If you attend church, obedience to God is something you hear about all the time. Obey God. Just do it. We are repeatedly told how we must try hard to obey God, but consider this matter for a moment. Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Father. On the other hand, how often have we struggled to be obedient to the things we believe He expects of us? Here’s a question worth seriously considering: What if obedience has nothing to do with conforming to demands on your external behavior?
What if obedience, at its core, is simple faith in the complete obedience of Jesus?
Does this scenario suggest that our actions wouldn’t matter? Of course not! To the contrary, it suggests that if it all revolves around the obedience of Jesus, we could abandon every self-effort to do the things we imagine God wants us to do and simply yield ourselves to the One whose record of obedience has already been given to us as a gift. Could obedience be as simple as relaxing from a religious struggle and trusting Him to be who He is and to live His life in our daily actions?
What if the issue of obedience had nothing to do with your willpower? The great news about Jesus’s vicarious obedience as you before the Father is this: You don’t have to struggle anymore. In fact, just the opposite—you can give up your struggle and simply rest in His finished work of obedience. The gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t just good news for facing death. It’s also good news for facing life!
The obedience of Jesus so far exceeds anything we could possibly do that it is absurd for any of us to struggle to be obedient. Trusting Him, not trying harder, is the pathway. Jesus was and is the Man who mediates your life to the Father. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8 esv). Jesus ascended the pinnacle of obedience through His death. What do we now foolishly believe we have to do? We have no trump card to play on the obedience of Jesus. We have the amazing offer to simply rest in what He has done.
The obedience of Jesus Christ has been accomplished for you and given to you by grace. Just as Adam’s disobedience was yours, Jesus’s earthly life was your life of obedience to the Father. Stop trying so hard and just trust Him.
PS. For an in-depth study at other practical topics like this, check out my audio series called, The Grace Walk in Everyday Life.