What Obedience To God Really Means

Obedience to God is common and often misunderstood thing in our faith. So, what does obedience to God really mean?


What Obedience To God Really Means



In a culture where the term, “obedience” has become obsolete for many, it can be a difficult topic for people to hear. As a society we deem it as old fashioned and authoritarian, especially when related to things like God or religion…But there is a beauty to obedience that we are missing. 

What Does Obedience Mean? 

Obedience means: “compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.” For many that sounds harsh and boxed in. 

But if you were to think about a loving God, creator of the universe and of you and me, He’s not going to ask us to obey and do something that would be harmful, hurtful, or outside of who He created us to be. Being obedient to God can look radical to others at times. Whether you move to another country, quit your job, or stop doing something that you’re known for, it’s all worth it in the long run. 

You see, a Kingdom mindset is about longevity. We aren’t running this race to be satisfied today, rather we are putting in the hard work because God is worthy to be glorified today, tomorrow, and forever.

How Obedience Gets Discussed at YWAM Asheville 

As Youth With A Mission at large, one of our YWAM values is to Hear God’s Voice. “YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger gatherings, as an integral part of our process for decision making.” 

Here at YWAM Asheville we display this value with our belief that when God speaks something in prayer we should follow through and be obedient. However, the how and when are just as important. Many times people do the right thing but at the wrong time or in the wrong way and this causes confusion and has consequences. We instill this teaching in our discipleship class curriculum so that everyone who comes through our doors has the same foundations. 


Obedience in Scripture 

In scripture we see that obedience is Biblical. Numbers 20 is a famous passage where the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about getting water, he gave them a specific way of doing it: “take the rod, you and your brother Aaron later the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water.” But as we see Moses was disobedient, “Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with this rod; and water came out abundantly.” In our eyes the outcome was the same, water was produced, but the way that it happened was not how God ordained it. God was not glorified and there were consequences for both Moses and Aaron. 

In my experience… 

There are times in my life where I’ve heard God speak about something but I have been slow to move, I’ve “sat on His word” as we would call it. This would correlate with disobedience because timing is a part of the whole process.

After my YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) I was praying about what I should do next. God spoke to me clearly that I was to do a secondary Youth With A Mission (YWAM) course. I was at my home in England, immediately I ran downstairs to tell my family, and it wasn’t received well. In my excitement, I left God out of how He was going to be glorified in the timing of the delivery. This doesn’t mean that I would be waiting days, or even that it would be received well later on, but who knows what the outcome would have looked like if I had obeyed in the timing? 

In 2016, our whole base traveled with the DTS training school for their outreach in India. While we had been praying for our time we had gotten the scripture from Isaiah 61: “setting the captives free.” In my missionary mindset I thought this would mean spiritually but God showed us more clearly when we arrived that this meant physically. While we were there we met Reshma, a 19 year old who had been in the brothels since she was 13. Through a ministry that we work closely with, we were told that she was ready to leave the red light area but she didn’t have a sewing machine to start her own business. We all pitched in to purchase one for her. God then spoke about how he wanted us to have that same involvement with other women who had been sex trafficked and The Reshma Project was born. 



Obedience is having ears open to what God was speaking, being willing to be uncomfortable in a hard place, and stepping out in faith to follow through on what He has spoken. We often have no idea of the ramifications of our obedience. Let’s be a people who are quick to obey, hearing God’s voice consistently, and letting His words guide us in timing.


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