"Obedience" which comes too easily is not obedience at all. It may be compliance, but it is usually pretentious, bogus, butt-kissing - to obtain some other goal or advantage - it is not real obedience. It is, therefore, Cheap. Easy come, easy go. Real obedience usually costs us a great deal. Real Obedience MUST go beyond "feeling like it". Real obedience begins where the "feel like it" ends! Real obedience is an end in itself, not a mere means to an end!
It is all too easy to get all caught up in a Holy, God-inspired moment and make great decrees about His will for our lives! It is easy to get whisked away in the emotional high of a mountain top moment, and aspire to do or be great things for God!
It is easy to make those New Year's Resolutions for taking control of our lives!
It is easy, when feelings of attraction are flowing, to think we've "fallen in love"! But love - or obedience - that can be "fallen into" can just as easily be "fallen out of"! We need to stop falling into things and learn to walk obediently and deliberately!
Feelings will come, of course, at the appropriate moments! No one is suggesting that we try and live in denial of them, or void of them! They have their purpose and function! They are the icing ON the CAKE of life! But they make a sorry cake, which will have no real life in it!
Monday always comes! And "life happens" - the car is broke down again, and work is frustrating, the kids are cranky and have flu symptoms - "life happens" - the feelings spiral into a dark abyss and downs all the lovely vibes! What then?
If we have not disciplined ourselves to sheer obedience of will power it will all - all our plans, all our resolve, all our loving, rapturous highs - will all fall to the ground in a smouldering heap of disappointing reality! Obedience prevents that disaster because it isn't based on how we are feeling about stuff, it is based on higher, nobler principles, it is based on something other than, higher than ourselves! Obedience is based on lining ourselves up with the principles of right and wrong - no matter how we may feel about it at the time!
Listen folks. Feelings can be great kindling. They can get the fire burning! They are valid measuring sticks sometimes for whether or not we should be involved in something. But if there is no solid wood the fire is not going to burn long enough to warm anything! Feelings are fickle, easily blown away, and easily changed from one direction to another.
That is why we must KNOW in whom we have believed! We can't just have happy feelings about God and get anywhere! Obedience implies trust. What idiot will obey someone they don't trust!? Trust is deeper than feeling! Trust is an earned, proven not easily won, but too easily lost, commodity! It is expensive stuff. And God does not take our trust lightly! He won it with the blood of His Son, our Champion.
But we must know Him, if we would trust Him. And we must trust Him if we would obey Him! And if we want to be counted among the obedient ones then we must continue long after the feelings have waned, the applause has stopped, and the adoring crowds have dissipated. Obedience is a steady plod in the right direction, in rain and storm and darkness. It isn't a sprint in the sunlight to a sure reward in the sight of all. But it is rewarded. And the reward will be worth every strained muscle, every stretched nerve and every ignored feeling! Obedience brings the smile of God. And what could be better than that?!