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I just started classes this week specifically devoted to studying the book of Romans in context as well as a class about the book of Acts. They both already have individual categories under Bible Study. That’s your “head’s up.”
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bing about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to be saints” (Romans 1:1-6 ESV)
As I was reading this, one phrase in particular jumped out at me: “obedience of faith” (v. 5). Faith means trusting that God knows what is best for you better than you do. Then, in that trust, you must submit to God’s plan for your life. We have to be able to simply obey Him and His Word. No, it’s not always easy, in fact most of the time obedience to God will be the harder path to take. However, obedience to God is always the right choice.
The most simple way this is stated in the Bible is found in John:
“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV)
These are the words of our Savior Himself. Please don’t skim over them. A relationship with Jesus starts with falling in love with Him, but Jesus came to give us new life here and now. That new life is abundant because it doesn’t involve worldly things. Look at the example of the early church and see how drastic the life change was. We are not to continue living however we please and expect that whenever we die we will be in heaven with Him.
What obedience looks like for each one of us may honestly look different. Some actions, mentioned in various places throughout the Bible, are clearly disobedience. Others may not be so clear. Let me give you an example: I’ve written before about feeling God calling me to be a pastor. I initially felt that call during my sophomore year of high school and honestly I completely ignored what God was calling me to do and focused on my plans and my goals for my life. It took me three years to finally accept God’s calling for my life and be okay with it. It still makes me really nervous just thinking about it. But the entire time that I was chasing my own dreams instead of following His will for my life, I was disobeying Him. I was still saying no to His plans and yes to mine. But at that time I had zero contentment in my spirit about what I was going to do and would constantly say “I wish I knew what I was going to do with my life” even though I thought I had it all figured out. The second I made the decision to accept that God’s plans for my life are so much better than mine and to trust Him with my career path, that contentment that I lacked was there.
So for me, obedience in that area of my life didn’t require a change of schools or even a change of major but instead a change of heart and a willingness to go wherever God takes me.
I don’t know what obedience needs to look like in your life right now, but you probably do. If you truly don’t, just pray about it and ask God to show you what area of your life you need to trust Him with.