Focus on Christ
Why do you do the right thing? Is it because you have been raised with good morals? Do you obey the law so that you will not be embarrassed? Or do you obey the law because you love God? People do not want to talk about their morals, unless they think they are right.
…and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:6
Only as we obey do we perceive things right both morally and spiritually. Right feeling is produced by obedience, never vice versa. But morality is a tyrant and a bully. It will drive you to attempt to be good in your own human strength. You can choose to live a good moral life without depending on God. But Christ does not want you to try and live the best way, He wants you to get into His Word and discover how to obey Him. This will produce morality in you.
Many try to make the Christian life too difficult. Setting your own standards will do that. It is Christ who works in you to develop what He wants in and through your life. How do you get that? Obedience. Living life by a set of morals is extremely difficult. They are always nagging at you and you can never get ultimate victory over them.
Your free will to choose wrong is what makes obedience have value. It is not obedience when you do something because you have no choice. Your obedience would have no value if the power to sin were taken away. Learning to live an obedient life through a relationship with Jesus is a pleasure.
Obedience produces morality. One writer said, “One step in obedience is worth ten years of study.” If you want a cure for a moral problem, obedience is the answer. Luke 9:23 states that I must deny myself. Therefore, as a Christian my only right, is the right to give up my rights. A good way to see if you have the right perspective is to always state back to yourself what you are thinking. This allows you to realize whether you practically are what you idealistically think you ought to be. Spiritual reality is what you want.
Moral thinking and duty (i.e. Bible reading) is not the same as a relationship with Christ. Before you do something, ask “Will this produce a likeness to Christ?” Obedience works in all situations. Disobedience causes damage, confusion, and disorder. Obedience to Jesus Christ will make the meanest, vilest men and women into saints.
Are you trying to live a good life so you can be a Christian, or are you living a good moral life because you are a Christian?
Focus on Self
Self’s desire is to go its own way. This becomes a challenge when discussing obedience. The reason for the challenge is because in order to obey God, you must deny self. Denying self is a lifelong daily process that is only achieved in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Following self may provide you with what you want in the moment, but there are consequences when you choose to disobey God. When God directs you, while it may be a challenge, the best response is to obey Him.
© Copyright 2020, Think LifeChange Institute of Biblical Counseling, All Rights Reserved. Kerry L. Skinner and Alison Veazey