It was a little girl who once said these words, “I want to be good, but I don’t want to obey.”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard adults express the same sentiment. Most people would say they want to be considered a good person, but how many are willing to adjust their behaviors and actions to be truly good, especially when it means surrendering their own will?
Obedience is about knowing what or whom is the governing force of your life and what are the governing principles of your life. It all comes down to a very simple question: Who’s the boss in your life?
Sometimes because of past experiences and pain, people get the idea that the only person they can trust is themselves. They become their own boss, with devastating consequences. Their desires and will lead them away from goodness in pursuit of selfish gain.
In other cases, they choose to follow another person in order to garner his or her approval. But once again, the outcome is not goodness but rather codependency and bondage. No good can ever come from slavery to a human master.
Then there are those who choose to submit themselves not to a person but to an ideal, substance or other objects of desire: The pornographer says the lust of the eyes is the boss. The drug addict says the good feeling, the high, is the boss. The alcoholic says the bottle is the boss. The abortionist says the mother is the boss. Terrorism says fear is the boss, communism say it’s the government and socialists say it’s reform. Materialists say it is money. Evolutionists say chance is the boss. Some popular rap, hip hop and heavy metal music says rebellion and violence are the boss. I could go on and on, and in every example, the result of obedience to these masters is not goodness but corruption and destruction.
Amid the din of all these voices vying for attention and prominence in our lives and promising satisfaction, there is one essential truth: God alone is the final authority. Whether or not we acknowledge Him as such, whether or not we choose to obey Him, God alone is the boss. And He cannot share the throne of our lives with another.
Everyone must choose whom to follow, whether their own will and whims or the plans and purposes of another. Like it or not, those choices are mutually exclusive.
Christ articulated this powerfully when He said, “No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24). For the follower of Christ—whose understanding of goodness is based on the example of Christ and the guidelines for living outlined in the Word of God—total allegiance and obedience to Him is a non-negotiable. Believers cannot hope to serve and please God unless they are willing to obey Him and surrender all other desires.
Obedience is key to having a transformed life, and it is essential to understanding the kingdom of God. When you choose to surrender yourself into the hands of the living God, His heart turns towards you, and His face reveals His glory. Surrender yourself today to God and allow Him to reveal the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit and the greatness of Jesus in your life.
You’re beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have a great week!