Obedient: willing to do what someone tells you to do or to follow a law, rule
Another word for obedience is submission - the state of being obedient; the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else.
From the beginning of time obedience - submission to an authority or control besides oneself - has been the problem. That's how Adam and Eve were enticed. The seed was planted that they were not in control of their own life. That's why Jacob found himself in the messes he was in from time to time. His descendants learned obedience the hard way - the slave way. They didn't willingly obey, they were forced to obey.
When Jacob heard the promises God made him it would have been the smarter thing to submit immediately to God's way. He might have avoided many of the conundrums he found himself and his children in had he not said, "If you are.".
It's so easy for us to say that, isn't it?
If only he had listened to God the first time....If I were Jacob I would have.
Oh, if it were only that easy to obey or submit in these sin tainted flesh clothes we walk around in every day.
If you like to look up words in a concordance, look up verses on patience. Be sure you look up the Old Testament verses to see how much patience God has for us disobedient sin tainted children who constantly buck his wisdom and think we know better. Submitting to God has many benefits, if only we would learn them the easy way instead of the hard way.
So here's the truth about the word obey. If you're like me you may have always thought negatively about obedience. You may have thought, "God's telling me something I can't do, so I'm going to do it." Or, "If I get to worried about obedience I'll forget about grace. I live under grace, I don't need to worry about obeying."
There's a general theme in the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated obey/obedience in the English. It's not what you think. It's not what you thought. It is far from a negative meaning and much more positive. We generally think if I don't obey I am punished, rather than think, if I obey I am blessed.
Obedience simply means: to keep, to watch, to preserve, to watch over, guard, to properly maintain, to keep intact.
Whenever you see a form of the word obey in the Bible remind yourself that it most likely doesn't mean the first thing you are thinking.
And here's an even more interesting point:
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...
Did you get that part about Jesus "learned obedience."
Learned - manthano - learning key facts; gaining "fact-knowledge as someone learns from experience, often with the implication of reflection - come to realize.
Obedience is learned. Submission is learned. It doesn't come naturally to us sin stained flesh wearers. (Jesus was not sin stained, but he certainly wore our flesh coats).
Grace keeps us in the learning game. There is no disobedience that is not covered by grace. The only disobedience that is not covered is the refusal to keep learning and resting on his grace. Jesus learned obedience.
If he had to learn how to submit, how to hear God's direction for which way to go or not to go, then why on earth do we think it's something we shouldn't learn or practice?
If you belong to Christ, you are God's child, chosen according tot he foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.
Jesus learned obedience so that we can learn obedience from him so that we can obey him. So that we can submit to him. So that we can accept his authority over us.
If only Jacob had believed God the first time, like his Grandpa Jacob, I may not have anything to write about for a whole month.
If only we would believe God the first time and submit to his authority over our lives.
When one trusts one can obey. I wonder what that would look like, all of us who claim the name of Jesus falling completely under his authority, like Abraham and Jesus. We all seem to find it better to take the Jacob route though.
What would happen if you submitted to God's authority and stopped demanding God prove himself to you? Would it really hurt to try it?
When one trusts, one can obey. Jesus did, and through his power, you can too.
Romans 5:19; 6:16
2 Corinthians 10:6
1 Peter 1:2
2 John 1:6
2 Corinthians 10:5
1 Peter 1:14
1 John 2:3; 3:22,24
Leviticus 18:4; 25:18