Why is obedience to God’s Word so important for Christians?
If God forgives, wouldn’t He just let the little things slip? Wouldn’t He just “pick His battles”, like our parents do?
Does God really require full obedience all of the time to all of His commands?
These are all crucial questions that we, as Christians, must answer, because within the answer lie important truths. Truths that are not only important to our lives, but to the future of the church as a whole.
In my article Are Christians Under the Law or Under Grace, we discovered that the God of the Old Testament isn’t different from the God of the New Testament.
They are the same God.
We also know that God never changes.
However, we also discovered that when Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial laws through His death, burial, and resurrection, those laws are no longer required in order to honor God.
We are now under the law of grace!
But, we must be very careful that we don’t abuse grace – using it as an excuse to get away with being disobedient to God’s Word.
4 Reasons Why Christians Should Obey God’s Word
God isn’t a lenient parent that looks the other way when we intentionally sin.
The requirement for heaven is perfection; and the equation for biblical perfection is broken, imperfect I + perfect, risen Jesus Christ = biblical perfection.
However, we must also be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our heart; giving Him room to clean up our hearts and fix those broken places.
We must be humble enough to allow Him to show us those areas in our lives that are not pleasing to Him, so we can walk in ever greater obedience to Him and His Word.
In 1 Kings 11, we begin to see King Solomon much changed after several years of ruling over the nation of Israel.
He had married several wives, many of whom were pagan and served other gods. It was in this that he began to walk away from God, because the Law forbade Israelite men to marry foreign women.
And in the life of King Solomon we see the purpose for this command.
King Solomon not only allowed his pagan wives to continue worshiping their gods, but he began to worship their gods as well.
And not only did he begin to worship their false gods, but he erected public altars all around the land and led the whole nation in worshiping these false gods.
And it is here that we see why obedience to God’s Word is so crucial for the believer!
1. Obedience is worship
There is no higher form of worship than obedience.
When we think of worship, we often think of a band playing worship music in church; and while this can be worship, it isn’t necessarily always the case.
True worship first begins in our heart before it comes out of our mouth.
True worship in the heart begins with a desire to obey God’s Word. That desire leads to learning what God’s Word is, and then putting it into daily practice through our obedient actions.
And as we open our heart up to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to reveal to us those places in our heart hat displease Him, true worship humbly repents of those things and embraces God’s grace as the power to change and conform to God’s design for our lives.
When we’re living this life of obedience, consecration, and humility – daily allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify our hearts – we are living worshipful lives.
And worshipful lives overflow in songs of worship and glorification to God!
King Solomon ceased living a worshipful life when he first began to assume that he could disobey God’s commands and get away with it.
2. We were made to worship
Every human on planet earth is born with an innate desire to worship. No human is born without this desire; and we see this desire from the earliest moments when a baby shows adoration for his parents.
This desire grows into a love for superheroes and celebrities and children grow and develop through childhood and into adolescence.
We are created with a longing to worship something greater than ourselves.
It is God’s desire that as we reach cognizance, we begin to channel that desire into worshiping Him as the supreme object of our worship.
Because God didn’t just create us to worship, He created us to worship Him!
When we fail to worship God as the supreme object of our worship, a void is created and we must fill that void with something.
Leaving that desire in our heart unfulfilled is not optional; it demands to be filled and we can either fill it with worship of God or worship of something else.
When we choose to worship anything other than God, we go against the nature we were created with; and not only does it bring destruction around us (as we will see in the final point), it brings destruction to our entire being – spirit, soul, and body.
Because we were created – our entire tri-part being – to worship God and God alone!
3. Disobedience to God is idolatry
If obedience to God is worship of God, then there is no other choice but to conclude that disobedience to God is idolatry.
And this is a violation of the first of the 10 Commandments we are given in Exodus 20.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3
If worship is born out of a heart that desires to obey God’s Word then disobedience to God’s Word is a blatant disregard for God and what pleases Him.
And disregard for God is a choice to regard something else that is more precious to us than God.
Anything that is more precious to us than God, and what pleases God, is an idol to us and our choice to regard that thing above God is idolatry.
The moment King Solomon regarded his wives more precious to him than God’s command to a) not take wives from among other nations and b) not to have other gods before Him, he began to engage in idolatry.
Even before he build the high places and worshiped at their altars!
In his heart, idolatry began the moment he chose to disobey the commands of God!
4. Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings destruction
All throughout the Bible – from cover to cover – we see God promise blessing when we obey His commands.
In fact, every promise of Scripture is preceded by a command for obedience. Even our salvation – while given freely – is expected to be “worked out with fear and trembling”.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
Obedience brings blessing, every time! It’s a promise of Scripture.
Just as much as disobedience brings destruction.
We see this in 1 Kings 11-15 (and on throughout Israel’s long history).
When King Solomon began to sanction idolatry in the nation of Israel, a massive breakdown began to happen in that nation.
God ripped the kingdom away from him and left the house of David with just one tribe.
The subsequent kings took the idolatry of Solomon to even greater levels of idol worship, evil, and debauchery and the nation of Israel sunk into utter destruction and eventually captivity.
Disobedience to God’s Word invites destruction in our lives.
Even worse, when we choose to disobey, we relinquish the right to say how much destruction we invite and for how long!
It’s been said that sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and may you pay more than you can afford to pay.
Obedience is crucial for the very foundation of our Christian walk: from our choice to live like Christ to enjoying all of the blessings He has for us in our lives.
While love and acceptance by God is freely given, obedience is required for spiritual growth, maturity, and the blessings that Scripture promises.
Here is where you can find our online Bible study group: Good Morning Girls in the Word