When you see or hear the word “obedience,” what picture comes to your mind? Do you think about the relationship between a child and a parent? An employee and a boss? Student and teacher? Do you see this obedience done with a spirit of willingness? Or is it done grudgingly?
I’m sure there are many instances when obedience is done happily. But in my experience, obedience is more often done with a spirit of hesitancy.
More specifically, I’m referring to us ourselves as followers of Christ, and our relationship with Him.
Why is obedience so hard sometimes?
I don’t have a definite answer, but here’s what I think. Sometimes, we believe we know better than the Lord. Perhaps we think we can create a better result by taking things into our own hands.
But the bottom line is that to me, here’s where a lack of obedience comes from – a lack of faith.
So as I was reflecting on the Scriptures, I tried to find descriptions of good things that can come from obedience.
Here’s what I found. I hope these are an encouragement to you!
Bible Verses Related to Obedience and its Rewards
In Psalm 19:11 NIV, David says this about the Lord’s commandments: “…in keeping them there is great reward.”
In John 15:4-5, the Lord says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
When I look up the word “remain,” I find that it means to be held and kept continually. To me, it sounds similar to obedience.
And later in John 15:10 NIV, Jesus says, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
When I look up the word “keep,” I find that it means to observe or to attend to carefully. Again, it sounds like obedience.
So we can’t bear fruit without obedience. What fruit are we referring to?
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
How would you like to bear more of that kind of fruit in your life? I know I would.
In Jeremiah 7:23 NIV, the Lord says, “…but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.” So if we obey, it’ll be well with us.
In Exodus 19:5 NIV, the Lord says, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” To be His own possession also means to be His special treasure.
Again, I hope these verses encourage you think of obedience not as a chore, but something to be done for our own good.
Lord, thank you for rescuing us from our sin. Help us to live lives of obedience to You, so that we may also enjoy Your rewards.
Do you struggle with obedience? Leave a comment with your thoughts.