Life will throw us curve balls. When the problems occur, we can choose to continue to have trust in our Lord. We won’t always understand His plans or the twists in the road we come upon, but staying obedient to Him even in the midst of turmoil has gains for our lives and will serve as a testament to the world. This weekend I learned about a couple of tragedies: dear friends were in a wreck and the wife is in critical condition; my boss’s daughter (who has 4 children under the age of 7) found out her cancer is back and has spread. I have another friend who had cancer surgically removed from her ovary last week, and still has a long haul to go before the cancer can be eradicated. In times such as these, it is difficult to understand why tragedy strikes. Our Lord never promised that we would be without problems, but He did promise to always be with us: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)
No matter our circumstances, we need to keep our confidence in the trust in our Lord, and be obedient to Him. According to John 14:21, we express love for Jesus by obeying His commands. To love Him wholeheartedly, we must develop a lifestyle of obedience. Let’s look at four aspects of such a lifestyle.
1. Our trust in the Father grows. This confidence comes from believing that the Lord is who Scripture says He is. And God’s Word tells us that He is good—as well as faithful to keep His promises (2 Cor. 1:20). Psalm 86:15 calls Him merciful, gracious, loving, and slow to anger. His character remains unchanged by difficult or hard-to-understand circumstances. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8).
2. We develop a deepening ability to wait on the Lord. Delays can be hard in our I-want-it-now culture. But we must resist temptation and wait on Him instead of running ahead. “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:5)
3. We commit to obey God. Without such a resolve, we’ll vacillate at decision time or allow fear to prevent us from choosing His way. “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)
4. Our study of Scripture becomes consistent. The Bible reveals God’s priorities, commands, and warnings. It acts as a light, illuminating His chosen path for us while revealing obstacles and dangers along the way. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps.119:105). Without it, we are like a person who walks in the woods at night without a flashlight.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that obedience to the Lord is automatic. It’s a lifelong process of growing in our trust and patiently waiting on Him before we act. This requires a steadfast commitment to obey so that we can say no to ungodly choices and yes to God.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-21)
- My Bible Study
- A Lifestyle of Obedience by Dr. Charles Stanley