Three Reasons To Obey God, Even When You Don’t Want To
When God told Moses he would bring the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses doubted he was able.
When God declared Gideon a mighty warrior, Gideon asked for tangible proof.
When God commanded Jonah to preach against Nineveh, Jonah tried to outrun the call.
Sometimes when God speaks, we aren’t ready to receive it. We may not like what He has to say. We may doubt it. His Word may challenge us. His Word may convict us. His Word may even scare us. Me? Why me? I’m not qualified for this. But when God speaks, when He gives specific instructions—they are always worthy of our attention and our obedience.
In Genesis 22 God speaks very specific instructions to Abraham, the Father of Nations. “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Surely a command like this would stop any parent in his tracks. We might question the instructions. We might want to ignore them. We might even beg God to change them. Whether or not Abraham did this, we do not know. In Genesis 22:3 we know only that “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.” Abraham obeyed. He followed God’s call, even though it was shaping up to be an incredibly painful and difficult calling.
Abraham’s response to God’s command in Genesis 22 is one we can all learn from. Read on to learn three reasons to obey God, even when you don’t want to.
1. Our obedience is an act of love
In John 14, Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” While this verse is referring to God’s commandments, we can liken this to His leading in our lives. Matthew 22:37 reminds us, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” If we love God, we will obey Him even if. Even if the commands are challenging. Even if the commands are uncomfortable. Even if the commands are sacrificial in nature. Abraham’s obedience was an act of love for a mighty God that chose him for a covenant promise. Our obedience is an act of love for God, too. It’s our offering that we lovingly lay on the altar. And like an incense, our obedience is a pleasing aroma to God.
2. Our obedience is an act of trust
I imagine Abraham did not understand why God was asking him to sacrifice his son, the son who was an essential part of the plan for his “descendants to be too numerous to count.” Even still, Abraham acted in obedience because He trusted God and His promises. When Abraham’s son asked where the lamb was for the burnt offering, Abraham answered with undeniable trust. “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Just as Abraham’s obedience was an act of trust, ours is too. We can walk forward in blind faith, trusting God with the outcome, whatever it may be, because we serve a trustworthy God who always keeps His promises.
3. Our obedience is an act of receiving
When we walk in God’s calling, we open the gates to receive His blessings. In the Bible, we see a theme of obedience leading to blessings. When Abraham was obedient in trusting God with his sacrifice of Isaac, God provided the offering that spared his son. “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.” Abraham’s obedience was blessed and his son stepped down from the altar. Our obedience is also an act of receiving. Are you willing to do what God has called you to do? Are you ready to receive the blessing that will come from it?
Moses’ obedience blessed the Israelites, delivering them from oppression.
Gideon’s obedience blessed the Israelites, saving them from Midian’s hand.
Jonah’s obedience blessed the Ninevites, saving them from destruction.
The next time you struggle with wanting to obey God’s commands, I hope you’ll reflect on how Abraham, the Father of Nations, put his faith and obedience into action. God is calling you to do the same.
Follow Contributing Writer - Jessika Sanders