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Explicit Obedience

“God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience.”

Elisabeth Elliott

God desires His children to possess explicit obedience. He wants us to only do what He tells us to do and to only speak the words He tells us, just like He told Balaam in Numbers 22:20 and 35. Balak, the King of Moab, tried to entice the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites. But Balaam said to Balak’s servants, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more” (Numbers 22:18).

This passage puts the fear of the Lord in me to only say and do what God tells me to say or do. I don’t want anyone’s bribery or my own selfish ambition or desire for power or fame, to sway me to disobey God. I desire to explicitly obey the Lord and do or say no more or less than what He directs. Father, may I have such a deep love for You that I could not go beyond your command. Set the boundaries through which I’m to obey.

I Samuel 15:22 says, “And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.’” Our obedience is more important to God than our sacrifices because it is proof of our love for God. Adhering to rituals requires no love; we just go through the motions. Obedience is an act of love which calls for the surrendering of our hearts. And in that, God takes great delight.

Listening to God’s voice and obeying it, matters more to God than religious offerings. God is relational, not religious. Therefore, He cares more about love relationships which result in obedience, than robotic-like adherence to rules. Obedience which is explicit “leaves no question as to meaning or intent.” When we obey God explicitly, it shows we love Him without a doubt.

Take time to listen to the Father’s voice and then heed what you hear. You’ll be grateful you did and the Lord will take great delight in you!

“The cost of obedience is small compared with the cost of disobedience.”

Saint Augustine

Relevant Reflection:

How is God asking you to demonstrate your love for Him, by surrendering your heart to explicitly obey Him?

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