Merriam-Webster’s defines the word ‘obey’ in two ways. One has to do with following commands or guidance and the second has to do with conformance. To obey is to follow the commands or guidance; and to obey is also to conform to or comply with.
To obey is to follow commands or guidance. While I was a child, I remember learning the song, “Trust and Obey” whose lyrics went as follows: “Trust and obey for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” For many of us, trusting in the Lord is not a big deal, but when it comes to obedience, it is altogether a different story. Not only do we not casually heed to God’s Spirit but we sometimes willfully choose to disobey Him. Thankfully, we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who empathizes and mediates for us, whose mercy endures for ever. But why should we even give Jesus a chance to have to mediate for us? How much greater it would be for Jesus, to present (not plead for) us as ones who truly fear God (loving and obeying Him), eschewing evil, as He did of Job, and not have to meditate our case. For those who love Him, will keep (obey) His commands or follow His guidance as a sheep does a true Shepherd.
To obey is to conform to or comply with. The Bible counsels us that we ought not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. In other words, we are not to obey the patterns of this world, which is in enmity with God (James 4:4), but be transformed by our minds complying with that of God’s and a pure heart that is after His very own. We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), for unto all who obey, Jesus is the author of eternal (not temporary) salvation unto them (Hebrews 5:9). In fact, by obeying the truth through the Spirit, one purifies their souls (1 Peter 1:22).
Point(s) to ponder:
So if someone was to ask you now, if you/I obey Jesus?, our answer really should not be yes or no but ” I follow His commands or guidance and I conform to His likeness”. Can we truly answer this way?
1 Peter 1:22 (KJV)
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: