Obedience? Sounds like a K9 club. I’m not some dog that needs to attend obedience classes. Give me a break. I’m tired of hearing about obedience! It sounds so heavy handed and oppressive! That’s old-school talk. Why should I obey or submit? I’m a free thinker and I do what suits me.        – A professing Christian

The keyword above is ‘professing’. There are many so-called Christians who are merely professors – not possessors. They profess something but they possess nothing. But a true Christian possesses Christ. They can say without hesitation: “Christ is mine. I love Him so. My greatest privilege in life is to please Him.”

There was someone in the Old Testament who struggled with obedience. He saw no good reason why he should obey the Lord. However, there was a solid reason for him to feel that way. Why do you struggle with Christian obedience? What reason do you have?

When Moses and Aaron visited Pharaoh’s Oval Office to deliver a message on behalf of the Lord, the mighty Pharaoh was not impressed. They stood in his presence and said:

Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my children go.’

To which Pharaoh responded:

Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go. Exodus 5:1-2

Pharaoh’s reason for not obeying the Lord and for digging in his heels was he didn’t know the Lord. Pharaoh didn’t have a problem with authority. In fact, he quite enjoyed it because he thought he was the ultimate authority. And given his perception of his own role as the lord of Egypt, he knew that people should always obey their lord. His problem was he did not know the LORD.  He knew no other lord than himself.

When Thomas saw the Risen Christ wearing the wounds of Calvary, he immediately exclaimed: “My Lord and My God.” John 20:28. Powerful words that provided the perfect capstone quote for the Gospel of John in his focus on the Deity of Christ – the Son of God. Thomas needed no other proof to acknowledge Him as the Supreme Lord to whom he would gladly surrender the rest of his life in cheerful obedience at whatever cost.

To know Christ as Lord is to surrender your own will to His and to obey Him. Jesus asked some followers: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46. I have no business calling Jesus Lord if I always insist on doing my own will rather than His.

But another observation is required in this discussion. Authentic Christians still have their wicked flesh inside to deal with and Galatians 5 describes that battle. However, an authentic Christian also knows what it is to reach the point of surrender and the joy that ensues from honouring and obeying the Lord.

If obeying the Word of God and submitting to the teachings of Scripture is a life-long prickly problem for me – then just maybe, I do not know the Lord in reality.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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