The Essence of Obedience

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: father-and-son

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 Word continues! His Word is eternal and it does not change and it cannot be broken (Psalms 119:89; John 10:35)!

Yahuwah’s 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 [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! As Believers, we are often addressed as ‘Little Children.’

The patriarch Abraham illustrates this for he 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 the New Testament commandments. Yet, at the time when Yahushua said the above statement, from the book 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. It is in the ‘Old’ Testament Scriptures where we find the majority of Father’s instructions and guidelines for His children to obey.

The ‘Old’ Testament is where we find that observing the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, we find that eating unclean things is forbidden, we find that Father has certain Feast days He wants us to observe, and many other things we find that are part of Yah’s ‘house-rules’ for His children.

IF we deeply love Messiah from the depths of our heart, then we will be among those who will gladly choose to obey Yahushua, Yahuwah’s Son — because we love Him!

And 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. 

Because Yahushua Messiah IS the WORD made flesh” (John 1:14), then His Words include the Words He gave to Moses, and also the Words He gave 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).

Eternal Words

Entirely all of God’s 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! Therefore 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 the 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)

There is no getting around it.

A fundamental quality 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 in many ways?

Has He 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 that He loves us, and that His Word is our only source for guidance and direction?

If so, then we must understand that when we obey God’s Word, we demonstrate our loyalty to Him, we demonstrate our belief in His truth, and we demonstrate our love for Him.

And regardless of how we feel, whether we are ‘in the mood’ or not, we will obey Yah’s Word, and we will do what is right and good in His sight!

Our obedience is the evidence that we trust Father, and we believe Him and the faithfulness of His Words!

Our obedience reveals our solid, heart-commitment to live our life based on the principle of obeying God’s 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 understand some parts of God’s Word, we certainly however, ought to obey the parts we do understand, and simply DO what Father says!

If we will do what He says, we will find that the ‘doing’ of what He says will result 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 not to rely on ‘feelings’ or ‘moods’, and lean NOT unto our own understanding when it comes to obeying Yahuwah’s WORD (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Obedience — A Regular, Daily Behaviour

Obedience to the 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 Father, we must learn the Words He has said.

We must persistently study God’s 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 Word for ourselves is key to learning how to be obedient to His Word. It is our obedience to Father’s 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 Words [found in all the Bible]. This is to be our way of life! We learn His 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 His Words, and not someone else’s twisted or pagan understandings of Scripture!

Let us also remember: we are the clay and He is the Potter.

We are to yield to Him, 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 in any way, 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 Word is true, 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 Word will be 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 also a familiar behaviour, and that obedience would not be a foreign word!

Let us ask Father to help us — help us be as ‘a little child’ and have that genuine heart-commitment to be loyal and obedient to His 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!

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