You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 18:4
For some Christians becoming obedient to God is more difficult than following the instructions of a policeman, accountant, mechanic, businessman, and even our love ones. The truth is that we are more compliant to men and women who are providing a service to men rather than to God. On the other hand, it doesn’t take long to learn that any one of authority will express his disapproval when you fail to meet their needs.
When it comes to authority everyone has a piece of the pie. Our life of authority begins in the home where mothers and fathers have a title commanding respect from their children. Establishing a family requires agreement between parents and children who show love for their parents by obeying them. The child’s respect demands discipline by the parents reflected with sound reasoning and a rod of authority to remind them that they are loved. In other words, the home is where we learn to have respect for authority.
Jesus said, if you love me you would obey me. No one is going to make you obey Jesus Christ unless you first give him authority to command your life and even then if you are willing to comply with what he wants. This authority goes two ways in that you must obey God before Jesus will comply with your needs.
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14
You may recognize the authority of another person and understand that they have a specific expertise in their field of work. However nothing will make you obey their authority without respect. You obey some out of respect and others you voluntarily obey of your free will. Those you voluntarily obey are usually related and bonded into a unit such as a family. Another reason for voluntarily obedience is for the common good and mutual goals. However love is a compelling reason to make the effort to please the person you care for in an affectionate manner.
Sometimes, obedience is exchanged for the skills or goods another person possesses. Complying with the desires of another person willing to exchange something you need demands that you meet their needs. The consequence for disregarding their needs means that no exchange will take place and you are left without anything from you efforts.
A Law abiding citizen knows freedom comes at the expense of obeying the laws of the land. Your neighbor’s part in obeying the laws of the land is no different from yours and both and your neighbor share equally the benefits from the law. Those who defy the law find the long arm of law ready to take them to a court of law where the guilt is assessed and exchanged for time behind prison bars.
From God’s perspective every deed of worth has a value of exchange, especially when deeds are rated as good or evil. The godly person considers his actions to ensure a decent reaction for his behavior. God also knows that good behavior does not happen without discipline. Behavior has consequences and without the proper training your children and God’s children would do as they see fit.
God, mothers and fathers have the experience to know the consequences from poor decisions. From that experience parents instruct their children to behave in ways that avoids an outcome from bad behavior. Obedience to the instruction given to you by your father leads to the behavior that he approves of and comes with rewards. Disobedience to instructions demands the use of the rod so the child remembers.
God has warned man several times throughout his written word that man would be given a reward according to what his deeds dictate. His terms regarding behavior are limited to good and evil, so we should become aware of his demands. In his written word God speaks of good works prepared in advance for those who obey him, they shall receive eternal life. Those who have caused evil – who have done the works of the devil that steal and kill and destroy – those who refuse to obey God –, will be condemned. Man has the knowledge of good and evil deeply embedded within the core of his and her life. They know how they feel when good has been done to them and how bad life can be when they have been harmed by evil deeds.
Therefore doing unto others, as you would have them do to you has merit. Knowing how you want to be respected by another person shapes the guideline for you to obey. You alone govern your life by the degree of discipline used to maintain your behavioral standards. Let’s also remember that your behavior determines how other people react toward you. People will react according to your conduct for the behavior you sow will be the behavior you will reap.
The easiest authority to obey is your own, but it is also the easiest to ignore. Authority demands loyalty, commitment, and the determination to honor an authority and obey it. Lacking one of these qualities will make your obedience a matter of convenience and develop a double set of standards. Loyalty, commitment, and the determination to honor authority will develop trust, but a double set of standards destroys the stability of your integrity.
The faithfulness to obey a solid moral or ethical standard is the foundation that develops the quality of integrity. Who can read the Bible without noticing that the commands of God embody the qualities that build the integrity of his children? God wants his children to mature as solid citizens who are worthy of trust. Let’s remember that our obedience honors our father in heaven but it also makes us into a person worthy of having respect and self-esteem.