Why Obey?


As Christians we certainly know the importance of obeying God.  It is what God desires and expects of us.

And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”  1 Samuel 15:22

The bigger question is, why do we obey God?  Some may obey out of fear.  If they don’t try to obey, God may punish them.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8

Others obey because they are seeking blessings and prosperity.

Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13

And there will always be those who obey out of a desire to appear righteous and respectable to others.  We know what Jesus had to say about that!

 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 6:1

Obviously, none of these reasons are right ones.  God doesn’t want us to obey out of fear, the desire for rewards, or to make us feel better about ourselves.  He wants us to obey Him our of love. When we love God, we won’t need another reason for obedience.  It will come naturally.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” 2 John 1:6

In fact, our obedience is the truest sign that we do love Him.

1Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” John 14:21

So, examine yourself and be honest about your real motives.  Why do you obey?

For more on obedience to God, see these posts:

Martin Luther on Obedience

The Lack of-obedience.

Psalm 1–A Psalm of Obedience