What does it mean to be faithful and obedient to the Lord?
This question came to me while I was doing a study on the Book of Joshua this month and throughout the study; I’ve noticed these two themes stick out to me while reading Joshua: Faithfulness and Obedience.
In reading Joshua, I saw how God continually showed His faithfulness to His rebellious people; the Israelites and how He continued to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham. For me, this idea of God’s faithfulness started making me think about God’s faithfulness towards us as Christians today and asking the question: Are we remaining faithful and obedient to the Lord?
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines faithfulness as: A steadfast adherent or supporter of a faith or cause.
In Joshua 1:3, God is speaking to Joshua about the Promised Land and how He will fulfill the promise that He made to Abraham to the people of Israel. God speaks on how He will guide them through the land; even when it seems like it is impossible.
“Every place that the sole of your feet will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”
I like this verse because it is a reminder to me that God continues to show His faithfulness to us as Christians today when He directs our path by showing us our Promised Land (the purpose God has for our lives). This verse actually recalls how the Lord spoke to Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy about giving the people of Israel land that they didn’t own and food that they didn’t plant.
Within the passage of Scripture, there are several statements that although speak to the Israelites, can be applied to us as Christians today. Deuteronomy 11:22-23 says, “22. For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do – to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him – 23. then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess great and mightier nations than yourselves.”
“God continues to show His faithfulness to us as Christians today when He directs our path by showing us our Promised Land (the purpose God has for our lives).”
This theme of faithfulness found me reading a devotional I read by Mike Mobley of Before the Cross entitled, “Scripture on Faithfulness” where he speaks on this topic. In his devotional, Mike Mobley said, “… we have a hard time believing in a God who is perfectly faithful, every…single…day. We either doubt His faithfulness when we think we have let him down and He will be upset with us, or we just straight up can’t believe someone would be perfectly faithful.”
I like this quote because as human beings, who were born into sin; we do have a hard time believing that God is faithful because we are “trapped” in sin. While reading this quote there is a question that I have while thinking of God’s faithfulness in my own life: What has me trapped that I forget God’s faithfulness?
Mike Mobley said, “… we have a hard time believing in a God who is perfectly faithful, every…single…day. We either doubt His faithfulness when we think we have let him down and He will be upset with us, or we just straight up can’t believe someone would be perfectly faithful.”
God’s faithfulness is unimaginable because it is always a reminder that no matter what we have come through; God still fulfills His promises. In her blog post entitled: Revue: Ultimate Safety, Lynn Abbots of Through Ink and Image said, “And the enemy doesn’t always use the blatantly evil to orchestrate his attacks. Sometimes, he simply seeks to distract us from God’s purpose with the beautiful or seemingly good.”
I like this quote because it really should be a reminder to us as Christians and as people of the strategies Satan employs to distract us and keep our focus from the purpose God has for us. Satan would love nothing more than to keep us distracted and forgetful of God’s faithfulness to us throughout our lives and how He has brought us through trials and other circumstances.
Also, in her blog post, Lynn Abbots has several quotes that should remind us of God’s faithfulness to us when we are going through periods of trials.
- “… our enemy doesn’t always send his “flying monkeys” to harm us. He frequently uses more subtle methods to ensnare us.”
- “He, too, perverts things that God intended for our good, things of beauty, in order to promote an evil agenda.”
- “Satan loves that strategy. He corrupts poppies in order to forestall or block our way home. He is bent on our destruction.”
- “… God had made a covenant with Abraham. And our God always keeps His covenants. In fact, He is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13).”
- “… God’s promises last from everlasting to everlasting…”
- “… this is as true for those of us who, through faith in Christ, have been adopted into God’s family…”
- “At times, God allows the Balaams of this world to enter our lives. But we can be sure of this: in Christ, our souls are secure…”
Charles Spurgeon said, “The glory of God’s faithfulness is that no sin of ours has ever made Him unfaithful.”
