We are told in Hebrews 5:8, that Messiah Yahushua [Christ Jesus] ‘learned’ obedience, by the things which He suffered.
Question: How did the Messiah, who was perfect, ‘learn’ obedience by the things which He suffered?
Answer: His Father kept throwing at Him new and different occasions for obedience — new “obedience challenges,” so to speak.
It was as if, with each step of obedience, the Father said, “Okay Son, You passed the last test, now let’s try THIS challenge!”
Messiah’s suffering came within the arena of the COST of submitting His will. It was painful to continually say, “Not my will!” It was a daily endurance test — like enduring the intense heat of a hot summer day, persevering and sweating to the end.
The suffering He endured was tied to the requirement of more and more self-denial. But Yahushua never strayed into the “valley of decision” — wondering about whether or not to submit His will.
Messiah made a choice from the start: to empty Himself — to strip Himself of His divinity (ivory palaces, all authority, perfect fellowship, and such) — for a time.
Then Yahushua had to further strip Himself of any self-will while here (See Philippians 2:5-8). He was not allowed to make Himself more comfortable, or to carve out a peaceful little nook and cranny once in a while, while He was here on earth. Nope, at every turn, He willingly said, “Not my will.”
Yahushua’s deepest heart desire was to please His Father. He chose to do the Father’s will, being moved and directed by the Holy Spirit. His example of submission to His Father’s will is our example for us.
With the Spirit of Messiah living within us, He enables us, if we cooperate, to submit to Him, and to ‘walk as He walked’ (1John 2:6).
The Process of Maturity
Submitting our will to the will of another is never really pleasant! We all do suffer a bit, each and every time we do it. But, when we die-to-self, that process, unlike anything else in all of life, eventually and thoroughly matures us, and fits us for heaven, and for Him.
So, what do we learn about obedience from Scripture?
In a ‘nutshell,’ we learn that true obedience is marked by two things:
1) INSTANT, and
Delayed obedience is disobedience!
And grumpy obedience is clearly disobedience, as well.
Let’s test our hypothesis.
If Noah had delayed his obedience even a week, he would have been lost in the flood. If he had been grumpy in some way, perhaps protesting that gopher wood was too hard to obtain, and that he’d rather build with aspen wood, he would have, again, sunk!
If Messiah had delayed his obedience to go to the Garden of Gethsemane by a few hours, He would have missed the soldiers who were searching for Him. Then He would have missed the trial that condemned Him to death, thus there would have been no crucifixion, no resurrection, no redemption.
Obedience To God – Making A Difference
Obedience reveals a heart that loves Yahuwah. Obedience reveals a heart that is devoted to, and committed to, walking as HE walked. If we desire to love Father and do those things that please Him, and to really make a difference in the lives of the people around us, then we will earnestly seek to learn obedience to His Word.
Let us understand this: God always chooses the man or woman who has already demonstrated obedience in prior, lesser challenges, before doing greater spiritual feats.
God never chooses the person who is in the habit of disobedience.
To obey Father in the little things, the least of things, is to groom ourselves to be used of God in this world, and to exert a great and lasting influence — in other words, to actually make a difference!
There are very real glories that shall be ours, both in this lifetime and the next, when we begin to, not only obey, but view obedience as a godly challenge!
“Go ahead toss me another one; let’s see if I can do it!”
Let us begin to learn the quiet joy of running out to meet these tests with a willing heart, rather than seeking to avoid them with a stubborn heart.
Give obedience some fore-thought. Pre-set our thoughts and desires to walk in godly obedience, to being a servant, and to follow Messiah’s example (Luke 22:27b). Let us begin doing what we OUGHT to do, instead of what we would RATHER do.
Obedience to God is the ultimate challenge in the universe!
A man’s responsiveness to God’s will is the measure of the man.
Staying In God’s Pathway
Proverbs 13:15 nails it: “The way of the transgressor is hard!” One sin leads to another, and to an ever-increasing fallout. Stubbornness can set in like concrete; we never know at what hour we may cross that line forever. We CAN be broken beyond fixing as Proverbs 29:1 warns: “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”
Conversely, the way of the obedient is blessed — both in this lifetime and in the one to come: “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His ways!” (Psalms 128:1)
It may be difficult at times to walk in obedience to Father, but the saying is true: “Any thing worthwhile takes a struggle to get there!”
We can trust Yahuwah to help us if we will humbly call on Him: “In the day when I cried, You answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.” (Psalms 138:3)
God is faithful! He rewards the smallest act of faithfulness. He never passes by one single thing that we do in sincere faith and obedience. –Derek Prince
Let us learn from King David’s prayers. Let us pray daily for the strength to maintain our commitment to Him, praying too for God’s abundant grace to enable us to willingly, and cheerfully, walk in obedience whenever we encounter even the smallest of challenges:
- Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps slip not. (Psalms 17:5)
- Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. (Psalms 25:4)
- Teach me Your way, O LORD, lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies. (Psalms 27:11)
- Make me to go in the path of Your commandments; for therein do I delight. (Psalms 119:35)
Speaking God’s Word frequently to ourselves is very helpful! Perhaps mount these prayers on our wall.
Remember also — the consequences of obedience and disobedience:
The above article was excerpted with permission, from Wresting with obedience issues with your children? by Renee Ellison at http://homeschoolhowtos.com/blog/ Many thanks to Renee for sharing her insights and wisdom with the homeschool community for many years!
- The Essence of Obedience
- Building The Walls of Our Character
- First the Natural, Then the Spiritual
- A Very Little – encouraging faithfulness in the little things
- Turning From Darkness to Light
- Breaking Generational Curses – 1 hour video by Derek Prince; includes teaching on the importance of obedience