To be obedient to God, we must become disobedient to our previous way of living.
We have to rebel against the life of self satisfaction.
We have to reject the tendencies to serve worldly desires and systems.
We have to sin against our former gods. (wealth, reputation, status, legacy, etc)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die”. Death to our old way of things. Death through baptism. Death to our lives centering the universe. Death to an old law. Death to prison. Death to loss and pain.
We can’t take on the new without properly burying the old. If we truly nailed our sins to the cross and watched them breath their last, we can burst up from the depths of the waters a new creation by and from God. An obedient servant. Dripping with the holy waters of salvation met with loving freedom and creation.
Then we can follow the Man. The one who said “you are forgiven”. The Man that walked on water and raised the dead… yet came to give up His own life. The definition of power and majesty who decided to yield to frail men with evil agendas. The leader who brought a plan with me in mind and then said, “it is finished”.
Obedience. Following a God who stooped to the level of humanity, so that we could enter the kingdom of a Fatherly deity. He became like us so we could be made like Him. And now, we choose to obey, not because we have to, not because the rules say so, not because we promised or feel guilty… but because it’s the most exciting thing we can imagine. I get to follow God. I get to walk in the footsteps of the greatest sacrifice ever made. I can see the path to follow and treading between its borders is the most wonderful form of worship and praise I can give.
To obey is not to say, “I guess so”. To submit one’s will is to jump up shouting… “there is no other way! This is how life is meant to be!” Psalm 119:97 says, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” A huge portion of that chapter addresses how wonderful the law is. Not as a book of decrees or a hierarchy to submit to, but as a loving and protecting testament to the relationship between God and man.
Obedience is an honor and privilege. It is true freedom. We take off a heavy burden and put on a loving and light one. A burden that is tremendously unbearable when people try and resist it. A burden that is graciously easy, when willfully followed.
Obedient to the one who created us to be eternally happy. We are crafted to sit at the thrown with God. How can we fight the natural way of things? The enemy is near. It is he who deserves our disobedience. It is he we are to die to. Whomever we do not die to, we will live eternally with.