Word of the Week: Obey

Little.Boy.ChairThere was a rambunctious little boy who was always getting into trouble.  One particular day when his Mother was trying to get some house work finished, he was into everything.  Undoing what she has done.  Causing havoc.  And generally getting on her nerves.

Finally she said, go sit down in that chair in the corner and be quiet!  He looked at her defiantly and said, “No.”  Well, that did it.  She picked up.  Took him to the chair.  Sit him down with some authority.  And said firmly, “You stay in the chair, until I tell you get up, or you’re going to get a whipping!”

The little boy crossed his arms, furrowed his brow, and looked his Mom square in the eyes and said, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside!”

The word of the week is obey.

“Obey” is not a warm, fuzzy word. It has a hard sound to it. We instinctively don’t like the command to obey. And the problem with obedience begins early in life.  Like the little boy. There is something within us that resists obedience.  Our stubborn will. Our prideful attitude.  Our fleshly nature.  They come together and say, “I’ll do it my way.”

Yet 108 times the Bible instructs us to obey.  God says….

◆Obey the voice the Lord.  (Deut. 11:3)

◆Children obey your parents.  (Eph 6:1)

◆Citizens obey the ruling authorities (Titus 3:1)

◆Servants obey your masters.  (Col. 3:22)

◆We must obey Christ (Heb 5:9)

◆Christians obey the inspired apostolic letters (2 Thess 3:14)

◆Everyone is command to obey the gospel (I Pet 4:17)

Obedience involves surrender.  In fact, Rick Warren wrote, “Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience.”  But that’s not a positive word in our culture. We think of giving up. Quitting. Waving the white flag. We’re taught to compete. To keep fighting. To play hard until the end of the game. Surrender? No way!

Surrender, however,  is at the heart of Christianity. Jesus asks us to surrender to Him. Our minds. Our hearts. Our lives. He challenged, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Lk 9:23-24).

Jesus is our example of obedience and surrender. He surrendered to the Father by coming to this earth to be our Savior. He relinquished His rights in his earthly relationships. In his boyhood, he obeyed Joseph and Mary. When he came to be baptized of John it was not because he had sinned, but to fulfill all righteousness. In that act of obedience he showed surrender. He gave up his equality with God and emptied himself of his privileges while on earth (Phil 2:6-8). In His suffering He showed surrender. And, of course, the ultimate act of surrender was in dying for us on the cross.

It is too much then for Jesus to ask us to surrender our lives to Him? Surrender involves our spiritual service. When we obey him in our homes, in our social relationships and in our business dealings, we show the spirit of surrender.

The reality is that we all surrender to something or someone. Pleasure. Possessions. Power. Or maybe we just give in to the pressure of life’s struggle. However, as E. Stanley Jones wrote, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.”

The choice is yours. You can carry the weight on the world on your shoulders. Or you can give it up to the Lord.   The song writer, John H. Sammis, was right when he wrote the lyrics….

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Obedience

16 responses to “Word of the Week: Obey

  1. Aleta

    Excellent thoughts, especially when adding the word surrender. We should expect no less of our children and ourselves than what The Lord did Himself.

    Once in class, a little girl rolled her eyes at me and I called her on it. Another little girl announced that “rolling your eyes is disobeying in your heart.” Couldn’t have said it better!

  2. julie davidson

    “out of the mouths of babes”…:) thanks, again, Bro. Ken…i’ll be copying this, to pass on, as well as use it as a reminder for MYSELF!! love in Him, Julie

  3. Amy

    Great post, Ken! It doesn’t seem like a lot of people know this word these days.

  4. Phil Pulliam

    Ken: appreciate your thoughts of the day. Generally no one thinks of surrenduring to win, but that’s what it is about. One question-you mention our fleshly nature as one of the reasons we don’t obey God. Could you expand that idea of fleshly nature and what it is? Thanks / Phil Pulliam / Lexington, KY

  5. Very touching post. It certainly hits home for me today. Thank you for sharing.

  6. True surrender is not only challenging because of our nature to compete and battle to the end, but also because of our lack of understanding of what is really involved in surrender.

  7. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Thank you Ken! Obedience truly is surrendering. Love the posts. I share them on FB.

  8. tommythornhill

    Your article touches on the reason why Paul teaching that one is to obey from the heart… If the heart is not moved, then the outward compliance is not worth much.

  9. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Also, that’s true we all surrender to someone or something… we need to be sure it is Christ – the one who knows whats best for us !

  10. John Witt

    But the rest of the story is found in Phil 2:9-11 “…God highly exalted…”

  11. Ezekiel, Isule church of Christ, western Uganda

    obedience to the truth should be the ultimate desire of any one who wants eternal life. sadly, majority have clunk to falsehood.

  12. Bill Hood

    Thanks once more, Ken.. I really appreciate your simple, and yet profound presentations. In addition to my Bible, and Mona Steck’s “Daily Scripture”, I have these daily thought provocations to see me through today.. Thanks for being my brother in the true “Spirit”..

  13. Pingback: A Passage To Ponder: Joshua 1:6-9 | ThePreachersWord

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