I spoon feed my 11-month old son in front of the T.V. His eyes are fixated on Baby Einstein and his mouth is wide open. It’s probably not the most stimulating way of doing it but it works well. He gets stuffed and there’s no mess to clean up.
Sadly, this is an accurate picture of our Churches and how we make “disciples”. Every Sunday we are spoon fed a sermon while our eyes are fixated on the program before us. We get filled up with knowledge and there is no accountability to obey what we hear.
Our actions show that we value knowledge above obedience. We have courses to teach you what it means to be a disciple. We have Bible studies so people can effectively handle the Word. We have classes to prepare us to defend our faith. We have institutions so people can learn the science of God and the Scriptures. We have degrees to show that we are qualified to teach. We import our teaching methods to other cultures in order to maintain doctrinal integrity and call it “missions.” We trust in systems rather than the Holy Spirit to teach, reveal and convict. We have a plethora of knowledge but no obedience.
Obedience is the hall mark of a disciple. Jesus was clear that he wanted people to immediately obey Him despite having all the answers, “Teach them to obey everything I have taught you…” (Matt. 28:20) The process of obedience leads to knowledge. A knowledge that is experiential and rooted in faith.
Obedience is an expression of love. It is not legalism. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” (John 14:15) Our motivation to obey comes from a knowledge of our deep rooted sin, His overwhelming grace and all deserving glory. We submit, fear, worship, trust, and obey out of an extreme love for Him. The Creator of the universe seeks an intimate relationship with us and desires our involvement in His global purposes. How can we not love and obey Jesus?