Is our faithfulness and obedience to God coming from our heart? Because the path towards our purpose stems from our obedience and faithfulness to the Lord. In preparing for this blog post, I watched a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick entitled, “Closing the Loop” and in the sermon; he said, “Sometimes you’ve got to circle back to where you started to see how far you’ve come.”
I like this quote by Pastor Steven Furtick because I feel that it’s only when we decide to go back to the place that caused our circumstance and see how far we’ve grown spiritually; it will be a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness to us. This idea of not only God’s faithfulness to us but our faithfulness to Him and His Word leads me to talk about what it means to be obedient to the Lord.
The word “Obey” comes from the Hebrew word “shamá” meaning “to listen” or “to obey”, but how does this apply to our Christian life and our walk with God? In Joshua 6:18-19, we that Joshua tells the people of Israel how they aren’t to take anything that was gold or silver because that was meant to be consecrated to the Lord.
Joshua 6:18-19 says, “18. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, but you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, and are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
Our obedience to the Lord should ultimately stem from our desire to see the fruits of the promise He has over our life; however, when we choose to disobey Him, we are bound to be disciplined as children because God is still our Father and when He rebukes us; it’s because He loves us.
In his devotional entitled, “Scripture on Obedience”, Mike Mobley wrote, “As disciples, our obedience reveals what our real priorities are in our lives” and I like this quote because in my opinion; wherever our obedience is, that is where our priorities will be. Lynn Abbots wrote a really good blog post on Obedience to the Lord called, “Revue: God’s Reboot” and in the blog post; she wrote, “When you and I wander from God’s path, Grace calls; “Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it…”
I like this quote by Lynn because it’s when we venture off of the course God has us on that we are either indirectly or intentionally disobeying God and with our disobedience comes consequences.
Pastor Steven Furtick said, “Obedience is your responsibility, the outcome is God’s!”
Likewise, with the children of Israel; who coveted items that were consecrated to the Lord and because of Achan’s covetousness; God did not lend a hand in the Israelites first attack on the city of Ai because of their deliberate disobedience. Whenever we disobey God’s instructions, God will not fight on our behalf until we have rectified and removed the “accursed” thing whether it’s a person or addiction from our lives and refocus our eyes towards the Lord.
Related Post: Holy Spirit, Teach Us!
In the end, though; just as God showed His faithfulness to the Israelites and they were to show their faithfulness and obedience to God; He is showing His faithfulness to us as Christians today, but the question is: Do we recognize His faithfulness as Him fulfilling His promises or as something that we should just expect from God?
As we as Christians continue to go through different seasons in our relationship with God, we have to remain vigilant of Satan and his attempts to distract us and keep us from recognizing God’s promises for what they are and continue to read God’s Word so that we can remain faithful and obedient to the Lord.
So, What does it mean to be faithful and obedient to the Lord?
Do you recognize His faithfulness as Him fulfilling His promises or as something that you should just expect from God?
How has God shown you that He has been faithful and kept His promises?
Are we remaining obedient to the Lord during our trials?
Abbots, Lynn. “Revue: God’s Reboot”, 7 Apr 2018, throughinkandimage.com, https://throughinkandimage.com/2018/04/07/revue-gods-reboot/ . Accessed 19 May 2018.
- “Revue: Ultimate Safety”, 2 May 2018, throughinkandimage.com, https://throughinkandimage.com/2018/05/02/revue-ultimate-safety/ . Accessed 19 May 2018.
“Closing the Loop”. YouTube, uploaded by Elevation Church, 28 Nov 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBcUOplDuuk . Accessed 18 May 2018.
Mobley, Mike. “Scripture on Faithfulness”, beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/scripture/faithfulness/ . Accessed 19 May 2018.
- “Scripture on Obedience”, beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/scripture/obedience/ . Accessed 19 May 2018.
Rich, Bennett. “Deuteronomy 5-11”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/5882121/ . modified over 2 years ago, Accessed 19 May 2018.
Stevens, Sabrina. “God Must Be First Sunday”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/7048819/ . modified over 2 years ago, Accessed 19 May 2018.