“You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”
Deuteronomy 30:20 (NLT)

Have you noticed how often loving God and obeying Him are tied together in the Bible? This is true in both the Old and New Testaments. This verse goes so far as to say it is the key to life.

Everyone is searching for the key to life in some fashion. Advertisements promise to reveal “the secret to success, the key to a vibrant future, or how to live forever in four easy steps.” But God says the key to life is to love and obey Him.

Why are loving God and obeying God interlocked? The answer I often hear is, “If you love God then you will naturally want to obey Him to make Him happy.” I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that.

Love Without Obedience

I love my brothers but have no desire to obey them. My love for them compels me to support, encourage, and help them in any way I can. But obey? I don’t think so. The moment they turn on the “ordering little sister around” tone, I’m outta there. Yes, even at our age, our sibling dynamics remain strongly based on when we were young children. I guess some things never change.

My parents bring me a bit closer to the love and obey mark. I love them, and I was generally pretty well behaved and obedient as a child. But when I disobeyed, it wasn’t because I didn’t love them. And now that I’m an adult, I don’t always obey simply because I think I know better (sometimes yes, sometime no…Mom, you’re still right most of the time ❤️).

My First Instinct

If I’m being honest, my heart really wants to rebel against the word “obey.” It instantly rises up in stubborn rebellion at the word. Tell me to love God and I’ll jump up and say, “Yes, I love Jesus and He’s my Lord & Savior”. Tell me to obey Him without understanding why and I hesitate, feel guilty because I hesitated, then say, “Ok, I guess since that’s what I’m supposed to do as a Christian.”

Am I alone in this? Selfishly, I hope not. See, if I were a more obedient person, I’d love you enough to hope you didn’t struggle with this too. But no one likes to be alone in their mess. We want to feel like our bend toward disobedience is normal. And it is normal, but it isn’t godly.

The Key

So what do we do when our first impulse is to disobey? Thankfully, God gives us the third piece of the puzzle. Commit yourself firmly to Him. Love binds our hearts to God, commitment disciplines our errant will and trains it to obey even when rebellion twists our thoughts.

We don’t have to feel guilty when God tells us to do something and we feel our will rise up in rebellion as long as we stay committed to God and allow love and commitment to result in obedience. Stand firm in your commitment to God, let your love for Him grow more each day, and slowly the desire to obey will be brought into line.

I’m still working on it, and I pray that we all keep making progress in this area. It is worth the discipline and commitment. After all, this is the key to life.

Father, thank You for explaining Your will to us so clearly. We often want to have the exact plan laid out before we obey, but instead You provide the steps that will lead us to You. Help us fall more in love with You each day, let our will become joyfully obedient to You, and may we remain firmly committed to following You each and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Daughter of God, you will find wholeness in Christ.


One Response

  1. Wow. No. You are not alone in that struggle with the word OBEY. I struggle daily. Not as much as I used to.

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