By David Stahl

The Children of Israel was brought to the Wilderness of Sin by God to learn obedience and to learn how to fight in the wilderness and for the promised land, but they failed time and time again. They were brought there to be given weapons for warfare, the right diet, the manual, even tactics of warfare, but they did not learn they were disobedient.  Obedience seems to be one of the hardest things for Christians to do.  Now do not misunderstand me here I have not made it always being obedient to the LORD, but I have learned the more obedient to God we are the easier being obedient to God becomes.  So too is the learning process in our lives:  learning, experiencing, and obeying.  The more we learn of the LORD the easier learning becomes and the easier learning becomes the more we will experience in greater depth His nature and character which will cause us to willfully obey.  The Prophet Samuel said, “And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.”  (I Samuel 15:22) Our training begins on an elementary level, nothing too difficult.  As we progress, we are brought to more difficult levels and on to more difficult levels.  As we continue in the LORD proving or testing us we will also increase in His rewards as well.  The LORD would not prove a babe at the same duration and intensity He would a father in the LORD.  He wants to get from us the greatest degree of fulfillment possible.  Obedience is an extremely important area very very important.  Samuel said, “obedience is better than sacrifice” and God means it. It has such far reaching implications that it defies the imagination.  Obedience is certainly necessary in our lives in order to function properly in God.  How can we function properly in God’s intentions if we cannot and will not obey? We will function as properly as we obey. We cannot function properly in God if we are disobedient. God attempts to bring us to obedience which is immediate and without reservations. Hopefully, it becomes automatic.  We do not have to think to breathe, breathing is automatic, so too is God’s idea of obedience in our lives, but it is not put into us automatically.  Our training and learning is to become so ingrained in us that we just do it without thinking. God is after perfect obedience — full, complete, immediate obedience without taking the time to think about it. Perfect obedience is far reaching. It is necessary among other reasons for the purpose of functioning properly in the millennium and more.  Learning obedience now is a necessity to fulfill God’s intentions now and in the ages to come.  How do we expect to know how to function in ages to come if we cannot be obedient in the here and now? Here are a few reasons why obedience to God the first time He speaks is so critical in our lives.  Obedience works purification into us.  Peter gives us a clue about the importance of obedience as it relates to our soul.  Brother Peter says,  “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”  (I Peter 1:22)  Learning to obey purifies our soul in honesty, integrity, and righteousness qualities greatly lacking in most Christians today. Most Christians see no importance in being people of their words and actions, thinking God understands their dishonesty and His grace will cover them, but without learning to obey we will never be able to love “one another with a pure heart”in other words we will want to love people with an impure heart trying to get over on them in all we do.  Our motives and intentions will be vile, corrupt, selfish, and self-seeking.  John tells us,  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”   (I John 1:7) Did you know the word “if” is the most important word in the Bible; it always sets the stage for receiving a reward — something from God have it be good for us or what we would consider bad for us based on our behavior.  The result of that obedience is “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  How can we have fellowship with our brothers and sisters if we are always trying to cheat and defile them?  Obeying the truth which we have is quite important. There are believers who do not walk in the light which they have.  Some will neglect one area of light which God gave them, in order to fulfill a certain desire or ambition.  We cannot do that and still come to the fullness which our Father has in mind for us.  We have to obey that which He brings to us;  we have to walk in the light which we have; we have to obey the truth which we know and understand.  Some folks will worry so much about the truth which they do not know or understand. Walk in the truth, rather than neglect it. We will not get any more truth until we walk in what we have. Obedience to the truth is necessary for the work of God to continue in us.  There are two directions we can follow.  In obeying the truth, there is a growth in obedience. This means that one grows stronger and is more deeply rooted in God.  His obedience becomes more habitual and complete.  In disobeying the truth, there is a growth in disobedience. This means that there is a stronger inclination to follow one’s own will, ever drifting further and further from living in the truth.  Obedience to the will of the Lord will enable us to abide for ever .  Again Brother John helps us here,  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”  (I John 2:17)  Plainly said, no obedience no abiding forever. Now please notice I am not talking about eternal life that is something totally different.  Eternal life is not living forever.  John tells us, “Now this is life eternal that we may know God . . . .” (John 17:3)   Eternal life is coming to know a holy and loving God now on earth and in the ages to come.  Man since time eternal has been chasing his tail when looking for the fountain of youth where they would live forever while all of the time it is found in the Bible and all you have to do to find it is just read the Scriptures.  Everyone alive or have ever lived will live forever; eternal life in that sense is for everyone, but the question still stands before everyone who has ever lived where will they spend their eternal life in hell or with a loving and caring God?  The choice is not God’s nor the devils, but ours.  This way he that does the will of God is woven into the eternal purpose of God that He purposed in Christ Jesus.  As one does the will of God they remain in God and continue on in the purposes of God.  He that is obedient and does the will of God is transformed by that will which is one of God’s goals in our lives to be transformed from the earthly to the heavenly in thinking.  Transformation and conformity to God’s will enables us, “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”  (Philippians 1:10)  We then can make the proper choices not only for today, but also for tomorrow.  Thus our ability to choose correctly tomorrow is based upon our choices today.  We say God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), but really there is no yesterday nor is there a tomorrow there is only today.  Our choices today dictates our tomorrow (which will be today when we get there) out from our obedience to God today.  Just how important is our obedience today?  Our future depends on it.