An Age of Disobedience?

By: Susanna Kozlow


Are we really at an ‘age’ of disobedience, or has disobedience been part of our lives since the beginning of time?


Unless you are living in a cave by yourself, you will notice the uproar all around us. Whether it's about our lives, our bodies, our way of thinking, or our lifestyle, what you hear is a constant: “No one will tell me what to do!”


Of course living in a country of freedom is a privilege and not to be ignored, but I don't believe that is really what we are constantly fighting. We are constantly fighting a heart of disobedience. It is in our nature to fight against anyone or anything that tells us what to do.


When we look at our children, we see that constant, and as parents, we work hard to apply the importance of obedience. We fight some, we put consequences in place, and we teach them the importance of obedience in the household. Why? Because we are there to protect them, provide wisdom, and we know better from life experiences. We are there to prepare our children to make the choices themselves one day, with the HOPE that whatever we have instilled in them will kick in, and it will be remembered. We do all this because we love unconditionally.


Now, let's look at the disobedience that takes place in our hearts towards God. It's been happening since the beginning of time. Sin entered us at the Fall, and it's what we are born with. And guess what? God brought His Son to us for this very reason. Jesus entered the world, showed us how to live on earth, was sacrificed, and rose again, for US.


We know this, we believe in this, we preach this, and those that follow Him are forever grateful, but what some may tend to forget is that Jesus expects obedience to Him. He expects that what He says is the way you live your life, not just the pieces that fit into what is comfortable for your lifestyle. When we join Him, He leads in ALL.


“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

John 14:15 ESV


The meaning of the passage is that obedience to Christ’s commandments is both a sign of Who you belong to and a gauge of your love for Him.


In the writings of 1 John, there is a clear explanation about how a follower of Christ is set apart:


“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

1 John 5:2-3 NIV


I believe God's love language is OBEDIENCE. Obedience takes place when we truly understand the heart of our Father, and we love our Maker, because we begin to see who we really are in Him.


Again, Jesus is quoted in John:


“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:21 NIV


I grew up in a very strict household. I also grew up with the image that God was this tyrant that could never truly be pleased. That was my understanding of God – a God who made me, but constantly looked for what I was doing wrong.


So as time went on, I made it a mission of mine to never allow anyone to impose rules on me that I would not be able to follow; I would fail. This of course was a very wrong lens to look at my Heavenly Father. When I think back to the moment I handed my life to the One who would give me life, I came to understand who I truly was and where my identity began. My biggest fear then became being away from Him.


Let's be real here. Was there a beautiful transition from me to Jesus? No, it was a process of dying to myself, every day, because there were years of things being done Susanna’s way that had to die. (Something people tend to forget to tell you, by the way). And this is a process to this day that will continue until my last breath on earth.


Paul knew this when he wrote:


“I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!”

1 Corinthians 15:31 ESV


My biggest challenge living a life surrendered to my Lord and Savior is surrendering control, which is DISOBEDIENCE at its best form. The good news is Jesus knew this, which is why He had so much to say about it.


I don't believe we are at an ‘age’ of anything. I believe we are just at a place where disobedience has been glorified. We see strength in it. We see it as “good.”


So, take a moment with me for just a second. Think about the people around you that you love with your whole heart. Think about those people your heart hurts for when harm comes to them. Ask yourself how many times you have uttered the words, “If only they would listen to my advice. If only they understood that I speak from the love I have in my heart. If only they would see that what I have to say just might save them from being hurt.”


Now look beside you...Jesus is saying all of this and more, directly to you.



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