My Sunday School class is going through 1 Samuel this quarter. As we have been looking at the Scriptures detailing Saul’s kingship, the concept of obedience cannot be ignored. I made the following comment to my class a couple Sunday’s ago. I said “Obedience is a decision we make before we are faced with a situation in which we have to obey.” There were a few raised eyebrows. Basically we have to decide to be obedient in whatever God allows, or causes, us to experience before we are actually obedient. I am referring to a general principle here, not to specific situations that we will face. No-one knows what tomorrow will bring so we can’t be prepared for specific situations.
Obedience starts with a proper understanding of who God is and who we are. God is the sovereign creator of the universe. We are His creation. He is omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, and everlasting (just to name a few of His attributes). With this proper understanding of who and what God is, how can we do anything but obey His commands. A natural consequence of this proper understanding is that we want to and will obey God when faced with difficult situations.
The interesting thing is that we will make this decision (to obey) before we face the difficult situations. We have all seen people experiencing very difficult situations and wondered how they could get through it with such grace and humility. It is because they know who is in control and they have chosen to accept His will in their lives no matter what it is. There is comfort in knowing that God is in control. There is liberty in obedience.
Obedience is a choice and it is a world view. The Bible speaks of its importance often. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) Could it be any more plain than that? If we love Jesus then we will obey Him. If we love Him, we will have an eternal perspective. Once we have this eternal perspective, we can face the difficult situations with confidence (I will admit that it is easier said than done…but that is a different post). Therefore, we do actually decide whether we will be obedient or not before we have to actually be obedient.
So, do you agree or disagree?