The role of obedience in Christian discipleship is instrumental in following God’s call to us. Most people hear the word obedience and automatically feel oppressed. Obedience is not oppression, it is a choice made by another person to listen, and perform the commands of the other out of fear, sometimes, respect, or honor of the person, or the authority that person holds. “The heart of obedience lies in a joyful “yes” to this familial relationship with God. Through obedience, we humbly acknowledge that we have been created by a loving God and are called to express our gratitude through loving service” (Au, By Way of the Heart 114). Obedience to a parent as a child is normally due to the consequences of disobeying. However, as an adult obedience has a different meaning. As adults we recognize our free will and can choose to obey or not. Obedience to God is a choice that an adult chooses. If utilized correctly it is freeing to the person not oppressive. We do not always understand the will of God but if we choose to obey him in the end we will see his providence. We shouldn’t just blindly and mindlessly follow but follow with a sense of respect and love for God because we believe that his guidance will indeed move our lives to a kingdom driven life, a life of selfless love, elevating others and seeking the common good for all.
Teens struggle for autonomy and independence to discover identity. Knowing that they are separate from their parents from a young age gives them their first taste of independence. I believe that God placed a piece of him in our souls and in heaven we will merge somehow with our creator, our soul will find its home once more. If we deny our soul and reject God our autonomy will develop into greed and a pleasure driven life. We need to recognize that it is our responsibility to allow our souls to develop and grow fully into what God has planned for our lives. Twelve step programs use this idea of obedience, or surrendering to a higher power. We must relinquish control and realize we do not completely control our lives. God is in control. This leads to our commitment to God. We must commit to God in order for this to occur. If we half-heartedly say yes to God we are not living our lives fully.
I am obedient to the call of God in my life. I try to listen through prayer and reflection so that the core of my soul is constantly seeking God. I heard a preacher on the radio say that he prays not for his will but for the will of God to move his will towards God. It’s difficult to be so selfless. One day at a time try to relinquish control, trust God, look for his signs and be obedient so that you can be free to live fully in his love.