Let's be honest. The obedience part of Christianity isn't where we spend most of our time. We like the part where Jesus willingly chose to die on the cross for us so that we can spend eternity in heaven with him. And please don't get me wrong. That's the basis for our faith. We're sinners and the only way we can get to God is through the ultimate sacrifice and that ultimate sacrifice came through Jesus living a perfect and blameless life so he could satisfy our dept once for all. BUT, it doesn't stop there. It can't. Why you may ask? Because, we can't accept that radical life altering reality without something about us changing afterward. Our very hearts change so there is no way we can go on living and doing what we did before believing in Jesus. That just wouldn't make sense.
Now, the important thing to remember is that God didn't require obedience before sending Jesus. If he had I'm afraid Jesus would have never made it since there is no way for us to live up the standards of God on our own. So if it wasn't for our lack of obedience that God sent Jesus, why did he do it? John 3:16 says, "For God so LOVED the world that he sent his only son..." (emphasis mine). How do you respond to someone who loves you unconditionally? You want to please them, right? I know I do. When my husband shows me his unconditional love for me I want nothing more than to please him. That is my response to his love. Do you see where I'm going with this?? I bet you do. Understanding obedience as my natural response to God's love for me drastically changed my perception of what it means to obey. It's not always easy, though. Things happen in our lives that make it difficult to obey because they cause us to question God's love, but remember what I said yesterday, sometimes those things are used as discipline. And let's be honest, discipline doesn't feel good. It's supposed to hurt, because it is meant to change a behavior.
I spent time in Hebrews 5 this morning and discovered that even Jesus learned obedience! Hebrews 5:8 says,"Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered." That statement has been with me all day. I began to ponder something. I asked myself...is this what God is trying to do in my life? And it suddenly become very clear. I have spent too much time trying to plan my own life while at the same time blatantly ignoring God's plan for me life. And who do you think knows best? Not me of course! And it looks like it has taken me a few trials to finally realize this truth, but it is such a freeing realization. I am now seeking everyday to say God, what you want is what I want and I will go where you want me to go. And I'll be honest, it's one of the best feelings to have. I find myself no longer worrying about where my husband and I will be next year and whether or not we'll be ready for babies because you know what?? There is someone who already knows when all of that will happen and that someone is my Creator! Wow, talk about a true relief. So now, obedience feels natural, I won't say it's easy, but the Holy Spirit has placed the desire in my heart. My God loves me so much and has an awesome plan for my life so why on earth would I not want to obey him?? And what's even better is, he has an equally awesome plan for you life and wants so badly to share it with you. So I encourage you to experience the great love he has for, let the Holy Spirit awaken your heart, and respond to God with the desire to obey so that you can discover what he has in store for you!
And to answer the question, can obedience be natural? YES! It's not going to be easy, but as we grow in our faith and begin to understand the true depth of God's love for us then desiring to obey his commands will become a natural response.