Many Christians are like little children who obey their parents with the hidden purpose of gaining favour so that they may acquire something they desire. The moral wrongness of this kind of obedience lies in its focus; the one who obeys is fixated not on the desires of God, but rather, on the ultimate gratification of his/her own desires.
Christ our Lord showed us the perfect way of obedience. He lived a life of obedience – not instrumental obedience for his own gratification – but obedience even to death (Phil 2.8). In the same way, God’s desire for His children is that they may learn to submit to Him in obedience; even to death. Obedience is not an instrument for gaining God’s favour; it is an expression of our intentions to lay down our lives for the One who gave His life for us. In the words of Thomas Aquinas, “Obedience is the perfection of the religious life; by it man submits to man for the love of God, as God rendered Himself obedient unto men for their salvation.”
Reflection: Take a moment to reflect on how far you are willing to live a life of obedience unto God. What price are you willing to pay to exercise the measure of obedience required by God? What are some things in your life that may require you to exercise a deeper magnitude of obedience towards God?
(Meditations by Sherman)