Internal Obedience – Part 2
Scripture Reading: James 1:22-27
Key Verse: James 1:25
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
As we continue our study of what mature obedience looks like, we must examine immature obedience; this is where the Apostle James begins. Our challenge is to recognize when we are slipping back into Old Testament obedience. In other words, we become “rule keepers,” but not Christ followers who are in love with Jesus. We must make sure our hearts are engaged in a relationship with Jesus, not just our minds.
A sign of immature obedience is merely listening to the Word but not really doing the intended action it is calling for! For example, is sitting in church, listening to a sermon an obedience to God’s Word? In one sense it is, for the Word tells us not to “forsake the assembly of believers” (Hebrews 10:25). However, why was the Law given? Its intent was not simply to make sure God’s people were attending church. God wanted His people to worship Him and learn to grow in their knowledge of Him. In other words, we can obey this law and yet miss the point. God does not simply want us to sit in church for an hour and feel we’ve done what He asked us to do.
Mature obedience looks at the Word and discerns what God is truly wanting in our relationship with Him. When the apostle tells us to “do what it says,” he is calling for a heartfelt response to the perfect law of God, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to get us into a relationship, not a religion.
Father, I love your instructions and know they bring life abundant to me. Thanks you for your Spirit that leads me. In Jesus’ name, amen.