Have you ever told your teenager to do something only to hear them respond, “Why?” So have I. What’s your response? It was probably, “Because I told you so.”
So, what’s wrong with their answer? Shouldn’t you tell them why? Isn’t the ‘why’ important? No, the only thing they need is a simple understanding of the command. We only need to understanding what we are to do, not why we are doing it. The ‘why’ seeks information on motive. In true obedience, motive is a non-issue.
They need to be convinced. The ‘why’ is being requested because they want to decide whether they want to do it or not. Your mere asking is not reason enough. They too want to be part of the decision making process. This is not obedience. Doing something when you do not understand why you are doing it, or when you do not want to do it, is called obedience. Doing something because you understand it, and want to do it, is called agreement. You only explain motives to gain agreement.
If you want to test someone’s obedience level, do this simple test. Give them clear instructions on something that to them seems contradictory, and that goes against their desires. In other words, tell them to do something difficult, but don’t tell them why. Then, go away and leave them on their own. Will they do it? Will they do it promptly, and with a good attitude? Will they do it for a while, become disillusioned, and stop? These are issues of obedience. I have a few suggestions on what to tell them to:
Die to self so they may truly live
Give their life away so that they may keep it
Be the least in the Kingdom, so they may be the greatest
Love their enemies, and pray for them which despitefully use them
I believe some aspects of God’s plan are meant to be incomprehensible. In that way, our determination to do them is based solely on obedience. God demands obedience, not agreement. Anything short of that exposes our heart-hidden rebellion.
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” Oswald Chambers