By Pastor Alex Ruelo
Obedience is compliance with an order, request or law or submission to another’s authority. It is so broad but it only has one destination. In the Old Testament, the general concept of obedience is hearing or hearkening to a higher authority. According to Holman’s Illustrated Bible, obedience is to hear God’s word and act accordingly. After you hear God’s word, you will act accordingly by doing what He asked. Biblical obedience is to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God’s and His word. This means saying, “I will listen to what God is saying.”
In Genesis 2: 15, is says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” This is the first command given to man. Eat everything of any tree except for the tree i the middle of the garden. The original design of God for man is that he should not have a difficult life. There was not supposed to be a virus, no sickness and not even death. Nobody was even supposed to work! As long as they obeyed God’s simple command to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The problem is temptation and the hard-headedness of man. In John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” And this is exactly what happened. The enemy came to the Garden of Eden and stole God’s gifts to Adam and Eve, and their spirit died.
The same thing is happening to everybody nowadays. The enemy is stealing your joy of serving the Lord. Every time you disobey God because you allowed the enemy to tempt you, your joy of serving the Lord is lost. Every time you get offended, every time you fall into satan’s bait, your joy of serving the Lord is lost. Life is destroyed, the future is gridlocked, and so many others are affected by the wrong decisions that you made. That is the purpose of the enemy: to make you disobey the word so that the joy of serving God will be lost. But Jesus said His purpose is to give everyone a rich and satisfying life. Because of man’s sin in the book of Genesis. He died, his spirit died, and because of that one person, all of humanity is dead. And also because of just one person, all of humanity will have a chance to live. But there is one condition. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” Jesus is the key.
In the Old Testament, the command was not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So God the Father sent His only Son. And His Son said, “If you love me, obey my commandments!”
You are missing the point. Most of the time, you do not understand why Jesus is asking you to obey Him. You think you are just being asked to obey. But really, you are missing the point why you are being asked to obey. John 14: 30-31 says “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.”
Why did Jesus ask you to obey His commands if you love Him? First of all, He was setting an example. He said, “I will do what the Father requires of me.” Even up to His death on the cross, He obeyed His Father’s commands. Jesus was tasked with a very difficult thing. It was not easy to become man and save all the people who would not love Him and who would nail Him to the cross. But He set an example. In the verse, He showed how much He loves the Father by being willing to die on the cross. Jesus wants you to see that He obeyed His Father by dying on the cross. And because of that, you should obey Him too. You should do the same.
Do you love Jesus? John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” You are missing the point. Jesus wants you to obey because He wants you to have peace of mind. The problem with man is he is so hard-headed and that is why he is always afraid and worried. Do you know how it is to have peace of mind during this pandemic? People are losing jobs and business, getting sick and even dying! But Jesus said obey my commands and you will have peace. You are so stubborn and that is why you are going around in circles in your head. Proverbs 3:24 says, “You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.” If you trust God and if you obey Him. But you are a stubborn people. Give everything to God. You trusted Him before. Trust Him again.
What kind of peace does the world give? If there is no conflict, there is peace. People in the Middle east always say Shalom, meaning we come in peace. John 15: 9-13 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus said you will have peace in your heart. What is that? Love. People who disobey God are the same people who hate other people. Before, you just want peace. But now, even little things offend you. Because there is no love. That is why Jesus said obey His commands and remain in His love just as He obeyed His Father and remained in His Father’s love. And your joy will overflow. You will care for people in abundance! The world is full of hate. Obey Jesus’ commands so you will have love.
Lastly, John 14:26 says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” If you love Jesus and obey Him, God will send His advocate on earth, to you. The word advocate in Latin means “additional voice.” If Jesus is with you because you obey Him, the Holy Spirit will be there for you. Your problems will be easy to solve. Peace will be in your homes. Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and He will come. Sometimes you forget that God sent you a helper. You want to have peace? Obey Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be there for you. You forget God’s commands. You need the Holy Spirit. Invite the Holy Spirit in your family. Invite the Holy Spirit at work. Invite the Holy Spirit in everything that you do. For the longest time, this was all a blur because theology was the only thing in my head. But then I understood that it is the Holy Spirit that makes knowledge understandable and have meaning. Everything that you do will make sense when you have the Holy Spirit. He is the answer.