This morning I am watching my children play at the table. One of them decides to get out a bunch of cups and play with them. My husband tells this child to put the cups away. The child ignores him and keeps on playing. He gently reminds her that we are expecting guests this morning, and she needs to clean up her mess. The child’s response is to slowly bang the cups together and stomp across the floor to put them away.
Did the child obey?
She did put the cups away, but did she obey? What is true obedience?
When my children are young and start to have rebellious behavior, I teach them that obedience is not just doing what is right, but doing it with the right attitude, right away.
In the Bible, we can find examples of people who chose to obey their own way. The first story we see this in is with Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis. Cain and Abel both brought a sacrifice to God. One was accepted, and one was not. What was it that Cain did wrong? Why wasn’t what he brought good enough? The answer is that God had clearly told them what an acceptable sacrifice was, and Cain decided to do just the bare minimum. His heart was not set to obedience.
Obedience comes out of a heart of love. Over and over in scripture, it is said, “If you love me you will obey me.”
Cain wanted the approval, the blessing, that comes from full obedience, but he did not want to fully obey. He wanted God to be pleased with his actions, yet he knew in his heart that he was only doing it half-heartedly. Then when God is pleased with his brother, Able’s sacrifice, Cain becomes angry and jealous. Instead of asking himself, “what can I do to correct my error?” He looks at his brother and wants revenge. He is mad that God won’t bless him for his half-hearted obedience. He is mad that God has a standard, and that Abel sought to obey that standard.
What about me? Do I seek to obey completely? Do I obey with all my heart? Or do I look for the bare minimum?
Do I get jealous or angry when God chooses to bless others?
I hope and pray that in all things I am seeking God’s standard. I want God to know that His great love for me stirs in my heart a love for Him.
What would happen if Yeshua (Jesus) saught to just do the bare minimum in obedience? We will never know. Because He obeyed completely. He went to the cross and died for me, and you. He loved completely. He set His heart to obedience.
What about you? Is your heart set to obedience?
As for me and my house, we will serve Yehovah. We will set our hearts to obey, today!
Written by Katie
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