Enemies of Obedience

Jeremiah 38:19
“And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.”

Zedekiah found himself in a precarious situation. The people whom he led were encouraging him to fight the King of Babylon; whereas the word of the LORD commanded him to surrender to the Babylonian king. If he surrendered and obeyed God, it would seem as if he had no loyalty to his country and countrymen. If he listened to those who advised him and the will of the people, which would seem to be much easier for the present, he would be disobeying God and chancing His judgment on his life and country.

Nobody ever said that obeying God’s Word would be easy. Zedekiah’s problem with obedience was the same problem that causes many to disobey. Though Zedekiah’s situation was a precarious one, the answer should not have been that difficult because God had spoken. Three enemies of obedience are found in this story. These three enemies show up every time God tells you to do something.

The first enemy of obedience is self-preservation. Zedekiah was concerned that the people who already surrendered to the Chaldeans would “deliver” him “into their hands.” One of the hardest enemies you will have to fight when God commands you to do something is self-preservation. The power of surviving is a powerful motivator. Many times we begin to wonder what will happen to us if we obey God. Satan always has his way of telling you that you will not survive if you obey God’s Word. You must trust that God will take care of you if you obey Him.

The second enemy of obedience is the opinion of others. Zedekiah was concerned with others mocking him if he surrendered to the King of Babylon. The Devil will always whisper in your ear when God commands you to do something, “What will others think of you if you do this?” Obedience will only be accomplished when you stop worrying about other’s opinions. You will never obey God all the time if you are always concerned with the acceptance and opinions of others. You had better stop worrying about what others think of you and start being concerned with what God thinks about you. Disobedience is the result of horizontal perception; whereas, obedience is the result of vertical focus. Obedience all comes down to which way you are looking.

The third enemy of obedience is fear. Zedekiah set the premise of his quandary by saying, “I am afraid…” Fear is the natural response of the flesh when God speaks. The only reason you are afraid is because you lack the faith to trust God. Fear is a lie. Fear is worrying about something that has never happened. If you let faith make your decisions instead of fear, you will find that obedience is an easy response.

All of these enemies can be defeated if you will simply trust God. God has never led you astray in the past, and He won’t lead you astray today. The only reason these enemies have a voice in your life is because you are looking at yourself instead of God. If you keep your eyes on the LORD, you won’t have a problem with obedience. It is only when you keep looking at yourself that God’s command becomes difficult to obey. Don’t let self cause you to disobey. Keep your eyes on the LORD, and obedience will become your immediate reaction to the command of God’s voice.