Written By: Lyndsay Terry
Right away, all the way, happy way.
If you’ve been around me and my children for awhile, you’ve undoubtedly heard me say this. And while I know it can be controversial (“It’s not right to expect them to be happy about obedience all the time!”) we make it a part of our DNA in our family. And no, I don’t expect my children will always be happy to obey what I’m asking/telling them to do. It’s not about their attitude toward the action, it’s about their attitude toward me.
“You don’t have to be happy about it, but you don’t have to be disrespectful either.”
“You don’t have to like it, but you know that I only ask you to do things that are for your good and betterment.”
“I don’t expect you to skip with delight over this, but I do want you to choose joy in the midst of disappointment.”
Obedience is an important value to our family. And obedience, while not always full of happiness, always brings joy in the end. It may be awhile before we see it, feel it, know it, but it’s there waiting for us to experience.
“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” John 14:15
“Whoever knows me and obeys my commandments is the person who loves me. Those who love me will have my Father’s love, and I, too, will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:21
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will go to them and make our home with them. A person who doesn’t love me doesn’t do what I say. I don’t make up what you hear me say. What I say comes from the Father who sent me.” John 14:23-24
Obedience has such high value in the Kingdom of God. Obedience proves our love for the Lord. It is the primary way we show our affection and our gratitude to Jesus for all He has done. If we love Him, we WILL obey Him.
It doesn’t say perfectly, but I think it implies that our hearts are continually becoming bent toward obedience. We aren’t naturally that way. We are rebellious and self-focused people. It is the grace of God that has made us think of anyone other than our own desires. It is the grace of God that prompts us to obey. It is the grace of God that wins us over to JOYFUL obedience. We learn - through obedience - that He is trustworthy, that He is looking out for our best interest, that He knows what’s truly good for our hearts and souls and bodies. Through obedience we come to know His heart and what may start as skeptical obedience grows into joyful obedience.
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (emphasis added)
It was FOR JOY that Jesus obeyed the Father unto death. He knew that obedience ALWAYS brings blessing and joy. We may have to go to hell and back before we experience the joy, but it is always waiting for us on the other side. And it’s greater than the trip to hell. It’s greater than whatever suffering we may endure. Suffering as small as not having candy for breakfast or as great as losing relationship with a loved one. If it’s done out of a heart to obey the Lord, there will be joy waiting for us.
And sis, I can’t promise when our joy will be made complete in all things. Some moments will be on this side of Heaven, but others will be when we see Jesus face to face. Either way, either grace we’ve been given, it is enough for us to obey having full trust and confidence that the Father is worthy of our obedience. We can have peace knowing that joy awaits us.
What area of your life are you struggling to obey the Lord? Think about it…
Do you have your answer yet?
Take as long as you need to remind yourself of past moments of obedience that brought blessing. Remind yourself of His goodness, His faithfulness, His wisdom, His heart for you, His sacrifice on the cross for you. If he spared not His son for you, why would He withhold what He knows is good for you? Obedience is the pathway to blessing. Obedience is the pathway to joy.
Right away, all the way, happy way - it’s the only way sis. He is worthy of our obedience.
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