“To obey is better than sacrifice.”

1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)

When my husband and I made plans to go down to visit our son. I requested to go to the bird sanctuary near the town where he lives. Our son took me over there. On the way, we passed a little church that had this message on its signboard.

“The fear of the Lord is shown by obedience.”

The message on that church’s sign made me think. How do we, as God’s children, obey Him? The Guidepost Family Concordance defines obey as: “to submit to authority.”(1)

Obeying God

God gave Moses a set of commandments. Jesus summed up the list by stating the greatest one (Matthew 22:37) and the second one like it. (Matthew 22:39.) He also gave us the Golden Rule. (Matthew 7:12)

Obeying Those in Authority

The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus; “Remind the people to be subject to the rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” Titus 3:1-2 (NIV.) We pay taxes to our various governmental entities. As Christians, Paul tells us we are to keep in mind that whatever we say or do will reflect on back on us and on Jesus Christ. (Do not slander, be peaceable, be considerate, and show true humility.)

Paul tells us to be submissive to those who are over us. Then he expands on the point by advising us to, first of all, be obedient.

Ordinances, Laws, and Regulations

In our cities and states, we have ordinances or laws that we are to abide by. Our military people live by regulations, prescribed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

From time to time our government gives us emergency directions, designed to help us get through any unusual circumstance, water shortage can require we water our lawns on alternating days. Along the coastlines of our nation, certain highways are designated ‘emergency routes’ in the event of hurricanes.

Present Day Obedience

Where do we see obedience in our 21Century world? People come together to worship. When we honor our commitments, or fulfill our contractual obligations, we obey our word and that of the Lord’s. Another example of our obedience to God is we honor our marriage vows. By keeping our word and fulfilling our obligations, we obey God’s laws.

God’s Law over Man’s Law

We have times when man’s law conflicts with God’s law. When this circumstance occurs because we are God’s children, God’s Word instructs us to obey His law. Peter and the other apostles give us an example. (Acts 5:29 NIV.) In the Old Testament, we have the story of Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego stood firm about their resolve not to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. (Daniel 3:16-17NIV.)

Praying for the needs of others, tithing our resources, and reading God’s Word are other forms of obedience.

  1. The Guideposts Family Concordance © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.Page 489