According to the Bible, the Creator of the universe is a father!
The prophet Malachi tells us that God, is indeed a father.
As we see in the following passage, Yahuwah [the Hebrew name for the LORD] expresses His fatherly nature and His yearning toward His children:
A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I [Yahuwah] be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts …. (Malachi 1:6a).
As this verse teaches us, Yahuwah [the LORD], as a father, yearns for the honour and respect due a father. So how would we show honour and respect to the heavenly Father? By obedience to Him!
Yahuwah Desires Our Obedience
Many times Yahuwah exhorts us to be obedient to Him.
For centuries, Yahuwah has been speaking to His children regarding obedience. Could He have changed His mind about obedience? Hmmmm?
Again, the prophet Malachi can answer that question for us:
For I am Yahuwah [the LORD], I change not (Malachi 3:6a)
Yahuwah does not change. His character does not change, His Word does not change, and His Truth does not change! And what He has said to His children for centuries, has not been ‘done away with!’
Just as the ‘Law of Gravity’ does not change, just as the rising and setting of the sun does not change, so also God’s full, entire, written Word continues! His Word is eternal and it does not change and it cannot be broken (Psalms 119:89; John 10:35)!
Yahuwah’s written Word is valid and applicable today, in this 21st century.
Therefore when it comes to obedience, God’s desire for obedient children remains constant.
Be As Little Children
Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ] directed us to be as little children:
And Yahushua [Jesus] called a little child unto Him, and set Him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2,3)
As this passage teaches, being as a ‘little child’ is very essential for entering the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17)!
But . . . if we consider the word ‘obedience’ to be a word only for little children, then we, as Believers, are to BE as little children! We qualify for applying the word ‘obedience’ to ourselves.
With God in heaven, and you and me on the earth, then being as ‘little children’ is exactly how our heavenly Father sees us! In the Scriptures, we are often addressed as ‘Little Children.’
The patriarch Abraham illustrates this: Abraham was as ‘a little child’ because he was obedient to Yahuwah! (Hebrews 11:8)
The apostle Peter exhorts us to be ‘as obedient children’ who call on Yahuwah as our Father! (1Peter 1:13-17)
Obedience is a central part of the purifying process for growing and maturing in Messiah (1Peter 1:22).
It is clear that our heavenly Father desires obedient children!
But what does He desire us to obey? Let’s consider what His Son, Yahushua said.
If You Love Me . . .
Yahushua said, “If you love me, keep [obey] MY Commandments” (John 14:15).
Perhaps some of us may think that keeping Yahushua’s commandments are limited to only ‘New’ Testament commandments. Yet, at the time when Yahushua said the above statement, from the Gospel of John, There Was No New Testament In Existence!!
Therefore His exhortation to KEEP His commandments refers to what is commonly known as the ‘Old’ Testament.
Since Messiah is The Word Made Flesh, then the ‘Old’ Testament Scriptures is where we find His instructions and guidelines for us to obey.
The ‘Old’ Testament is where we find:
- the instructions for observing the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week,
- the instructions that eating unclean things is forbidden,
- the instructions that there are certain Feast days God wants us to observe,
- and many other instructions that are part of the ‘House-Rules’ for the children of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God].
IF we deeply love Messiah from the depths of our heart, then we will be among those who will gladly choose to obey Yahushua, the Son of Yahuwah Elohim, who is ONE with His Father!
We will exhibit our loyalty to the Bridegroom/Messiah by simple heart submission, by obedience to Messiah’s Words, including those from Genesis to Malachi.
As the Scriptures tell us, Yahushua Messiah IS “the WORD made flesh” (John 1:14). Therefore His Words include the Words He gave to Moses and to all the prophets, because He spoke His Words from the beginning (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10; Luke 11:20; John 1:1,14; Revelation 19:13).
Entirely all of God’s written Word is true throughout all generations. Father tells us His Word is eternal. His Words cannot ever become invalid! (Psalms 105:8; Psalms 119:89,160; Isaiah 40:8; 1Peter 1:23,25)
All the written Scriptures are eternal Words for Believers to apply to their life, in every age throughout history, including our 21st century! We can be confident that the Scriptures, such as the following, are relevant and up-to-date, and are part of our heavenly Father’s ‘House-Rules’ for His family:
1. You shall walk after Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God], and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)
2. And Moses and the priests the Levites spoke unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day you are become the people of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD thy God]. You shall therefore obey the voice of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD thy God], and do His commandments and His statutes, which I command you this day. (Deuteronomy 27:9, 10; see also Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
As the above Scriptures show us, Yahuwah’s Word urges His people to obey Him! This is Father’s desire — obedience from His people, His servants, His children. This has been His desire from the beginning!
It is well pleasing to Him to have obedient children:
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)
A fundamental feature of our walk with God, is that we become as a ‘little child’ and walk in obedience to God’s Eternal Words.
We cannot become as ‘little children’ without learning obedience!
The Essence of Obedience
The essence of obedience is really a heart issue!
Let us ask ourselves some questions:
Has Father revealed His abundant love for us, especially through the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Son, Yahushua Messiah?
Has Yahuwah tenderly received us and forgiven us multiple times?
Is our heart full of thankfulness for His sacrificial love for us? Have we given our life to Him, and therefore, we are serious about serving Yahuwah Elohim?
