Written by Christina Girma Hanfere
One of the greatest (and most re-occurring) lessons I have learned in my journey with the Lord is the value of obedience.
When I first rededicated my life to the Lord and began walking with Him closely, I found myself struggling with the new reality of learning to say ‘yes’ to Him.
What exactly did obedience to God look like? Why was it always so emphasized and so NECESSARY?
It wasn’t too long before I began realizing the value and reward in saying ‘yes’ to God. Many times we make the mistake of assuming that obedience to God is limited to the ten commandments. We treat God’s Word as a check list that we have to complete; and if we do well, than God shouldn’t expect anymore from us. We somehow manage to find ways around His standard of obedience so that it doesn’t inconvenience our preference, plans, or choice of lifestyle.
OBedience to God is not a biblical checklist to complete.
It’s a lifestyle that comes from complete surrender and submission to His Lordship over your life. Yes, the Scripture gives us clear instructions on how to live a life that brings glory and delight to God. However, saying ‘yes’ to God goes beyond just abiding by those instructions. It’s about developing such a deep intimacy with God that His desires become your desire. What He cries out for, you begin to cry out for. What He sees, you begin to see. What He feels you begin to feel. It’s intimacy that brings you to a complete oneness with Him.
In John 14:15 jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” he makes it quite Simple. The basis of an obedient life is intimacy.
Because we often fail to build a strongly anchored, vibrant, secret life with God, it becomes challenging to live our lives from a place of absolute obedience. It becomes challenging to fully yield our lives to Him. Our intimacy with Him is the fuel, and if that is always running low, then we are constantly running a higher risk of failing repeatedly.
However, when our times of prayer increases; when our conversations with Him increases; when our times of submerging ourselves in the Word of God increases, then we become further empowered and enabled to live a life of obedience.
Some years back I attended a conference in Michigan and was completely awakened to a new reality by something the speaker said:
“99.9% obedience is still 100% disobedience to god.”
Those words were a major wake up call. It doesn’t matter how much we do “right”. Is our obedience to God fueled by our time of deep intimacy with Him? Is He truly the Lord of our lives in every aspect? Does He reign in our relationships, career, time, finances, education, etc.? Does He take center stage in our lives? If so, then obedience is no longer a burdensome task that we meet only 99% of our time. Rather, a lifestyle that we maintain at all times.
In learning the value of obedience I discovered something else that was extremely important. Saying ‘yes’ to God will be the doorway to the best blessings of your life.
There is absolutely nothing you lose, and everything you gain in living a life of obedience before Him.
In fact, your obedience to God is the only key to seeing His purpose over your life reaching fulfillment.
I personally have come to realize that some of the greatest blessings of my life were as a result of me saying ‘yes’ to Him even when it was difficult.
Sometimes that ‘yes’ required letting go of certain habits. Other times it required letting go of certain people, and certain lifestyle choices. It’s easy to obey God when it fits in our plans. It’s easy to obey God when it doesn’t require us to step out of our comfort zone. It’s easy to obey God when it doesn’t cost us anything, or when it doesn’t require us to give up anything. But it’s also the most rewarding to say ‘yes’ to Him in those circumstances. The ministry I have today; the doors God has opened up in different areas of my life; my wonderful husband that God has blessed me with, and so much more could all be traced back to vivid moments of when I said ‘yes’ to Him.
Pursue Him. Seek His face.
The more you do, the more of Himself He begins to reveal. In Jeremiah 29:13 He gives you that promise by saying, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And when He does reveal Himself to you, the deeper and deeper you fall in love with Him. That is the secret to an obedient life. That is what changes obedience from a task, to a lifestyle.
Make sure to follow Christina Girma Hanfere’s platform, Inspired By Him, where she discusses lifestyle, relationships and encouragement.