I was listening to a podcast recently and a sentence birthed this blog post.
The pastor investigated why we, as humans, obey. I’d like to hash out this idea if I may.
I never was a “bad kid”, depending on your definition of bad, If it’s the definition of bad from God’s point of view, then yes, I was bad.
As a child I never remember being extremely defiant. I do however remember being well mannered and obedient.
But for what?
Why was I being obedient?
I’d like to discuss 3 ways that lead to our obedience.
1. Incentive Approach
I think of tithing. I absolutely hate tithing. I mean hate, really. As a 23 year old young man making extremely little money, going through school, and saving for a wedding does not put me in financial prosperity.
I’ve had times where tithing is easy times where tithing is hard but I think, up until recently, I have had a skewed view on, “why should I tithe?” The answers are endless but I have tried to manipulate God (which is impossible). I have said in essence,
“God I’m being obedient only if this investment is worth it.”
The incentive based approach to obedience leaves little faith and requires God to come through for us to be obedient.
2. Title Approach
This is a stronghold for religious types, those kind of people that do the things just to hold it over someone else’s head- you know the people I’m talking about. Know the Bible verses to flaunt them in your face, know the right people within the church community, read the right book, go to the right school, etc.
I have been this kind of person. Only doing the things that provide notoriety and a type of prominence among peers. Not the taking out the trash kind of person, because, we all know that isn’t flashy enough.
The title based approach is skewed as was the incentive approach. It is obedience that has ulterior motives.
3. Obedience Approach
As Christians we should seek to be obedient. we should strive to do what Christ tells us to do, not for incentives (even though they are great), not for title (even though He has given us new names) We want to be found obedient just because He says to.
I’ll admit, It’s hard to obey just because. With so much reason to obey, why wouldn’t we want to, right, right?
The God that spoke to life every living thing, spoke light into existence, and everything else just by the words of His mouth, is the same God that calls us to be obedient. If that is not enough I don’t know what is.
C.S. Lewis once wrote-
“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
With the first two approaches our aim is we centered, while the last is He centered.
Where is your aim?