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 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, 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 and neither does His Truth — His Word. What He said to His children centuries ago 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). And, His Word is valid and applicable today, in this 21st century. Therefore 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)!

If we consider the word ‘obedience’ to be a word only for children, then we, as Believers — who 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! And as Believers, we are often addressed as ‘Little Children.’

The patriarch Abraham illustrates for us a key example. 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 of growing and maturing in Messiah (1Peter 1:22).

It is clear that our Heavenly Father desires obedient children. 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 think that 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.

When we deeply love Messiah from the depths of our heart, then we will be among those who will gladly choose to obey Yahushua — because we love Him! We will exhibit our loyalty to the Bridegroom-Messiah by simple heart submission, and 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 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 in every age throughout history, including in our day. We can know that Scriptures such as the following are relevant and up-to-date:

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 continues to earnestly 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 simply no getting around it. A fundamental quality of our walk with God, is that we become as a ‘little child’ and we walk in obedience to God’s Eternal Words. We cannot become as ‘little children’ without learning obedience!

The Essence of Obedience

The essence of the matter of obedience is a heart issue.

Let us ask ourselves:

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? Does our heart genuinely desire to love and honour Father, and show our respect for Him? Have we given our life to Him, and therefore, is serving Yahuwah Elohim the main business of our life?

If so, then we must understand that when we obey God’s Word, we demonstrate our loyalty to Him, and our love for Him. Obedience is the evidence that we trust Father and the faithfulness of His Words. Obedience reveals our solid, heart-commitment to live our life according to His Ways, according to His Words — which are forever true, from the beginning.

And though it will happen, that we will not understand parts of God’s Word, we certainly ought to obey the parts we do understand, and simply DO what Father says. If we do, 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 recognize that Abraham obeyed Yahuwah, 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 lean not unto our own understanding when it comes to obeying Yahuwah’s Word (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Obedience — A Regular, Daily Behaviour

Obedience to the Word of Yahuwah ought to be a regular and 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. Why? Because in order to obey Father, we must first learn the Words He has said.

We must study His Word [the entire Bible], so that we can know how to obey Him (see Proverbs 4:20-22). We learn His Word because we our hearts are devoted to honouring and obeying Him.

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. And, 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 may obey Him — quickly and gladly! We deny ourselves in small ways and in great ways, so that we can follow His ‘house-rules’. We do this because we love Him! And, because we want to serve Him and obey His Words, and not someone else’s twisted or false understanding of Scripture.

Let us also remember that we are the clay and He is the potter. We are to yield to Him, and be willing to walk according to His desires for us. Our hearts are to be devoted to serving Yahuwah, who is our loving Master, and to promote 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 (1John 5:3-5; 2Peter 1:3).

If we truly love Yahuwah, then we will gladly obey Him, and we will have no hesitancy about obeying Father! Living our life according His Word will be our goal in life.

We simply need to begin to learn God’s Word, and begin to choose to do what we learn. 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, then 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, so that we may be obedient to Him!

Loyal and Obedient

May it be that the word ‘obedience’ would be a regular, familiar word to us, and a familiar behaviour, in our lives, and that obedience would not be a foreign word!

Let us ask Father to help us — help us be as ‘a little child’ and to have that genuine heart-commitment to be loyal and obedient to His Words, even when it seems difficult.

This is how we show Him our love, our loyalty, our honour, and our respect for Him! And that, Dear Reader, is the essence of obedience!

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