LOVE THAT GROWS WITHIN
A collection of devotional series for women
BY LUCIA BRACHO
“But Samuel replied: Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV)
The kingdom is built from the inside out
How can Abba God trust you if your house is divided? Has that question pondered in your mind or is this the first time you’ve clashed with it? He wants to make sure you are ready. You have to be diligent in your household so He can entrust you with the matters of his kingdom.
Have you heard Josh Baldwin’s song, Abraham? As a matter of fact, I have it on repeat as I type – It’s pretty dope – but what makes it cooler is that the writers displayed beautifully Abraham’s trust in God.
The father of nations is the perfect example of what it means to be obedient. That before the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah–He is the ultimate proof of love and obedience. He took the cup (Matthew 26:34) the wrath of God and became the recipient of God’s vengeance.
From the “H” to the “G”
The word obedience is correlated with the word submission. In Hebrew (shama/hukapoe), the meaning of obedience goes from to hear, to comprehend. Thus, the word itself has a strong conceptualization in the Old Testament; many scholars and believers would say it was an unbreakable covenant between men and God. On the other hand, the word submission in Greek (hupotassó) ranges from to place under to submit to, or to put into subjection, i.e to be under obedience. So, if we were to put both meanings together it would look like this: to hear under subjection… This. Is. Powerful! All points out in the same direction: to walk under the coverage of God.
The “Under Cover” effect
If you ever read John Bevere’s Under Cover book, you have probably guessed well – his book and teachings were a huge influence and contribution to this chapter. I definitely say it’s a must-read for every Christian seeking to align his/her ways with God’s. One of my favorite lines from the book that had stuck with me since I read it was, “Partial obedience is not obedience at all.” This line itself was a stop sign on the road that redirected the course of the season I was walking through. God spoke so loud between those lines that He made himself clear – I can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and if I love him, I have to pick my cross and follow him (Matthew 15:24).
A life of obedience is…
In hopes of having a deeper understanding of how to hear God and walk under his cover, I talked to some leaders at my local church and asked them to describe how the word submission and obedience were represented in their lives as followers of Christ. Here are their answers:
Nida Almodiel, leader of the prayer and evangelism group states that, “Submission is the act of surrendering everything in me to my Lord Jesus (such as my life, my heart, thoughts, my mind, my body, soul, and spirit), submission to the love of Jesus and to His sovereign will in accordance with His Word. Leadership commands respect and obedience. First, I must remember that my leadership is still under the authority of Christ, then to the one who installed me as a leader. But as a leader, I will respect the people whom God sends me, and show love, compassion, and grace out of a pure heart.”
Aline Umutoni, intercessor and leader of a women’s life group shares that, “As a Christian leader, submission for me means the humility and wisdom to let others pour into me as I walk into my destiny. This does not mean that my words do not matter, but it means I can let others share their wisdom and learn from them.”
Pastor Anna Morgan, coordinator and leader of the Pastoral team, adds to the panel, “My quick answer would be that submission is an unforced loving gift of deference and trust. My life is a dance back and forth between leadership and followership.”
In your given season, how is obedience represented?
As you go through this week, here are some key points to meditate on:
- How are you living in obedience in your walk as a follower of Christ?
- Is anything or anyone interfering between you and the voice of your creator?
- What’s stopping you from executing God’s will?
- For you, what does it mean to be under cover?
Prayer of the week
Jesus, I thank you because you chose to die for me and for my transgressions, all in obedience to the Father. I ask you this week to reveal to me any trace of disobedience, to cleanse me and to align me with your will. I want to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!