Does our heart genuinely desire to love and honour Father, and show our respect for Him? Is this the main business of our life? Do we truly believe His love for us, and that His written Word is the authoritative source for guidance and direction?
If so, then we must understand that when we obey God’s written Word, we demonstrate our loyalty to Him, we demonstrate our belief in His truth, and we demonstrate our love for Him. This is how we demonstrate our faith in Him!
And regardless of how we feel, whether we are ‘in the mood’ or not, we will obey Yah’s written Word, and we will do what is right and good in His sight!
Our obedience is the evidence that we trust Father, that we believe His Words are trust-worthy!
Our obedience reveals our firm, heart-commitment to live our life based on the principle of obeying God’s written Word, walking according to His Ways, according to His ever-lasting truth — truth that was revealed from the beginning.
And though it will happen, that we will not always understand some parts of God’s Word, we certainly however, want to obey the parts we do understand, by simply DO-ing what Father says!
If we do what He says, we will find that the ‘doing’ of what He says results in more understanding and love for Yahuwah, and thus more obedience to His Word (John 7:17).
Let us remember — Abraham obeyed Yahuwah!
Abraham obeyed Father because He believed Father’s love for him! He believed Father’s WORD! And Abraham obeyed, even at times when he did not fully understand:
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8)
Therefore with Abraham as our example, we must remember to not rely on ‘feelings’ or ‘moods’, and remember to not rely on our own understanding when it comes to obeying Yahuwah’s written WORD (Proverbs 3:5,6).
Obedience — A Regular, Daily Behaviour
Obedience to the written Word of Yahuwah ought to be a regular, familiar thought pattern, and a daily behaviour, for all the children of Yahuwah.
Obedient children earnestly desire to serve their father; they love their father and are devoted to their father.
Obedient children pay attention to the words of their father.
In order to obey our heavenly Father, we must learn the Words He has said.
We must persistently study God’s written Word [the entire Bible], so that we can know how to obey Him (see Proverbs 4:20-22).
We learn His Word because our hearts are devoted to honouring and obeying Him. (Psalms 119:11)
We especially need to learn and study for ourselves The Ten Commandments. It is the keeping of the 4th Commandment that is essential to opening up more of our understanding of Father’s Word!
Learning His written Word for ourselves is key to learning how to be obedient to His Word. As we saw in 4 Keys to Discerning the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will always guide us according to Yah’s written Word.
It is our obedience to Father’s written Words that is the measure of our love for Him:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. (1John 5:2)
For this IS the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. (1John 5:3)
These verses teach us that obedience reveals our love for Him.
As obedient children, we should want to carefully learn for ourselves God’s written Words [found in all the Bible]. This is to be our way of life! We learn His written Words so that we can obey Him — quickly and gladly!
We deny ourselves in small ways and in great ways, so that we can follow Father’s ‘House-Rules’. We do this because we love Him!! We obey Him because we want to walk according to His written Words, and we want to avoid twisted, pagan explanations of Scripture; we want to avoid subtle counsels or preaching that rejects Yahushua as Messiah and Saviour (2John 1:7)!
He Is The Potter
Let us remember: we are the clay and He is the Potter.
We are to yield to Yahuwah, willing to walk according to His desires.
Our hearts should be devoted to serving our loving Master, and promoting His interests (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:6; Malachi 1:6a; Matthew 23:10).
It is not difficult to serve and obey our heavenly Father. His commandments are not too hard, as the apostle John reminds us! Father has delivered us from the bondage of sin, and He has given us abundant, enabling grace, in all the things that concern our ability to obey Him! (See 1John 5:3-5; 2Peter 1:3).
If we truly love Yahuwah, if we truly believe His written Word, then we will gladly obey Him — we will have no hesitancy about obeying Father! Living our life according to the principle of obedience to His written Word will be our way of life, the goal of our life!
We simply need to begin to learn God’s Word, and choose to do what we learn, regardless of the obstacles or how we may feel at the moment. Stepping out in faith to obey Him is to take one-step-at-a-time.
As we begin to do any ‘baby steps’ of obedience, Father will abundantly supply us with more understanding, and more ability to obey. Thus we become more confident of Father’s great love and care for us.
So let us ask Father for His grace and mercy to help us learn His Words for ourselves!
Loyal and Obedient
May it be that the word ‘obedience’ would be a familiar word to us, and a familiar behaviour, and that obedience would not be a foreign word!
Let us ask Father to help us — help us to be as ‘a little child’ and have that genuine heart-commitment to be loyal and obedient to His written Words, even when it seems difficult!
This is how we show our love for Him, our loyalty, and our honour and respect for Him!
And that, Dear Reader, is the essence of obedience!
- What Is The Purpose of The Torah?
- The Sabbath Day is a Sign – learning the importance of the 4th Commandment
- Thy Torah Is My Delight – a look at the passion of Psalms 119
- Taste and See the Goodness of Our Heavenly Father
- Let Me Not Wander From Your Commandments– remembering the holding power and mercy of Yahuwah
- Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience – a look at four clues for acquiring this highly desirable Fruit of the Spirit
- That It May Be Well With You – Part Two – continuing our brief study of another special key to our well-being
- Was Jesus On Mt. Sinai? Does it Matter?
- Faith: According to the Scriptures
- Enduring As Seeing Him Who Is Invisible
- Acquiring A Teachable Heart