Summary: True obedience to God means that we obey Immediately, obey Completely, obey Joyfully and obey Continually.
THE TEST OF OBEDIENCE
Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainers require absolute obedience from the horses, and test them to see if they are completely trained. The final test is almost beyond the endurance of any living thing. The trainers force the horses to go without water for many days. Then he turns them loose and of course they start running toward the water, but just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle. The horses who have been completely trained and who have learned perfect obedience, stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand there quivering, wanting water, but they wait in perfect obedience. When the trainer is sure that he has their obedience he gives them a signal to go back to drink. We must consent to God’s training and obey Him.
Most of us do not like the word OBEY. We associate obedience as being something unpleasant – having to do something that we really do not want to do. However, obedience is a vital part of the Christian life and the secret to real lasting joy.
Psalm 119:1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
1. Obey God IMMEDIATELY
When God tells you to do something – do it NOW! You don’t delay. You don’t wait. You don’t procrastinate. You don’t put it off. You don’t make excuses. You don’t drag your feet. You just do it immediately.
Sometimes we fail to act quickly in situations because we want more information first. You don’t have to totally understand something to benefit from it. I don’t understand how heavy planes fly in the air but I fly all the time. I don’t understand how computers work but I sure like e-mail. I don’t totally understand the internal combustion engine but I have been driving a car for years. You don’t have to understand something to enjoy it, to benefit from it. And you don’t have to understand God's commands in order to obey them and benefit from them.
Every parent knows that sometimes when you tell a kid to do something they will say, “Why”. You usually end up saying something like, “Because I said so.” Behind those five words you are actually saying, “Because you are not old enough to understand it now but one day you will so in the meantime I want you to trust me. I know better than you. I’m doing this for your own good so you do it.” This is what you mean by saying, “Because I say so.”
Sometimes God tells you to do something and you say, “Why?” and He says, “Because I say so”. God knows more than you. He does not owe you an explanation. One day you’re going to understand. For now, just do it.
A couple went on an African safari. They learned a lesson about following the instructions of the guide. One day the guide took them out to find an elephant herd. But he made them promise in advance to obey his rules before they even went out. He gave them some very specific rules.
He said, “First, if I say ‘Run!’ you run! Don’t pause. Don’t stop. Don’t take a picture. Don’t think you can hide or drop to your knees. You run! That’s law number one.
Number two, when you run, when I say run, you follow me, the guide, exactly. Put your feet in my footprints. Follow me step by step. Don’t try to forge your own trial. Because in a panic, you will either get lost in the jungle or you will step on something you wish you hadn’t stepped on. You run when I say run and you follow my steps exactly.” Sure enough they came upon an elephant herd and it stampeded. The guide said, “Run!” and some of the people froze in their tracks from fear, panic. The guide said again, “Run!” The husband said at that moment that, in spite of his fear he had to move forward. If he had not obeyed he would have been trampled. If he had not followed exactly in the footsteps of the guide he might have gotten lost. He had to obey immediately before he even understood the situation.
In the Bible there are times when God says run and he means NOW. Lot’s wife was warned not to hesitate and she was destroyed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.