Consider this story. Before leaving for work one morning, a father says to his son, "Straighten your room, take out the garbage, and sweep the driveway." When Dad comes home, the son explains his approach to the chore list: "Well, Dad, the garbage can was only half full. And, I figured nobody would see my room. But I cleaned the driveway, just as you said."
How many of us treat God the same way? We approach Him with rationalizations and arguments instead of submission.
Many people associate obedience with raising children—particularly when they see one misbehaving. Submission to God’s will, however, is important at every stage of a believer’s maturity. As our faith grows, obedience becomes a cornerstone of fellowship with our Father. Through it, He teaches us more about His love and precepts while drawing us closer to Himself.
Oddly, physical maturity can diminish our obedience. An adult believer may tell himself that he has learned to live righteously and therefore no longer needs to make a concentrated effort. In a short time, he will find himself far off the path God intended, wandering around with a pile of rags he thinks are righteous acts (Isa. 64:6). Disobedience says to the Lord, “I know better than You how to govern my life.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. We might think our rationalizations sound convincing, but God isn't fooled. He requires complete obedience. When we decide to follow only portions of His will, we choose rebellion. Anytime we step outside God's will for our lives, we can expect consequences for not following the right path.
Scripture and church members are full of stories to prove that obedient submission is the only way to experience deep, lasting joy. Nothing good can come from rebelling against the Lord, and nothing bad can come from obeying Him—even physical death for the sake of following the Lord is better than denying His will.
Obedience is the pathway to wisdom and blessing. When we conform our will to God’s, we place our hope and trust in the One who created us and loves us without condition.
A life well lived is one in which our eyes are focused upon the Lord, our ears are open to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, and our hearts feast on Scripture. When we choose this existence, we guarantee ourselves the finest that God has to offer.
There is no second best for the obedient child of the Father.