We bark the command to our children: “You need to obey mom and dad,” based on Ephesians 6:1. While this command is often given, in the heat of the moment we seldom give the reason, motivation, or benefit for obeying mom and dad. But your kids need to see the reasons and benefits of obedience. And so do we!
You need reason, motivation, and benefit for obedience to God. Why should you obey God? Seventeenth century pastor, Richard Baxter (1615-1691), recognizes we need reasons, offering at least five compelling reasons for obeying God. Here is a summary of his reasons:
- God’s sovereignty.
God is the ruler and governor of all things. He rules all creatures including you and me. We obey because as the sovereign King and Ruler, His commands need to be obeyed.
- God’s goodness.
God is good and for us. He is interested in us. He is for our good. We obey because He is good and desires our good in the commands He makes.
- God’s wisdom.
God is wise in all He commands. We are naturally “blind, ignorant, and biased” in our opinions and views. We obey because His commands are wise.
- God’s justice.
God is just and righteous in all His ways. He will not be mocked. He rewards good and punishes evil. Always. We obey because God is not indifferent or aloof; His justice always has the last word.
- God’s joy.
God is joyful and satisfied in Himself. He offers joy and satisfaction in following Him. We obey God because when we follow His ways it brings us deep and lasting joy and satisfaction.
We obey God, in summary, because of who God is!
“You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 18:4).
If there is a particular area of your life you are currently finding it hard to obey the Lord, consider who He is. Just like a child obeys his mom and dad because they are his mom and dad, even more, we obey God because of who He is: sovereign, good, wise, just, and joyful. Therefore, as Baxter concludes: “It is your happiness to obey and please God. Labor therefore to bring your soul into absolute subjection to Him: to make it your delight to sincerely and exactly obey His will.”
God have mercy. Amen.