Obedience is Best

“I take joy in doing Your will, my God.” Psalm 40:8 NLT.

Partial obedience is subtle disobedience in disguise.

My thoughts and comments today are that “obedience is best.”

Obedience does not come naturally; by fallen nature we are disobedient. Among a child’s first words is an adamant, “No!” When what you are asked to do agrees with what you want to do, that might appear as obedience but it’s not. I suggest that obedience is joyfully doing what you are asked, even when doing otherwise would be your preference.

David wrote, ”I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your Law is written on my heart.” Psalm 40:8 NLT. As you read those words, notice an obvious cause and effect. See Isaiah 1:19 NKJV. There is a direct relationship between the priority of the Word of God in your heart and your ease with obeying God promptly and fully. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143:10 NLT. Walking in obedience places you on solid ground.

I have discovered that the more you respect the person who asks you to do something and the more that you regard the wisdom of their words, the more readily you choose to obey. That should be your attitude about obeying God. God’s will and His Word will always be in perfect agreement. The more you know the Word of God the easier you will recognize the voice of God, and the better you will embrace the will of God. There are times obedience must begin simply as a matter of your will, not because you feel like it or understand it. Obedience seems to grow more natural the more you practice obeying. Heartfelt obedience can then become your joy.

Too late, King Saul learned a hard lesson. He was given specific instructions from God to, “completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation,” and even the herds and flocks that belonged to them. But Saul decided to spare their King, and kept the best of the sheep and cattle to “sacrifice to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 15:21. Saul mostly obeyed, having reasons he deemed acceptable for the exceptions he made. He almost obeyed, thinking that would equally please the Lord. The idea sounded good to Saul, not so good to God.

You obey or disobey; there is no third alternative. “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice . . stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols . .” 1 Samuel 15: 22-23. To God, stubbornness expresses resistance to God and insistence on a way of your choosing, but God equates that with idolatry, “putting someone or something in a place reserved for God alone.” In this example, you would be elevating your opinion above loyalty to God.

Partial obedience is subtle disobedience in disguise. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” Romans 12:2 NLT.

Today, my prayer for you is that you know and savor the true delight of doing God’s will.