Word of the Week: Obedience


-Word of the Week-


Early this morning, a dear friend of mine sent me a special text.  Here’s what it said:

“And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” 1 John 3:22

Simple, right?  After all, it was just a text message of one Bible verse.  But in the moments after reading those words, I was certain the Lord had a purpose for prompting Dan to send me the text: to get me to examine the word obedience.

So what does it mean to obey?  What is obedience?  Below I have definitions from both the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the Holman Bible Dictionary.  Here’s what they have to say…

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

  • “[Obedience is] an act or instance of obeying”
  • “[To obey is] to follow the commands or guidance of; to conform to or comply with”
Holman Bible Dictionary:
  • “[Obedience is] to hear God’s Word and act accordingly”
  • “[Obedience is] to hear or to listen in a state of submission”
  • “[Obedience is] essential for worship”
  • “[Obedience is] motivated by our love for God
  • “[Obedience] springs from gratitude for grace received”
  • “[Obedience] means imitating God in holiness, humility, and love”
  • “[Obedience] comes from a heart that trusts God”
Even all of those bullet points cannot express the full significance of that single word “obedience.”  As I sit here though, reading God’s word and reflecting on how the Lord has worked in my life, I have another meaning for this word:
[Obedience is]
living connected to the Father through submission to His Spirit.
Although this is a single statement, it’s very loaded!  Let me break it down to explain it more fully.
  1. Since sin distances us from God, we cannot live connected to God while living in disobedience (1 John 1:6).
  2. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-8).
  3. We cannot please God in our flesh, but if the Spirit lives within us, we can put the deeds of the flesh to death and live by the Spirit (Romans 8:8-13)
  4. Living by the Spirit is evidenced by our actions as we “walk by” or live in submission to the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)
  5. We experience the fulness of His love–by becoming children of God through living in submission to the Spirit (Romans 8:14)–that enjoying and keeping his commandments is the only response that can attempt to reflect our love and thankfulness for Him (1 John 5:3).
The truth is, I know that there is nothing good in me that deserves even a second glance from God.  And yet, God cannot even give me a second glance because His gaze never left me in the first place.  His love is even warmer than the greatest embrace, all-consuming that it leaves every fiber of my being enflamed.  Like wood thrown on a fire, my knowledge of Him and His goodness increases, and the size and the warmth of the flame grows even more.  A living sacrifice, I lay myself before Him and sing, “I lay me down. I’m not my own. I belong to you alone. Lay me down… Lay me down… Hand on my heart, this much is true.  There’s no life apart from you.  Lay me down.  Lay me down…” (“Lay Me Down” Passion).
If this is what living connected to the Lover of Souls is like, how could we ever want anything else?  Why would we ever want to live  in disobedience apart from our Heavenly Father?
Praying your day is filled with SONshine,
Sarah 🙂

2 thoughts on “Word of the Week: Obedience

  1. Pingback: Obey the truth and you will learn to love… « Actions, not just words…

  2. Pingback: True Stories of Being Obedient and Being Disobedient « talkativeangel

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