- Rev. Thomas Abraham
The Obedient Heart
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The Book of Philippians is one of the Paul’s prison epistles written from prison in Rome in AD 61.
The theme of the letter is “Rejoice in the Lord” - real joy comes from an obedient heart. Obedience is the key to a Christ-like nature and the nature of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Once, we were under the spirit of disobedience – we were called the "children of disobedience".
Ephesians 2:2 - "Where in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."
In the beginning, God had established a small church in the Garden of Eden with only two members – but disobedience within these two members destroyed all the plans of God for their lives.
The Lord cannot help or bless the disobedient. We can perform all the religious rituals and traditions we want to complete a routine, but if we have disobedience, we cannot maintain a true relationship with God.
When Adam and Eve became disobedient, the Lord did not want their service or worship - instead, He cast them out from His church.
A rebellious spirit creates enmity with God - there is no room for the rebellious in God’s holy presence. We can pretend to be spiritual, but the Lord will not accept our service or worship.
Disobedience brings disunity everywhere – in the home, in the church.
Disobedience to God creates dissension between man and God – tearing apart the relationship.
However, our Lord Jesus came to this world as an obedient servant of God. He came to overturn the act of disobedience committed by man with His obedience to God, and in turn, transformed the children of disobedience into children of God.
Obedience demands self-sacrifice instead selfish ambition.
Philippians 2:3 -4 - "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
While no one was willing to sacrifice their selfish ambition and interest for the benefits of others, Jesus Christ, who was seated at the right hand of God in glory, was ready to leave that glory and take "the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!"
That’s why Apostle Paul humbly pleads with us, the church:
Philippians 2:3-4 AMPL - "Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility]"
Humility and servanthood will lift you up. Let Christ be our real example.