By Jim Rower
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” –1 Peter 1:13-16
I watched a movie recently in which the president of a pharmaceutical company was developing various behavior-modifying drugs using “volunteers”—incarcerated men and women—as test subjects. Toward the end of the movie, it is revealed that the drug he was most interested in perfecting was one that forced the subject to be fully obedient. He was going to call the drug, “Obediex.”
I’ve often prayed that God would make me obedient. Not just help me to be obedient, but make me obedient. I don’t want free will; I want His will. I know that’s what is best, yet I frequently end up overriding His will with my own. I need my own version of Obediex.
The pharmaceutical president thought Obediex would bring peace and harmony to the world. If everyone were obedient, there would be no more crime, no more violence, no more wars. However, the immediate question in my mind was, “To whom would everyone be obedient?”
This man’s Obediex-fueled utopia would only be possible if, “the one, true God” were the answer to my question. Forced obedience is not in God’s plan, though. As C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity:
“If a thing is free to be good, it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give [us] free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata—of creatures that worked like machines—would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that [we] must be free.”
God is love. When He created us in His image (Gen 1:27), He created us to love. And love cannot exist without free will. I must exercise my love for Him by freely being obedient to Him; putting His will before mine.
Heavenly Father, help me to be obedient to You always and in all things. Be constantly present in my mind, leading me to seek and do Your will. Amen.