By Matt Juarez
Read John 14:15-27
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “obedience”? Do you cringe just by hearing that fancy word, remember a time you were grounded for 2 weeks because of it, or remember how disappointed Mufasa was that Simba “deliberately disobeyed” him in ‘The Lion King’? Obedience simply put, is doing what you’re told to do. While it sounds like an easy thing to do, you, just like many other people, may be struggling with obedience. Whether it be doing what you’re instructed to at work, school, or at home, obedience is a very common issue our hearts are constantly working to master. Two things that interfere with us being obedient to God is the amount of love we have for Him, and temptation surrounding us.
“Rules without relationship equals rebellion.”
The awesome news of Jesus Christ is that: we now get to have an intimate relationship with God. In the book of John we find a direct correlation between love and obedience. Jesus, speaking to His disciples, tells them what we are to do if we love Him—keep His commands. He goes on to say that whoever loves Him, He will come to them. So we find that abiding in what the Lord has commanded us to do, being faithful in keeping His commands, ultimately draws Him near to us. The more we seek Him, the more we grow to love Him; the more we love Him, the more we desire to obey what He has called us to.
“Delayed obedience becomes, disobedience. Partial obedience is, complete disobedience.”
In Matthew 26:36-46 Jesus tells the disciples to stay and watch while He goes to pray. When He comes back He finds them asleep. He wakes them up and tells them “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” A few verses later they awake to Jesus telling them “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Had the disciples obeyed and stayed awake as commanded, Jesus might have not been arrested that night. How many times have we heard God calling us to do something, but in our own weakness, disobey? I can think of a lot of times where, had I done what God was calling me to do, the outcome could have been way more different. A giant takes the place of the betrayer in our lives. God commands us to/to do certain things in life, because He loves us. He leads us so that we will not fall into temptation, leading to captivity by the betrayer—our giant. When we choose to obey, though it may be tough, we choose to flee that temptation and grow in love towards God. A big misconception with understanding exactly what wants us to do is that “God will never give you more than you can handle” unknowingly leading us to disobedience. However, what scripture actually says is:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
You may have a giant so big that you think, there’s no way God has any part in this. But nothing gets past God. Whatever giant you are facing in life right now, I encourage you to listen to God. Every giant we face will be for our benefit and His glory. Stay in what He has commanded you to. God will never let anything tempt you, past what He has already strengthened you in. When we choose to follow what God has commanded, we find peace and deliverance from our giants. With obedience comes love, and He IS love.