Obedience does not mean perfection, but many think it does, especially when in accord to the Word of God, and if that perfection is not maintained, and finally attained, God will not be pleased with them.
Religious organizations use this little tidbit of psychology on a regular and permanent basis, works are not the only thing that matters, but the way, the heart with which the obligation of obedience is pursued. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) And that to them means in all things, all the time with no variance of commitment, an unattainable life. And so those cults tell their congregations they must count beads, recite repetitive prayers, and confess everything to the one who sits on the other side of the confessional booth, who in turn passes along whatever information he deems may be useful to those above him, useful information that may become valuable at sometime in the future.
If there is one thing that I have learned about that evil Catholic cult, it is that they are exceptional at defending their lies, they are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Matt. 7:15)
But putting them aside, what about you, those of you who have been saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, who are assured of an eternity in His presence because of that grace and unending mercy, how do you define obedience? Are you one that believes that every single commandment must be fulfilled to the letter, that any deviance from them would bring upon you the displeasure of the Most High, that unless you “toe the line” no more grace will be offered to you, and that punishment for not adhering to the exact letter of the law of grace will bring swift chastisement?
Or are you on the other side of the fence, so to speak, they are of course to be obeyed, but that obedience can be deviated from in at least the most minute ways, after all, He remembers that we are but dust, (Psalm 103:14) that we have a life to live, that since we are human we will make mistakes, and so their importance is not quite as important to you, but they still rest in the forefront of your mind, at least sometimes.
Let us add this into the equation, shall we, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Now what are we to do? Shall we strive continuously without rest to prove that attempted holiness in our actions, words and thoughts, can any man be holy? In the eyes of God we are, for we are hid in Christ, and when the Lord looks at the Savior, He sees us in Him, and we are declared righteous, (Romans 3:22) we should attempt at all times to be obedient to His will and Word, while at the same time remembering that it is in Christ that we are found, that alone should keep you from falling into the traps of those works-based religious cults, and also offer you the encouragement to continue to press towards the prize that is Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:14)
No one will ever attain to perfection through obedience, even the pride filled lost soul must admit this to himself one day, we were not saved by works, but by grace through faith, (Eph. 2:8) we are obedient not in an attempt to be pleasing to the Father, to earn rewards or favor in His eyes, but because He first loved us, and that obedience is done in recognition of that love.
Don’t try too hard, or you will find yourself doing works for the wrong reason, but do not grow weary in the work either (Gal. 6:9) remain on the path, listen to the Holy Spirit, and obey Him, stay in the Word, every day, pray without ceasing, and He will lead you in paths of even greater desires to be and remain obedient for loves sake, and His glory.