Levels of Obedience to God

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Most people speak glibly about obedience to The Lord, and really donít give it much thought to what obedience means. Obedience is doing what The Lord wants us to do, right? Well, I think that things are not so simple sometimes, and this maybe one of those times. Actually, I think that obedience can be broken down into 7 levels based on oneís commitment to The Lord in seeking His Will. Here is one view that might shed some light on what Iím saying:

1 Level One: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. Things are already going in the Ďrightí direction so no action is needed, and obedience is nothing more than not actively going against His Will according to what one believes that God wants. He is obedient, but only by default.

2. Level Two: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. He acts accordingly.

3. Level Three: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. The person mindlessly prays for guidance that Godís Will will be done and proceeds with the action. He Ďchecks the boxí and proceeds assuming that he prayed and if God wanted him to do something different, then some burden would be laid o his heart by The Holy Spirit that he could sense. His assumption is that God needs to be active to make him do the right thing.

4. Level Four: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. The person thinks of what should be done as he knows it, prays for guidance, and searches his heart to find an answer. He decides on a course of action that is Ďcorrectí and what he sees as Godís Will and commences with the action. I think that most prayers fall into this category.

5. Level Five: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. He sets his earthly desires aside and searches the Scriptures and his heart to find an answer in the relevant passages of The Bible to seek similar situations that are recorded; and how things were handled by the people involved then. He takes note of what the people of the Bible did, and takes action in a similar manner.

6. Level Six: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. He sets his earthly desires aside. He searches the Scriptures and searches his heart to find an answer in relevant passages to see understand similar situations, and prayerfully seeks to find out what Godís Will was back then. He searches his heart, does his best to understand Godís Will through His Scriptures, and the burden on his heart. He then takes note and acts according to The Holy Spiritís guidance through The Scriptures, and the prayerful burden on his heart.

7. Level Seven: A person recognizes that something is wrong according to what he knows about Gods Word, and he should obey. He decides that things are not going in the direction of His Will, so some action is needed to realize His Will. He sets his earthly desires aside. He searches the Scriptures diligently and opens his heart to The Holy Spiritís guidance to find Godís Will in relevant passages in The Scriptures. He searches his heart, and does his best to discern Godís Will in his Heart by The Holy Spirit; and through His Scriptures. In the course of searching he prays and lays his free will at the feet of Our Lord, saying that he is offering his free will and his soul to be used as an instrument of His Godly Will. He prays patiently and diligently, and awaits the time when the burden in his heart is lifted, and clarity of purpose is known in his heart. Then he acts with a purpose according to His Will, as best he has been able to gather
through his efforts.

Obedience to God and understanding the Will of God

After thinking about this a long time I think that there is a point here. Many times we Christians are not as diligent in understanding the Will of God as we should be and are confused as to what direction we need to go. We are puzzled as to why we donít feel our guidance produces the peace and clarity that we seek; when in fact we should be seeking His Will exclusively Ė and then peace and clarity will come. This understanding is particularly important at a time when Our Nation is in sin, and needs a revival... to seek His Face according to 2 Chron 7:14.

I write a lot, and when I do I try to do my best to work according to His Purpose. Iíve found that the most clarity of purpose I have found is in the highest level. However, I need to emphasize that just because you try your best to be obedient at the highest level doesnít mean that you will find that peace, or that you will be going in the right direction... it only means that you are trying to seek His Will as best you can. God is sovereign and nothing we do on our part will move Him against His Will. Also, manís heart is desperately wicked, and although we think that we are seeking at the highest level, and act accordingly, we can still act out our own hearts desires by deceiving ourselves.

Having said that, I do believe that any true Christian that is earnest and willing to put forth the effort to do his/her best to seek and understand Godís Holy direction is well served to know that obedience takes work, and that sloppy prayers are likely to not be your best effort in seeking His Will. He loves you, and just like your spouse Ďfeelsí your love for her when you embrace her, so does God know your love/pain/desires when you pray to Him and seek His Will.

By Dennis Stapp

 

Obedience to God brings you these Bible Verses

Leviticus 4:9-11
9 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attachedto the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove,
10
as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering.
11
But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and offal

 


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