When it comes to obeying biblical commands (and thus, obeying the God of the Bible), I’ve been becoming increasingly aware that when I try to shirk my obligations to obedience, I’m displaying my own pride.
Throughout the OT, when God gives commands to the nation of Israel, he generally reminds them, immediately following the command, that it is he–the LORD, their God–who demands it of them. So one reason for obedience, then, is the person giving the command.
In relation to this, I noticed today that God demands obedience not only because of who he is, but also because of who I am. In Deuteronomy 16, our God reminds his people why they should obey his commands: “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.” So we obey not only because he is God, but also because we were slaves, and he redeemed us. Or in NT terms, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.”
When I am reluctant to obey, it is pride. I’m thinking better of myself than I ought. I forget that was in bondage in Egypt, without hope or God in this world. But the Lord chose me, not because of anything good in me–not because I was stronger or better than any other person, but because I am weaker and worse–so that he might display in me the great glories of his grace and the triumphs of his mercy and love.
He bought me at a price: his own Son’s blood. He bought me for a purpose: the display of his glory in all the world. When I refuse to obey, I’m like a lazy ant or a burnt out bulb; completely useless. I’m missing the whole point of why I’m here.
But it all has to start with humility. I need to remember who God is and who I am, and what he has done for me. Why is that so hard? Why is my foolish heart so quick to revert back to “looking out for #1?” I am forever in need of deep, true heart change.