“Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” Psalm 119:2
Obedience has become such an antiquated word.
Parents still require it from children whose willfulness is the cause of familial disruption. However, outside of the family structure, obedience gets very little air time.
Even in the church.
You can understand why. My generation grew up on the rigidity of fundamentalism. Twenty years later I’m still trying to figure out how the requirement for women to wear a dress to class at the Bible college I attended had any bearing on the condition of my heart. Legalism strips away image-bearing, leaving us bound to image-making and faking. It binds us to the opinion of man and the superficial standards we often use to hide our secret sins of the heart.
Legalism makes too much about people and far too little about God.
Biblical obedience is something altogether different. It’s an expression of relationship; knowledge shared between two people who are relating to one another in love. That’s the picture we get from Psalm 119:2.
The statutes of the Lord are generally spoken of as His self-declared nature and purpose. When we walk in the statutes of the Lord we are walking in the knowledge of God’s transcendence–His glory, His omniscience, His omnipotence, His perfect love. No wonder the Psalmist declares “Blessed are they…”
Biblical obedience frees us to run in fellowship with the Living God. To share in His purity; to treasure His truth; to participate in His joy. Biblical obedience does not suck the life out of us, as so many assume. But when one has tasted the goodness of God experienced in obedience, life is full and rich with the presence of God. Life is blessed.
In biblical obedience the heart has sought after and saturated itself in the greatness of God and surrendered itself to the insignificance of self.
If you’re like me–struggling to surrender the willfulness of independence and the selfishness of self-love, take deliberate steps today to tie those hard-to-obey areas to a truth about God’s nature and be blessed by the freedom it brings.