Whole Hearted Obedience | Ashley Varner
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Whole Hearted Obedience

Obedience is simple. But just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Today I wanted to talk to you about daily choosing obedience, in order to do that, we have to consider that it involves something greater and that’s surrender.

The Cost of Not Surrendering

In 1945, the German and Japanese (and other axis powers) surrendered to the Allied forces in world war II. World War II was over. But one man didn’t surrender.

Hiroo Onoda was an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence office who was stationed in the Philippines when the surrender took place. He was a soldier who believed that the emperor was a deity and the war was a sacred mission. Onoda refused to believe the war was over and spent the next 29 years holding out. He survived on bananas and coconuts and sometimes killed villagers he assumed were enemies. It wasn’t until his former commander traveled from Japan to personally issue orders relieve him from duty in 1974 that he finally surrendered.

By that time the world had already moved on. For 30 years he lived in the jungle, after the war was over, fearing for his life, killing other people, because he refused to surrender. A third of his life was wasted.

When we choose whole-hearted obedience, we are surrendering to ourselves. To the things that we think we want. Instead of just doing whatever we want, we surrender and say, “Ok Lord, I’m choosing obedience, because I LOVE you.”


Breaking down obedience…

The idea of 100% obedience may seem daunting, but let me break it down for you: If you obey in the small things, if you do what the Lord is asking you to do (and what He’s already commanded in His Word), then you’re being obedient. It doesn’t mean that you’re perfect, but it does mean that with every step, you’re seeking the Lord and growing and changing as He leads you.
John 14:23 says, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.”
I praise God because He’s not a cruel general like Hitler. He’s a loving God who wants the best for us. We’re not blindly following anything, we choose obedience out of love for the Lord. When Christ asks us to surrender, it’s because it’s the best for us. He’s not asking for surrender so that you will never be able to do anything you want ever again. And sometimes we look at it like that. He’s asking for surrender, so we don’t waste our lives fighting in a war that’s already been won.

In what area of your life is God asking for obedience?

In what area of your life is God asking you to be obedient? Maybe it’s in particular habits likes overeating, overspending or something else you’re doing that you know isn’t 100% following Him. Maybe it’s the things that you aren’t doing, like spending time with Him and His people.

I want to encourage you today to surrender. Commit whole heartedly to Him and see the benefits of obedience!


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