If I tell my children to clean their bedroom, that is a reasonable request. My daughter is 15 years old and my son is 9. My children are healthy and completely competent to make their beds, change the trash, pick up their dirty clothes, and straighten up their rooms. They both can sweep their floors. These are not difficult tasks for them, but if you watch their reactions when they are told to do this, you would think that I asked something nearly impossible.
After telling my children to clean their rooms, I give them some time and then I check in on their progress. If I find them sitting on their bed, playing video games or watching television, then I will be upset with them. They heard what I asked them to do. They understood what was expected of them. They chose not to do what they were told. They have become disobedient!
What does the Bible say about obedience? Does it talk about disobedience? Are there any rules or instruction from God on this subject? The answer my friends is yes, the Bible has plenty to say on obeying/disobeying. We will look at this together and see that it is a heart problem, not a head problem.
Let's start with the basics of children obeying their parents as in the example I am using in this post. Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Children are instructed in the Word of God to obey their parents because it is the right thing to do and because it pleases God. The obedient child makes God happy. As a mother, I can say that when my children obey me it pleases me very much! We parents, are to look to God our Heavenly Father for the example on how to parent our children. Right? He is full of unconditional love and unfailing compassion. He is full of love, grace, and mercy. If we parent our children like that, it sure makes it easier for our children to want to obey us and please us, doesn't it?
Children are not the only ones who must obey. God created man and in Genesis 2:15-17 we see that God gives instruction to be obeyed. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." We all know that man disobeyed and sin entered into the world, separating us from God. So disobeying has serious consequences.
Romans 5:19 clearly illustrates this point. For as by one's man disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous. We know the one man is Adam (and Eve) and that through their disobedience all of mankind is born into sin. We also know through the scriptures that by the obedience of another man, Jesus, we are all made righteous. Jesus came to set things right between God and man. Hebrews 9:28 says So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Because He overcame sin and death on the cross and through His resurrection, we are now able to have freedom from sin and death when He cleanses us from all unrighteousness as we walk in obedience.
Hebrews 5:5-10 So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, "Thou art My Son, today have I begotten Thee." As He saith also in another place, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec." Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son yet learned He obedience by the things He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec." Jesus learned obedience from His suffering. Isn't that incredible? God allows us to have suffering sometimes in order to teach us how to be obedient, how to crucify our flesh, how to feed our spirit and starve our flesh.
Before we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Bible says we are the children of disobedience. Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Before we come to accept Jesus as our Savior, we walked according to the way the world tells us. We look at magazines, television commercials, store advertisements, billboards, television programs, movies, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, our classmates, people we work with, family, friends, neighbors, sports figures, and on and on.... We look to the ways of the world to see if we have any worth, if we measure up, and then we conduct ourselves so that we can be just like the world. The Bible says the same spirit that caused us to do those things is the prince of the power of the air. Is there any wonder that satan controls the wavelengths and satellite signals? Of course those types of media can be used for good, but the control over most of those platforms is the devil! He is our enemy and he hates the things of God. He does not want us to walk in submission to God so he works in the hearts of the children of disobedience.
How can you tell if you are disobeying God? Maybe you think you do a pretty good job of obeying the ten commandments, and you go to church. Maybe you have a special group at church you attend or help with, you could be in ministry. Are you doing the things that are right; those things that please God? Let's look at the teachings of Paul to find out more.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. So Paul is saying that we are flesh and bones, but we don't need to go after the things our flesh desires. We are not fighting a war against people and against ourselves, but rather we are in a spiritual battle with weapons of the Spirit. Our weapons are powerful because they are from God and they can break those strong holds that the devil likes to just tie us up with. It may look like he is wrapping you with pretty bows and strings, but it is an illusion and you are really being tied up into bondage of sin. We are to throw down the things we imagine and believe that exalts itself against the Word of God. So many times we just choose to remain neutral or we won't speak up when we know the truth should be told, but friends do not be fooled, that is the work of satan. He wants you to stay silent. He wants to stifle your cry in the wilderness because then you can be in disobedience. We are disciples sent out into the world to share the gospel message to the hurting, the sin-sick, the dying, the halt, the blind, the maimed. We have an obligation to be obedient, even if we stick out or if we are singled out, and yes even if we are persecuted!
We have a choice in this life. Some people get really upset at the thought that our religious freedoms may be stripped away from us. I get that! I understand! But, I also know that even if they take away my freedom, they cannot take away my Jesus from my heart! I will still speak of Him and share my faith with those around me because this world needs Jesus. Plain and simple, Jesus and the power of the cross, is the message we need to get to every single person on this planet. We get to choose. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants are ye to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? He says don't you realize that you will choose to obey something: good or evil. You will obey sin and receive death and eternal separation from God or you will obey God and become His righteousness. Hebrews 2:1-4 warns us to be careful about the choices we make and the lasting effects that result from those choices. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the Word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will? We have proof. We know the Bible is true! We need to hold tight to what it says and do what it tells us to do so we can be obedient.
Maybe you would rather not obey God and you think you can do some big service for God instead. You know what God has called you to do, but you want to skirt around what he told you to do and you think that you can just obey in part and then somehow make it up to God with a special sacrifice of your time or service on down the road. I Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, "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 than to hearken than the fat of rams." It's better to obey the Lord and walk in what He told you to do rather than giving up something that means something to you later on in life. You see, it doesn't have the same value to God as it does to you. It's far better to obey because your sacrifice doesn't mean as much to Him as it does to you. Your willing heart to serve Him and do what is right means so much more to Him.
If my children go ahead and clean up their rooms after they have been told to, I am so happy! I am quick to reward their obedient behavior! They will get hugs and kisses. I will tell them thank you and brag on their efforts. I will bless my children. If they disobey they still have my love. I will still hug and kiss them. I will still tell them that I love them, but the relationship will be strained a bit because they know they did wrong, and I will not feel respected by them. Their obedience in doing the task I have set before them is far better than doing something "extra for me" later on.
Pray and ask the Lord to show you areas of your life that you may be in disobedience. He will do it! He wants to help you and correct you with His great love and unfailing mercy. He will give you the grace and strength to complete each task He has given you. Don't put it off! Ask Him today and let His Spirit lead you. God bless you!