As I look at the life and ministry of Jesus two of His most remarkable attributes are His dependence on and obedience to His Father. I shared a few weeks ago that I have been studying the life and leadership of Jesus in the New Testament since the beginning of the year. I am in awe as I read that repeatedly Jesus took time away to pray, recognizing His need and utter dependence on His Father. Think about it, this is Jesus, the God Man – fully God and fully Man, lives completely dependent. Not only is He dependent but He lives in intimate communion with the Father. It is through that communion and connectedness that obedience flourishes. Jesus lived in obedience to His Father’s will, always doing as the Father commanded Him (John 14:31). You guys, our Savior beautifully modeled perfect dependence and perfect obedience so that we might follow His example!
In my opinion there is no greater illustration of these attributes than Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane in Matthew 26:36-46. Here we get a tiny glimpse into the agony of Jesus’ life just hours before the cross. The incredible relationship Jesus has with his Father led Him to the garden to pray. He was sorrowful and troubled (vs. 37) when he prayed “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (vs. 39b). Yet in obedience, demonstrating his great love for us, He allows the guards to take him rather than calling down legions of angels to his defense (vs. 53). Christ’s obedience resulted in him being falsely accused, mocked, betrayed, beaten, and brutally killed in order that He might secure our salvation and bridge the gap caused by sin between God and man. Wow! How can we do anything but worship when we really think about what His obedience cost.
As modeled by Jesus, it is through our dependence (via communion and connectedness to Him) that our obedience grows and our lives flourish. Although the cost of our obedience isn’t usually death on a cross, there is a cost to walking in obedience to Jesus. Far too often we opt out of paying the cost. Independence and disobedience are costly. By choosing them we’re missing the beautiful communion and abundant blessings that come with being fully dependent and obedient on Jesus.
My writing this year is coming from a place of dependence and obedience. I have felt God tugging at my heart for quite some time to write consistently and have reasoned His voice away with busyness. I have been disobedient and really had to repent before Him. As I seek His face, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3b. I am so grateful for His merciful and consistent presence leading me back to His will in this one of many examples.
If you find yourself humbled by the awareness of your own disobedience, you are in good company. Be encouraged by this truth shared by Priscilla Shirer in Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks:
“Even when we’ve chosen unwisely, even when we’ve relished our stubborn resistance, He remains eager to express these beautiful elements of His character to us. He longs to receive the rebellious back into His welcoming arms. He loves seeing His grace exalted and watching it change us into His image. Nothing we’ve done, no matter how devastating or devious, can push us too far out of His love to reach us, rescue us, and restore us. When we call to Him, He hears us.” (pg.135)
Call upon Him today, allow Him to restore your soul, to lead and guide as only He can!
Questions for reflection, prayer, & journaling
– What is one thing you feel God asking you to walk out in obedience?
– How does Jesus’ relationship with His Father inspire you?
– Are you willing to pay the cost to walk in obedience?