Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments … He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me … If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” – John 14:15-24
Jesus’s last word at the Last Supper points to His last will to His followers, “If you love me, keep my commandments” – (Jn 14:15). True love for God cannot be separated from complete obedience. Jesus Christ died to bring complete obedience and wholesome righteousness to us; hence, He demands that our obedience, too, must be complete. Obedience is the hallmark of our salvation. Our obedience sets us apart as an authentic church or children of God. Obedience is our way of showing God that we love Him, and through our Obedience, God recognises us and enables us to enjoy His Love. God reveals Himself to us and activates His power to work in our lives and Church just as our primary motive for obedience must be ‘to show that we love Him.’ Those who do not obey Christ’s teachings do not truly love Him, and without love for Jesus, a person or Church cannot truly possess saving faith, that is, faith that actively entrusts one’s life to Jesus Christ and leads to a personal love relationship with Jesus. Holy Spirit does not remain in a person or Church who disobeys God.
God does not want half obedience and half rebellion. He wants it all. He wants all our being submitted to Him. Obedience is simply compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority. Obedience to God is loyalty to God. When we are obedient to God, we will comply with Him in all He asks us to do and not tell God what to do. As an obedient instrument in God’s hand, Noah found grace in God’s sight (Gen 6:22). Naaman’s story reminds us that only complete obedience to divine instruction is rewarded (2 Kg 5:12).
The Man was created to live in unison with God, that is, obedience to God being complete. Salvation is the first step to follow Jesus. Salvation kick-starts the love journey towards complete obedience to God. The caliber of the Church that Jesus is returning for is that steadfastness has its full effect and His complete standard (Eph 4:13, James 1:4).
We are in such a time in the advancement of the end time Church where we need to stop arguing with God and kicking against scriptures when total obedience is demanded. Beloved, he or she that sinneth is of the devil, there are no two ways about it (1Jn 3:8). When you promote and live in sin, you automatically disown God while trying to promote and make Satan your father. Indeed, in every generation where the Church is seen as powerless, the major problem is that Christians are often living in rebellion against God. However, on the other hand, obedience to God makes powerful Christians witness uncommon miracles, signs, and wonders (Jn 14: 15-16).
Suppose we are truly devoted to Jesus Christ. In that case, we will act and live by what he says in His Word (1Jn 5:3). Jesus reveals Himself and His presence to those who love and obey him through the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:21). It is the Holy Spirit that makes us aware of the nearness of Jesus and the reality of His love, His blessing, and His help. Obeying Christ’s commands is not optional for those who want to experience eternal life with God. Obedience to Christ, though never perfect in this life, must still be wholehearted and genuine.
Disobedience to God’s Word declines the Church and its leadership. Among the challenges with the twisted gospel, today is not that we are misled; it emphasizes love and reward without necessarily emphasising obedience (Deut 28:1-14). Obedience takes sacrifice. When obedience becomes demanding and challenging, temptation comes. We must be ready to say to God, “Not my will but your will,” and act accordingly. This statement reminds and calls us to the act of surrender. Let us prayerfully sing this hymn by John H. Sammis as we yield to complete Obedience to God’s Word:
1 When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
2 Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]
3 But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]
4 Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]