Total Obedience

There is one thing the Lord requires of every Believer, and it is total and complete obedience. We know that without the blood of Jesus, we would all be sentenced to an eternity in hell; so accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the first step toward attaining eternal life. Once we accept Jesus into our hearts, our walk with God begins. The benchmark of a successful Christian life is summed up in one word—obedience. Without it, we simply wear the title of Christian, without actually living the lifestyle God calls us to live.

Many people call Jesus their Savior and Lord, but the word “lord” implies something much deeper than a religious cliché. When someone is your lord, it means he has the authority to voice his desires and instructions to you and be obeyed. When someone “lords” over you, it means he is in a position of seniority, and you are submitted to him. There are those who claim Jesus, but they haven’t fully given Him permission to have full access to their lives. They obey when it is convenient or when it is comfortable, but when their “lord” tells them to do something they don’t want to do, they ignore His requests.

In order to have a truly thriving and genuine relationship with God, we must make obedience to His Word our top priority. This is an area in which there is no room for compromise. Whatever He tells us to do, we must do out of our love for Him and our respect for His position in our lives. To call Him our Lord and not obey Him is an indication that we are deceiving ourselves.

Jesus Himself says we demonstrate our love for Him by obeying His commandments (John 14:23). And in 1 Samuel 15:22, the Lord says it is better to obey than to sacrifice. This simply means that it doesn’t pay to do something we feel is okay in our eyes instead of just obeying what God has told us to do. We may think we are in a good position spiritually, but if obedience to the Word of God is not a part of our lifestyles, all the things we do that we believe are good and acceptable in God’s sight are meaningless. We must obey God.

Obedience is difficult when our minds are unrenewed to the truth of God’s Word, but as our relationship with Jesus becomes stronger and more real, we will find ourselves wanting to obey Him out of our love for Him and our appreciation of what He has done for us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins by laying down His life. He suffered the full penalty of hell on our behalf so that we wouldn’t have to. The very least we can do is obey His commandments to love one another and carry out the Word of God.

Being a Christian does not mean we will not make mistakes or miss the mark throughout our journey with the Lord; but when we do, all we have to do is repent, confess our sins, and ask God to forgive us. He is faithful and just to continually cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we make use of the blood of Jesus in our everyday lives.

I want to encourage you to evaluate your relationship with God in light of your obedience to Him. Have you been obeying His Word or have you been making excuses as to why “it doesn’t take all that”? Living a life for Jesus means doing everything we can to walk in total obedience to Him. In doing so, we please God and position ourselves for all the wonderful things He has planned for us, both now and throughout eternity.

— Creflo A. Dollar