Ezekiel 11:19-20And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

Obedience.

The carnal mind rises up in rebellion to it. We kick and scream. We desire no limits, no controls on our carnality. To the natural man, the unsaved man, it seems as if there is a hidden agenda, to make us into robots; conform us to an image wholly different from what the world has to offer.

Sadly, that is all religion has to offer. Try, in the flesh, to look spiritual. Clothe yourself with what appears to look godly and hope they never find out what is really going on on the inside. We see that being played out in the news today.

We see injustices, wickedness increasing and violent crime on the rise and it all seemingly is whirling out of control. Why has this happened? What or who will stem the tide?

Politics and government will never have the answer. They will never be able to legislate what is needed. They can throw money, men and try to mandate peace and it does not even make a dent. Without a theocracy, every government will fall to corruption sooner or later. Everyone fighting to gain control; thinking their way is best. Even those with the best of intentions will fall prey to their passions.

We have carried a mantra from the rebellious sixties generation – “Question Authority”. We question our authority and if their answer doesn’t satisfy us, we become skeptical, critical and ultimately take a position of rebellion to that which either do not agree, cannot accept, or refuse to submit.

In their ‘free love’ society and unrestrained immorality, all they found was bondage. The rise in drug abuse and addiction reflected the desire to escape the guilt and shame of sin.

Yet, in obedience, our obedience to God that is; there is everything that we could ever want.

In obedience, there is protection.

James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We like the devil fleeing part, but buck the submit to God part. We find it hard to relinquish control. It seems to go against our nature. Our struggle with obedience proves just how alive our flesh has become.

Obedience increases our faith.

Psalms 118:8-9It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”

In obedience, there is protection.

Proverbs 30:5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Obedience shows our love.

John 14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

So then, why is obedience such a difficult thing?

It is the doorway to the transforming of our life. Without it, God cannot and will not work. In fact, He is wholly set against our disobedience and rebellion.

1 Samuel 15:23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

A critic might say, “Well, that was pretty harsh!” He just made a bad decision. Why did king Saul have to lose everything because of it? It is because our disobedience to the Word of God reveals a heart condition.

Saul’s decision to do it his way instead of God’s way would lead to the exhaltation of self over submission to a holy God. God cannot direct a hard heart, a rebellious heart; a disobedient heart.

Once we realize the sovereignty of God, His authority over our life and submit to Him, we begin to find that God is always right – all the time.

God is always good – all the time.

His way is always the best way.

It is high time that we, who name the name of Jesus Christ, submit our hearts and lives to that which reveals true obedience and submission to our God. We talk a good game, but the fruit of our ways reveals a much different story.

What was the last thing you had to work to remove from your life? Maybe you struggle with lying, or laziness, or pride. Being able to see God work at something we struggle with proves to us and provides a testimony to God’s working in our life.

Ultimately, when we do get the victory, it is opportunity to give God the glory He so rightly deserves!

Obedience is not a switch we flip and then it comes easy. No, it is a moment by moment decision we make to yield our minds, our hearts and our lives to what God would desire.

When we do as God commands us, we find:

Ezekiel 11:19-20And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

When we finally decide to obey, our rebellion will melt in the presence of a holy God. When we desire His presence above all else, we will find obedience to be a sweet doorway to peace, joy and a life filled with opportunity.

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