We’re very big about control in our culture … namely, we want to be in control of our lives. Master of our fate. Captain of the ship. But true power comes from handing over that control to God and becoming obedient.
It’s interesting to think of obedience as a powerful position. Typically, we think of it in terms of subordination or even as inferiority. Slaves obey. Servants obey. Employees obey. But God says that obedience is the key to victory and power over sin. And that is because we are obeying the one who has a divine strategy for winning – and who has the power to back it up.
Perhaps if we thought of obedience in military terms, it could help. If each soldier did his own thing and what he thought was best, the battlefield would be chaotic. Ammunition would be spent uselessly. Soldiers would be out-flanked. Dangers that would be apparent from a higher vantage point would be walked into blindly. They would lose their lives and the war.
However, if each soldier in the army obeys his commanding officer, the army will win as long as the commander knows what is best to do and has the firepower to rout the enemy. And that is what our Commander has – knowledge and power. In that context, obedience makes perfect sense if we want to win. Obedience puts us in a position of power over the enemy.