We all want to obey God. I don’t think there are many people, especially in my acquaintance, who are specifically trying to disobey God. Their thought pattern isn’t, “I just have to press in to know what the Lord is saying so that I can do the direct opposite.” No, I find very few people who are intent on disobedience. There may be some, but they are few and far between.
But anytime I ask the question, who has difficulty obeying the Lord, most of the hands go up. And most people think in terms of, “I need to work on my obedience piece”. A number of times I have taught I Samuel 15:22, where Saul disobeyed the word of the Lord and the prophet says to him, it is better to obey than to sacrifice. So, we know that obedience is very important. We have been taught that since we were children.
When we have trouble obeying the Lord, I don’t think it is as much an obedience issue as it is a relationship issue. The Old Testament was a list of rules and regulations that you needed to obey. It was God’s way of showing the nations how He wanted people to live, in a way that had justice at its core. But the New Covenant is different. It is not a list of do’s and don’ts as the Old Testament was, but a new covenant.
Paul refers to the new covenant the Lord made with us in Heb 8:10, “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people”. NLT
Under the Old Covenant it was pure obedience. In the New Covenant, it is His word written in our minds and on our hearts. Another way of saying it is, under the old, people were trying to obey from the outside, under the new, it is coming from a transformed inside. While He is being formed in me, I am being conformed to His likeness. It usually isn’t that difficult for me to obey what is on my mind and my heart. And it is easy to obey the one whom I have a deep and loving personal relationship with.
So instead of trying to focus on the discipline of obedience, (and there is some merit to that) why not focus on your relationship with Jesus. Get more of Jesus in your mind and on your heart and then instead of trying to walk in obedience, just follow your heart. It will be a whole lot easier. When you find that lack of obedience is an issue, realize that it is really highlighting a relationship issue. Take care of the relationship issue and the obedience issue will no longer be an issue.
Declaring Our Victory Emmanuel