion to this dilemma is profound in Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Jesus is the answer and He frees us from our bondage to sin.
May your heart be filled with the love of Jesus today so that you may live with a heart that is wholeheartedly obedient to Him.