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What Does the Bible Say about Obedience?

Updated: Jan 6, 2021


"If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God: God’s blessing inside the city, God’s blessing in the country; God’s blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks. God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl; God’s blessing in your coming in, God’s blessing in your going out." Deuteronomy 28:1-6 MSG

As I was reflecting on the past year and all that God has accomplished in my life, I couldn’t help but think about how little a role I played in all of it. One morning, I was praying and asking God for more opportunities to write. Later that afternoon, I went for a walk with my husband to buy ice cream bars at Walmart.

On our walk back, we ran into a young couple and started talking. When they asked me the all popular question, “What do you do?” I stumbled over my words and mumbled something about writing Bible related content. I happened to be talking to someone who worked on the creative team at a popular Christian media source and a few emails later and I was a contributing writer for them.

All I did was go for a walk to get ice cream, God positioned everything else to line up that opportunity for me.

This is just one small example of how God has moved and reminded me that He is the one who accomplishes the work.

He is the one who prepares us, positions us, sustains us, and upholds us.

Our role is relatively small and simple when we entrust our lives to God.

I noticed something else when I was reflecting on the past year, and I feel like as we move into the next year someone else might need to hear this. I often disqualify myself and make up excuses for God.

God doesn’t need your excuses, He needs your obedience.

God often chooses us, and when He does, we are quick to tell Him why He has the wrong person. How funny is it, that we think we can tell an all-knowing, all-powerful God, that He has chosen wrong?

He chose you.

The reason is often beyond our understanding, because we are busy telling ourselves and others why we probably aren’t the “right” person. But honestly, God often chooses people who are an unsuspecting choice because that’s where His glory is the most prevalent.

That’s when people don’t just see the person who was chosen, but instead they see the glory of God.

Moses told God He wasn’t a good speaker, surely he couldn’t be meant to lead.

Joseph was abandoned, despised by his brothers, and in prison, how was he going to be in a position of power?

Mary was a virgin and unmarried, but she was about to birth the king of kings.

David was the youngest and overlooked, but God called him to be a king.

Esther was a woman and an orphan, but God chose her to save her people.

And one of my personal favorites—Timothy was really, really young. But God chose him to lead His people and help establish His church.

All of them, like us, had their reasons and their excuses. They all had their lists of insecurities and ideas about why they weren’t the person to do the work God had called for that assignment.

They sound a lot like our excuses to not become a foster parent, to not lead a small group, to not submit the application, to not send the invitation, to not move away from our hometown, to not take the risk and ultimately, to not be obedient to God.

Like us, they had their excuses for why they couldn’t do it. And maybe you have an excuse today about why you can’t do what God is calling you to. You’re too young or you’re too old. You’re too inexperienced. You don’t have the right degree. You don’t have the time. You don’t have the skills.

But what if that’s the whole point? What if, it’s actually not about you.

What if, God chose you because He can do it, not because you can. He doesn't need special skills or abilities. He doesn’t need talent or gifts or whatever else you think He needs. He just needs someone who is obedient.

He just needs someone who is willing to show up and trust Him to do it.

Let’s see ourselves as chosen by God this year. He doesn't need your excuses. He needs your obedience. Just show up and He will accomplish the work.

Journaling Prompts:

-Write about one thing you feel God might be calling you to this year. What is your "excuse" or reason why you might feel unequipped?

-How can God show up and equip you or accomplish that work through you? Write about what this might look like.

-What does being obedient to God look like for you today?

Action Step:

Tell someone what you think God might be prompting you to do. Accountability is key!


Hey God, thank you for being a God who promises blessings on our lives when we are obedient to you. Help us to listen for your voice and to eagerly obey you. Guide us into deeper obedience this year and help us to be confident in who you are as you show up for us this year. Amen.

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