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A Higher Obedience

“There will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to obey the voice of God.”

D. L. Moody

There’s obedience and then there’s a higher obedience. It’s easier to obey the Lord when we see external fruit from it. Extrinsic value motivates us to keep going when we’re tempted to give up. But a higher form of obedience comes from obeying God even when we don’t know the outcome. Right before Jesus changed water into the best wine at the wedding at Cana, His mother instructed the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5b). Higher obedience comes when we obey God just because He asked us to obey Him.

The process of writing a book has been numerous years in the making. It’s cost me time, attention, and finances. I’ve had to sacrifice things during the process for unknown results. Yes, I hope to sell books in order for the readers’ hearts to be healed so that their intimacy with God is deepened. But even if that doesn’t happen, or not to the degree I desire, I did all that work because God asked me to. I did it for Him.

I heard the Father say: Keep your gaze on that and Me and you will not be disappointed. You did what I asked you to do and that was enough. The price you paid to get it published was well worth the cost. Always remember Norma, that you wrote your book for Me. Never lose sight of this. This truth will carry you afloat, no matter what happens.

Even though I have no idea of the external fruit that will come from my book being published, I am well aware and thankful for the internal fruit that was developed along the way. The Holy Spirit matured within me self-control, discipline, perseverance, and mental focus. My heart received further healing from rejection, shame, and the fear of man, while my intimacy with God deepened. 

Intrinsic value is longer lasting and has greater impact and influence. As my heart is healed and my relationship with God becomes closer, I am transformed into who He created me to be. The internal transformation will pay greater dividends into my destiny. For me, the intrinsic values far outweigh the extrinsic ones. I obey not for the fruit I hope it will one day bear, but just because He asked me to do it. He alone is worthy of my higher obedience.

“God is God. Because he is God, he is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in his holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”

Elisabeth Elliot

Relevant Reflection:

Describe a time when you displayed a higher obedience; you obeyed just because God asked you to.

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