Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Obedience

Worship in Obedience
A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14:15-17 (NIV)

As parents, when we give instructions to our children, obedience is the expected response. But how often do we hear “Why” in reply? Children do not always find rules easy to follow and we, as adults, can find them hard at times as well.

Psalm 119:33-34 (TPT) says, “Give me revelation about the meaning of your ways so I can enjoy the reward of following them fully. Give me an understanding heart so that I can passionately know and obey your truth.” This verse encourages us to enjoy following God’s ways and to walk in obedience to His truth.

In the Bible book of Daniel, we find a perfect example of how obedience and worship go hand in hand. Daniel was a Jewish prophet in the Old Testament who was gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. He was living in exile in Babylon but was well-liked by the king due to his gift. The Babylonians did not worship God and at the urging of some of his trusted officials, the king outlawed worshiping any god other than the idols of their culture. Anyone caught doing such would be put to death in the lion’s den.

In direct disobedience to the king’s decree, but in obedience to God, Daniel knelt and worshipped the Lord three times a day. He knew the ultimate consequence could be death but his love for the Lord ruled his life. He did not veer from his principles. Due to those actions, Daniel was condemned to death by the king.

We can learn four life lessons from Daniel’s obedience:

Lesson #1: Daniel was in the habit of prayer. Daniel 6:10 (NIV) says, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daily prayer was a pattern in Daniel’s life and not just in times of crisis. God knew the sound of his voice.

Lesson #2:
Daniel trusted in the sovereignty of God. He bent down on his knees to pray—reminding himself of the authority of God as he bowed before him.

Lesson #3: Daniel gave himself entirely to God. He knew he did not have the strength on his own to walk this path, so he prayed for God to give him strength.

Lesson #4: Daniel asked for God’s intervention. He may have asked for the edict to be overturned or possibly for God to be glorified in his death. God did not deliver help in the way Daniel expected but rather He sealed the mouths of the lions and Daniel was spared.

In Colossians 3:17 (NIV) we read, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When this is how we live our lives, we give honor to the Lord, and we acknowledge that He alone is worthy of our worship and praise.

The One who calls us to obedience gives us everything we need to obey Him (2 Peter 1:3).

Theoretically, we know this to be true but do the Lord’s commands bring you joy? Do you accept that they are for your good? If we are honest with ourselves, we often balk at following His commands despite having all we need to live a life of obedience. Obedience begets worship. It is the outward result of a heart that is unimpressed and uninterested in anything but God.

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, despite what you were facing at Calvary, you humbled yourself and became obedient to the Father’s will. We do not face death each day, but we ask that you bestow on us that same spirit of humbleness and obedience so that you are glorified in our actions and in our words. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

*Note from Alexis: Kay’s devotional today reminds me of the song “Pray On” by Babbie Mason. Listen to it here

Author Bio:

Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty. 

Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. 

She is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego, California. 

Kay enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

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