Posted on November 15, 2011 by


“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

Obedience is often under-rated. I read so much more than I apply. I hear more speakers than I fully digest. I am so much more connected via the internet than I am integrated through my actions. I am fantastic at information consumption; I struggle to achieve “information unto transformation.” Obedience is usually the step I want to skip.

Yes, obedience is often underrated by followers of Christ. We know we are not justified, saved, forgiven, or made righteous by our obedience. At the same time, we often dismiss the call to and blessings of obedience. Obedience is allowing the love of Christ to work in and through us unto action. It catapults us to a deeper experience of God’s love…and this deeper experience makes us want to obey more. I think Jesus points to this obedience-love-cycle in John 14:21: Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 

Even as spiritual leaders, we often miss the power of obedience. I admit I can often look for more information, another perspective or a new method instead of simply doing what I know to be the next correct step.  I am not dismissing the importance of faithful listening through reading, counsel, and learning; we need to keep doing these things, for a posture of humility and discernment precedes faithful obedience. I am calling us to trust and love God through simple yet profound obedience.

Is there a spiritual habit or discipline you know the Lord has called you to? Do it. Have you been assigned a project or deadline by a God-given authority? Complete it. (It does not have to be “my idea” to be God’s idea!)  Has the Lord impressed upon you a needed change in your leadership through this blog or another great resource? Make the change. Do you know how we are called to love and serve people? Do that with the next person that crosses your path.

And we shall enjoy the freedom and blessings of obedience. We will be shown Jesus in a new way (John 14:21). We will be less prone to forget who we are in Christ. (James 1:23-25)  We will achieve God-defined success. (Joshua 1:8-9)  We will no longer be conformed, but rather transformed. (Romans 12:1-2)

People today certainly do not lack for information access. Our world needs living examples. God himself chose this method through the incarnation.  Jesus was the ultimate example of obedience- obedience unto death…even death on a cross. May we live as who we truly are: the beloved of Jesus. May our actions obediently flow from this identity.   May our obedience be an exemplifying gift to those around us.

So, our assignment from this particular blog entry is not further reading. It is obedience.