It is certainly clear in Scripture that our Father appreciates obedience from His children above all things. What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT)
Obedience, therefore, is even more pleasing to Father than our worship is…! Obeying His voice brings Him more pleasure than all the choirs and choruses and bowing and praising we can ever offer…
Why Obedience? Because grown-ups realize that deep relationship is built upon it! There comes a time in a relationship when “kissing toward” (the literal definition of the word, “Worship”) is less important than hearing and heeding our Beloved’s voice…!
While Tina and I certainly enjoy the kissing, what she needs—what I need—even more deeply is a true companion who hears the cry, the voice, the heart, of the other and say’s “yes,” even when it makes little (worldly) sense…
With our Heavenly Papa, it has always been and will always be the same—only far deeper and eternally perfect. He desires what He, Jesus, and Spirit have together—perfect unity expressed in perfect community manifesting in perfect mutual obedience.
And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. (Phil 2:8 ESV)
This is grown up stuff. The marriage vows once contained the words, to love, honor, and obey… “Obey” was removed because it can manifest in some selfish and even abusive ways within fallen humanity. But properly understood, obedience reflects the deepest love, the deepest trust, and the deepest mutuality!!! A married couple grows to the place of obeying each other because they have grown to the point of trusting one another’s voice explicitly.
Most Christians (at least in our culture) never grow to the place of being obedient in life because they never grow to the place of trusting the Lord’s heart even unto death…!
Grown-up Christians have come to the place of trusting the Father’s heart and voice beyond the “promises,” beyond the goosebumps, beyond the formulas, and beyond the quick and easy explanations!
Grown-up Christians have matured to the place of trusting the Father’s motives and mandates even when they make absolutely no sense in worldly terms. Grown-up believers know that in obedience they will find a peace and an authority that never comes from a relationship based on feelings rather than obedience.
Shallow relationship has no place for obedience, because it is focused on the outward display, not the inward obey. This was the place Tina and I were in while dating, and, honestly, early in our married life. But love developed trust and trust led to obedience—not as unto a law, but rather as unto a love…!
Our Father desires a love-deep relationship that can trust and obey—that understands Love Himself will never hurt or harm us, even if our obedience to His voice brings hurt and harm from the world. This world is not our home, and self-rule (being our own “god”) is the opposite of obedience…!
Why Obedience? Because obedience is the deepest language of love…!