“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8
Often we know what God asks of us, we just don’t want to do it. It may be difficult. It may cost us something. We may have to give up something we like, even if it isn’t good for us. It may hurt our ego to admit God’s plans are better than ours.
When I feel this way, I need to look at Jesus, who in Hebrews is called “the author and perfecter” of our faith. Jesus was willing to obey God, even when it meant giving up for a time the splendor of His godhead. He was willing to obey even when it cost Him his human life. He was willing to obey even when it meant dying the humiliating death of a criminal. The author of the book of Hebrews tells us:
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:4
No matter what obedience to God costs us, it cost Jesus more. He obeyed out of love for us. Surely we can obey out of love for God and others. In the end, obedience to God is for our own good.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11