Oct 26, 2011

Excellence ~ Exemplified by Obedience

Part 4

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
John H. Sammis

I went to a wedding recently where the bride had major issues repeating the part of the marriage vows that dealt with obeying. In fact the minister had to prompt her several times before she could get the words out of her mouth. Where does that fit into this study? Well it just illustrates the point that obedience isn’t exactly easy. Promising to obey in essence says I trust you with my life. I believe you know what’s best for me. I’m going to defer to your judgment.

There are times when we may have followed the directions of someone in the past and it didn’t turn out well. However this isn’t the case with God. God’s purpose in giving us commands is always for our benefit or the benefit of others. He wants us to practice the act of obedience until we do it without thinking or without questioning him. Our obedience shows him how we feel about him and how much we trust him.

Daniel showed God that he trusted him when he refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzer’s golden image. Lot’s wife on the other hand had been given a specific command to not look back but disobeyed. She unfortunately didn’t trust God’s plans for her future.

Like Lot’s wife and the bride who had issues promising to obey, I too have my struggles in the area of obedience. In fact as I got deeper into my study on becoming a woman of excellence I wrote the following in my journal when I began the topic of obedience.

I am still doing my Becoming a Woman of Excellence bible study. This is really not quite what I expected it to be. In fact it is much more. I know I said it before but excellence encompasses so much! I am now on the chapter entitled “Excellence, Exemplified by Obedience. This is truly my area of weakness. I really need to learn to obey God in spite of what is going on around me and in spite of what my critics may say. If I want to become a woman of excellence obedience has to become a habit. I want to be in God’s perfect will. I want to walk in the spirit of excellence. Obedience then is my goal. To listen and obey and allow God to have his way in my life.”
My Journal, May 19, 2003.
Obedience, four years later is still sometimes a struggle. But I remind myself that excellence doesn’t mean I get it perfectly every time. It means I keep trying.  (2011 insert here... this is still an area of weakness for me)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
Sometimes the struggle with obedience comes when we question whether or not we’re really hearing God’s voice. However as you can see in the above verse, his Holy Spirit is there to guide us and always prompts us to make the right choice. Also, when we’re not sure we simply need to seek his counsel, spend time in prayer, study his word and ask him what is his will for our lives.

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:8
God's ultimate desire for us is that we would become more like his son. As Christians, Jesus is our role model. Just as he was tested and tried so will we be. However, the question is will we obey even in the difficult times?

... I'm wondering... is it just me or do you find it difficult to obey also?  How do you get to that point that you simply stop making excuses and simply obey???

Read part one,  two and three
There are so many new nuggets I'm finding as I go through this study again. However although there is so much that I can say I will bring it to a close next week.

Trusting Him,

Posted previously on my teen girl blog.


  1. As it pertains to obedience, I think I sometimes underestimate the voice of God... like I'm not always sure if it's Him or if it's me. This is why it's so important to stay in the Word and to apply it to every day life. I feel as if God is prompting me in one area of my life; I'm now seeking him daily on the matter, believing that he will reveal his heart. I pray to be obedient to whatever that leading requires of me.

    Great post, Bernadine.


  2. I wish I could say that I always obey, but I do not. Some days I do well, but others not so much.

    I too have an issue with obeying God all the time. Glad that I am not alone.

  3. Obedience...we know that this the right answer...but what does it look like in our everyday life? I believe it is exercising obedience throughout the day, moment by moment on the little things...whether it be calling someone to encourage them, writing a note and sending it, going to visit someone...I realize that obedience to God usually involves others...His heart is always about people...relationships.

    Great post Bernadine!

  4. Amen sista. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and yours.

  5. Total submission and obedience...I, too, fail at this...thank you for these needful reminders of honoring and glorifying our heavenly Father....

  6. Obeying can be so hard, but yet there is joy in it. I love the scripture about Jesus' yoke being light. Like oxen, we carry a yoke - and Jesus is the driver. We can't go our own way, only the way He steers us. It might not take us to the place we think we should go, but the joy comes in going to where He leads. Do we trust Him to lead us to that place?

    Great post...


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