I am not a great thinker or scholar. But I’ve come to realize that often some of my deepest insights happen when I'm in the shower. Maybe because it’s an area of forced solitude where the kids can’t get in and I’m left alone for awhile. Maybe it's just the 5 minutes of downtime. But for all of us, we need quiet and time to ponder within the daily grind.
Today as I was getting out of the shower a statement popped into my head. I had just been thinking and praying about some things as the day began. The statement was the title that is today’s entry: the opposite of obedience is fear. Now whenever a thought like that comes, I disregard the notion that it could have arisen from my own understanding. I attribute it to God because in my own flesh, I fail to naturally stumble upon such things.
Think about that statement for a moment with me. Try to unpack it.
The opposite of obedience is fear.
If you’ve followed this blog at all this year, you know I frequently revisit the topic of choosing faith over fear and stepping out in obedience. And if you think about it, obedience to the Lord is an acknowledgement of who He is; His goodness and kindness which leads us to trust and follow.
Obedience is what brings us to the Lord in the first place when we choose to accept Christ. We are responding with a physical affirmation of saying “Yes Lord” to a holy agitation that arises in the spiritual. Our spirits are awakened to a knowledge that tells us our sin separates us from God. Apart from Him, our sin eventually leads to our demise. But praise God, a way was made to grant us reunion and reconciliation through the cross. When we choose to follow Christ, we are being obedient to answer His knock on the door of our hearts.
This initial step of obedience doesn’t mean that we are immune to anything disrupting our connection with Christ thereafter. In reality, this is the point at which most Christians feel life should get easier and things should start to make sense. But so often they don’t and we are faced with the choice of obedience over and over.
May I submit that obedience to Jesus is never a “one-and-done thing”? No, I believe it is a daily choice to follow and to serve. Joshua placed this charge before the Israelites as he knew his life was soon coming to a close: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
If obedience is following God, then disobedience is an act of our will not to follow. Anytime we disobey we are really acting out of fear. We are doubting God’s goodness and His faithfulness and His very nature of who He is. Fear stands in complete opposition to obedience because it causes us to stand still, to stagnate, and to shrink back. None of these things flow from a life filled by the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know where you are at today but I do know you wrestle with the concept of obedience. We all do. On this side of eternity we will always wrestle with this choice but I believe God gives us power to overcome. We are inhabited by the same power that enabled Christ to overcome sin and death. We need to stand in that power and ask God daily to fill us with His Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you today is to simply understand this statement: the opposite of obedience is fear. I believe it is a word the Lord placed upon my heart to share. From understanding I pray that you put into practice the truth as it has been revealed to you. If we are in Christ, we have seen the truth and it has set us free.
I’m praying for you today! Run the race to completion and keep the faith. God bless.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org