The Man God Uses – Obedient
This Sunday I’ll be teaching a message aimed at Fathers, and as a run-up to that message I’ll be sharing some of the aspects of being a man of God – The Man God Uses.
(Ladies, don’t feel left out… these principles are relevant to you as well!)
Obedience isn’t a word we hear often. The word feels negative… “OBEY!” I believe it’s not a popular word because it comes against our human nature, which is rebellion!
Fact: No one likes being told what to do, or not to do.
But it is a powerful word. It gives the sense of willingly submitting to an authority. It’s not the same as compliance. Compliance is obeying in action, but not in heart.
To obey means that you’re submitting in your actions as a result of your heart being aligned with the authority. That’s why Jesus tied obedience to love:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
I think of what the prophet Samuel said to King Saul, after Saul disobeyed the Lord:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Saul intended to go through the motions of worshipping God, he was going to sacrifice the animals that he had taken from the Amalakites “as an offering to the Lord.”
But God isn’t pleased with religious ritual. God seeks hearts that will follow Him, hearts that will willingly submit to His ways, His purpose, His word.
The rebellious heart declares “I’ll worship God the way I want to…”
The obedient heart declares “I will obey the Lord. Not my will, but yours.”
When our heart is aligned with God’s heart, our obedience will be a natural act.
In other words, the key to obedience that pleases God isn’t forced action, but rather a submitted heart. Don’t try to “obey better,” simply submit your heart to God, and the obedience will follow.
We can change the world, one life at a time…