Living in Obedience – The Costs And Benefits,
only meaningfully talk about obedience in the context of a higher authority who
issues commands that must be obeyed. At the spiritual level the only being who
fits the bill is God the Almighty because He is higher than the highest, Eccl.
5:8, and greater than the greatest. And all lawful and legitimate authority
derive from Him, Matt. 28:18, Deut. 32:39. His word is law, in heaven and on
earth, Isaiah 55:11, Ezek. 12:25. His power is limitless, Isaiah 45:7 and yet
He is gracious and merciful, beyond human understanding, Ex. 34:6.
demands obedience particularly from those who know Him, those in whom He has
invested His abundant love and kindness. Lucifer was one of the three Archangels
who saw Him face to face, a privilege he never asked for. The materials with
which He made him was rare and special so that he could serve with distinction,
as the conductor of the heavenly choir, Ezek. 28:13-14.
God the unrivalled
creator with matchless intelligence achieved His objective. Lucifer was a
wonder as the head of the heavenly sanctuary. He was admired by the Maker
Himself and the angelic host.
unfortunately, success went into his head. He began to see God as his rival. He
eventually launched a coup bid that was bound to fail. He could no longer
submit to the will of His creator. That was more than disobedience. It was
rebellion and God drove him out of heaven, Isaiah 14:12-14. Ezek. 28:15-19. He
was no longer Lucifer but satan, the evil one. Jesus confirmed his shameful
descent to the earth, Luke 10:18.
earth satan took the opportunity of his presence to cause chaos until the Spirit
of God came in to restore order, Gen. 1:1-31. The earth again became
productive. Darkness gave way to light. But satan saw the creation of man as an
opportunity to interfere with the divine plan for the human race. Adam and Eve
were living in quiet obedience until satan located them in the Garden of Eden,
their palace and protective shield. He tricked them into eating the forbidden
fruit, which God had told them to avoid, as it would lead to their spiritual
death, Gen. 2:15-17. However, they gave in to satan’s inducement and, to the
delight of the evil one, they lost everything, including their special abode,
Gen. 3:16-19, 23:24.
certainly has its consequences. Obedience too has its costs. But the latter is to
be preferred. Why? Because whatever trials you may experience, as a child of
God, the objective is to make you stronger, to quip you for service for which
there is reward, Mark 10:29-30. Abraham was childless when God called him and
promised to bless him and make him a nation and a source of blessing to all families
of the earth, Gen. 12:1-3. He later gave him a son, Isaac, and then asked him
to sacrifice this covenant-son to Him. That was a rather tough one but Abraham
obeyed, knowing that the God he was relating to was a loving one, not
heartless. God blessed him beyond his imagination or expectation, Gen.
God’s commandments are not always easy or convenient for man to obey. Jesus
told His disciples that no one can be a part of His Father’s kingdom unless he
does His will, Matt. 7:21. The Prophets of the Old Testament had to suffer
persecution and many were even killed, Matt. 23:37.
Himself was a perfect example of obedience, obedience to the Father in all
circumstances, John 5:30. Yet He had to confront satan at the beginning of His
Ministry, Matt. 4:1-13. Even the men of power, namely the High Priests, the
Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes, saw Him as an upstart, someone they
should harass, Matt. 21:23-27, Mark 12:13-34 and ultimately destry, if they
to His disciples, then and now, is that they must “strive to enter in at the
strait gate for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be
able”, Luke 13:24.
not all believers would be willing or able to submit themselves totally to the
will of the Father, John 6:60. He warned His disciples that since the Jewish
leaders subjected Him to persecution they should expect the same treatment from
them, John 15:20. The ultimate goal was eternity for which they should
struggle. That was the reward for which He too endured crucifixion knowing, as
He did, that obedience to the Father’s will, is the key to the heavenly