Growing in Christ Day 5: Obedience
Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46, ESV)
As I write this, I am two days removed from hearing a man publicly speak on this verse in the context of being a missionary to Costa Rica. He wasn’t telling everyone, “You need to be a missionary to another country!” Instead, his point was that he needed to be one. He and his wife had felt the burden and the calling of God upon their life and needed to be obedient. And so, he made the challenge to the audience: “God has called you to do something. Will you obey Him?” If I could have shriveled up and disappeared, I think I would have. How many times have I called Jesus “Lord” while not living out my side of things? If He is my Lord, then I should be His servant. If He tells me in His Word to do something, I should obey no matter what.
If you are a parent, you know the value you place on obedience. It rarely comes without questions, of course! If you ask your 4-year-old child to do something, almost without exception they will ask, “Why?” Or the response might be “No!” Or, “I don’t want to!” That’s what makes it so special when you ask your child to do something for you and they do it without question or complaint. Hopefully, it’s a sign of growth in the life of your child.
As we pray for God’s guidance and read His Word as part of our regular routine, we will undoubtedly be faced with “asks” from the Lord. But they rarely end with a question mark, because they aren’t requests; they are commands. A true born-again believer is confronted with the truth of baptism while reading the words of Jesus in the great commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” (Matthew 28:19). Now they have a choice: Will they obey Him and be baptized? Maybe later they read in Acts 2:42 that there were those who were baptized and were “added” to the fellowship of believers. Will they be obedient and join themselves to a local church fellowship? These are, of course, just the beginning stages.
The closer we grow in our relationship to Jesus Christ, the more commandments we will be faced with. He wants us to love one another. He wants us to serve one another. He wants us to utilize the gifts He has given us for His purpose. He wants us to tell others about the eternal gift of salvation. He wants us to devote our lives to pleasing Him. These are not suggestions, either; they are commandments from our Creator, Savior, Master, and Lord. But I would point myself to the words of Jesus again, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?” It isn’t just that He wants obedience; He expects it. And the more we obey Him, the closer we will grow to Him. Once again, think about your relationship with your child or your parent. If a reasonable request is made and your child is obedient, doesn’t that work to improve your relationship? And a bitter rebuff or an angry outburst only pushes the two further apart. When we obey our Lord, don’t you think He appreciates it? Don’t you think it pleases Him? And, therefore, don’t you think it brings you closer to Him?
With that being said, what is He asking of you? Is He asking you to forgive someone? Is He asking you to let go of an unhealthy habit? Is He asking you to move on from a spiritually harmful relationship? Is He asking you to sacrifice your wealth? Is He asking you to spend time helping others? If you are a believer, He is absolutely asking you to do something. And since we profess to call Him “Lord, Lord,” we’d better get to it.