1 Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For many years now I have been wonderfully intrigued by God’s definition of love in 1 John 5:3. There we read, “This is the love of God, that you keep His commandments.” Another perfectly legitimate way to say that is, “This is the love of God, that you obey God’s Word.” Think of that. Then we read in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jesus speaking). The connection is unmistakable. The love of God and obedience to His Word are the same thing. And since faith works by love, we are looking at an unbreakable union with the elements of obedience, love, and faith. Keep that in mind as we pursue this study.
Let’s take a look at Positional Obedience. Positional Obedience is the obedience you offer to the Lord because He is God, and you are not. You might also think of in the light of how Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the Kingdom of God operates on the seed principle (Mark 4). You sow a seed, and once sown, first comes the blade, then the ear, and finally the full corn in the ear (that’s harvest). Positional Obedience is the “blade” of obedience, “blade” being the first visible indicator or growth toward full fruitfulness. At this level of obedience, one has been born again, and has made a commitment to love (obey) the Lord. His level of knowledge is very limited. He is a babe in Christ. He likely obeys the Lord because of the influence of other believers around him. He possesses very little understanding and revelation concerning obedience to the Lord and the outcome. His trust level is at its earliest stages. Obedience at this level arises from a desire to know the Lord, to grow in the Lord, and to please the Lord, though he may understand little of that. Having been born again, he has a freshly innate longing for that which he cannot explain, and through obedience to the Lord, there is a fulfilling of that longing. The connection between obedience and the sense of fulfillment is recognized, and there pursued.
At this stage of obedience, the new believer needs to be handled gently. He is a lamb and needs a lamb’s care, feeding, and protection. When these elements are given to a new believer, obedience for them is much easier to experience, and from that obedient experience comes the necessary growth for the believer to move more quickly forward to the second and third levels of obedience, thus becoming a more powerful and effective witness for the Lord, growing in faith.
Manna for Today – 1 Samuel 15:1-35; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; Romans 12:1-3