Jesus tried to help His disciples understand this. In Mark 3:31-35, we read about Jesus' mother and brothers coming to visit Him, and they sent word to call Him. He had a crowd sitting around Him, so they also prompted Him about His family waiting for Him. In answer, Jesus told the crowd that whoever did the things God wills, is His brother, sister and mother.
In other words, He was implying that it's not only about physical connection but also spiritual connection too. He was implying that because He only does what He sees the Father doing, that means He does His Father's will (John 5:19). Therefore, whoever does His Father's will is related to Him as brother, sister or mother.
The advice Father God gave in Mark 9:7 was to affirm Jesus as His Beloved Son, and to instruct us to listen to and obey Him. Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave the same advice, asking the servants at the wedding in Cana to obey Jesus.
Jesus connected obedience and love beautifully in these chapters below. He taught that if we love Him, we would keep His commandments. (John 14:15, 21-24, 31; 15:10-12). We are being told here that our ability to obey Jesus is a reflection of our love for Him. As we spend time in His Presence and learn to love Jesus more, our ability to obey will grow.
Discipline does not ensure obedience, and only goes some of the way, but devotion ensures obedience and goes all the way.
The greatest example of obedience from a place of love is seen in Jesus's journey to the Cross. He knew about the betrayal, shame, pain, flogging, and other inhuman treatment that was coming for Him, but He chose to obey His Father's will and die for us who He loved. He aligned with Father God's way of reconciling us back to Him.
Do we often struggle with God's method of doing things? Are we slow to obey because we don't really like God's method? Slow obedience really is disobedience. Let's throw off procrastination and all those tactics the enemy uses to slow the expansion of the Kingdom.
To show how important this is, Father God has given us a new heart in the new covenant to obey Him. (Ezekiel 37:27). Our new hearts war against the flesh. As we surrender our lives to Him, over time we begin to change, and our character begins to form, conforming to His likeness. Soon our will merges with His and our behaviour begins to match our new heart. God gives us His Spirit to live within us, and we find that obeying God becomes a delight. The Holy Spirit empowers us and we are strengthened to do the will of God.
It's important that we don't obey Father God from a place of fear of punishment, or to make our Pastor pleased with us. The type of obedience that pleases Father God is one done out of a place of desiring to bring pleasure to Him.
Simple joyful, eager, unquestioning obedience is what our Lord desires. This only comes from a heart yielded completely to Him. What great pleasure we would give Father God if, like the Psalmist, we say, "I delight to do your will, O my God".
- Ask Father God what is holding you back from obeying Him fully. Please give a word or a picture.
- Ask who you need to forgive for teaching you this.
- Say a short prayer to repent of your partnership with this lack of obedience.
We would love to receive feedback from you.
- As you hand this over to Father God, ask what gift He has to give to you in exchange.