Following Jesus by Learning to Obey God
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered”
(refers to Jesus, Hebrews 5:8).
God the Son left heaven and came to earth, taking on the form of man in order to be our sacrificial Redeemer. This was accomplished through the virgin birth as described in Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1:18-25. Jesus of Nazareth was and is Immanuel, God with us! As He entered this world as a newborn Child, the Bible says that He grew as a normal child. “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him…,And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:40, 52). Our text verse in Hebrews 5:8, states that Jesus learned obedience. If Jesus needed to learn obedience, how much more do we need to learn obedience! Obedience for us does not come naturally, it must be learned! So, what do we need to learn?
We must learn to trust the Lord more and ourselves less! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Disobedience is a lack of trust!
We must learn to wait upon the Lord; learn to be patient! “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14). Patience is a fruit of the Spirit of God. Impatience is a tool of the devil.
We must learn to meditate on the Word of God! “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8). You cannot walk in obedience to God with a closed Bible!
We must learn to listen to the quite prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit! “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21). “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….” (Colossians 3:15a). God doesn’t shout at us!
We need to learn to walk when the way is not clear! “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). We walk by faith, not by sight! We are to learn to experience conflict! “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Obeying the Lord Jesus Christ must take priority over our feelings, our attitudes, and even the desires of those closest to us—our family, (Luke 14:25-27).
As we obey the Lord Jesus, we must leave all the results and consequences to God!
Some thoughts to ponder,
Learning to serve,
Robert D. Finley, Ph.D.