(Guest post, by W. Glyn Evans)
I must learn what Jesus learned: to be “obedient unto death” (Philippians 2:8, KJV). All true obedience is unto death. That is a reversal of the world’s standard. “I will obey if” is what the world says. The if means there must be a happy ending. Anyone will meet conditions, even drastic ones, if he gets his own way in the end. But that is not the obedience of Christ. His example was, “I will obey regardless”. For Him, the “regardless” was not a heavenly deliverance but a cross.
True obedience is always successful. It always accomplishes God’s will. It is immaterial to me whether my cancer is cured, my promotion achieved, or my loved one saved. If a have obeyed, that is enough. I am successful. Beyond that, it is God’s business. If I insist on a happy, selfish outcome, then I am meddling. The instant I obey, success is automatic – God’s success, not mine. Therefore, obedience carries in itself its burst of praise. I am jubilant, not because my ship has come in, but because it has gone out. Maybe I will never see it again, but that is beside the point. The point is, I have launched it unto God and now He is responsible. So I praise God because He is working and I rest in His activity.
I must be careful to obey for obedience’s sake, and to love obedience for the Lord’s sake. What a level to live on, loving it for His sake! In this I have the example of my Master, who said, “I delight to do your will, my God” (Psalm 40:8, TLB).