Obedience = Love
Many people do many things in service to God, service to His people, and for their own spiritual growth. People pray. Some read The Bible daily (as we all should). Others help at church. Many people do many things as a reflection of their faith.
But when it comes to the simplest of displays of true faith, often times we are lacking. This could be because of a weak, yet hopefully growing, faith or it could be evidence of no true faith at all.
The simple act of obedience towards God is the truest display of our faith, and indeed, our love for our God and Savior.
In 1 Samuel 15:20, Samuel rebukes Saul for disobeying God’s rules regarding sacrifices and who should offer them. God says through Samuel, “…Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
There are many things that we can and should do to honor God but chief among these is obey Him. If we truly love Him and trust Him, we will do what He instructs us to do. This sometimes means obeying God when our circumstances do not seem to permit this without harsh repercussions. We must remember, however, that God sees the whole picture. He sees outcomes that we may not, and even though we may suffer as a consequence of our obedience; our obedience and our suffering glorify God. The faith that He has given us moves us to endure hardship for the sake of obeying and honoring Him. What better sacrifice can we give than our unwavering obedience despite the potential negative impact to our own well-being. It is more evidence that a believer’s focus is not on the trials of this life but the glory of the next, purchased for us by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sometimes the most difficult part of obedience is not the hardship we would face from others but rather it is the fight against our own nature. While not many would have trouble obeying God when it comes to some sins, we may struggle with certain sins that require diligence on our part and strength from the Holy Spirit. All the more reason to be in prayer and the study of scripture in order to shield ourselves from the internal battles that we are hard pressed to win on our own.
Though we may face opposition from the unsaved world around us and attacks from the sin nature that has not been fully quenched; our obedience to our Savior, through the strength of His Spirit, demonstrates the love for God that our salvation has wrought.
“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” –Jesus Christ, [John 14:15]