“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
- 2 Chronicles 16:9
When someone hears the word “obedience,” their reaction may be positive or negative depending on their experiences. Some people have been hurt by people in authority. While others have been in healthy mentoring relationships. I can't ask you to step outside of your experiences because they have shaped your perspective. I would like to ask you to be open to a shift in that perspective.
In the Gospels, we have record of the Parable of the Talents. Someone in authority gives money to a few people who are under that authority. Different amounts are given and most of the people invest it and have a high return on that investment which pleases the one in authority. The result is the faithful are entrusted with more. However, one individual did not invest but merely guarded what he had been given. The one in authority is furious with that decision. The unfaithful individual lost the money that he had been given along with any future opportunity. This may seem unfair a consequence for someone just trying to play it safe. So we have to dig deeper. Don't compare the people under authority because the question isn't "how much have I been given?" Take them as individuals and understand the better question is "what can I do with what I have been given?"
We all have something to invest. Don't compare yourself with those around you. Celebrate what God has given others, while discovering and using what you have been given. The benefits of obedience help us on an individual level. It also benefits us as a team. In sports, the coach makes decisions which will benefit the entire team but may not please individual athletes. That is because the coach sees what individuals may miss: the big picture. Beyond the moment. The possible outcomes of each play. An athlete obeys the call of the coach with the understanding if they do, it will make for a cohesive team, as well as other favorable results.
In life, God is our ultimate authority and sees the big picture. We may not like what He calls us to but our emotions are not critical. Being obedient is a decision which we make regardless of our emotions. Consider the ultimate demonstration of obedience in Jesus Christ. While He loved His creation and His heavenly Father, He prayed in Matthew 26:39, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus Christ sweated blood contemplating what he would endure even before the unspeakable physical pain. Thankfully, He remained obedient to His Heavenly Father who knew the big picture. Paying for our sins and conquering death, those who accept Him as their Savior continue to benefit from his obedience. We receive salvation as well as an inheritance that begins here on this earth. On this earth we receive the Holy Spirit, fruit of the spirit, spiritual warfare capabilities, spiritual gifts, etc. And that's not to mention your talent and skill. Plenty with which to invest. Whether you will be obedient is your decision.
- Is there an area of your life which you haven't given over to God?
- Is there someone who you need to apologize to for your lack obedience?
1 Peter 1:14; Hebrews 13:17