To obey, is to obey . . .
Dictionaries do not have emotions. They contain mostly observed truths with extensive histories and throughout the years, compilers of dictionaries have made grave efforts to bring us to the truth of what words signal to the mass majority. Their works, which are derived from people as the primary subjects along with their visual actions and thoughts, have produced consistent and reliable means of references for concise world communication.
What a feat it must have been for Merriam and Webster, who are well-known to end users for their many dictionaries, that irrespective of their success in bringing universal clarity to words, many individuals still attempt to discount the validity of their work by habitually adjusting their word definitions to suit themselves.
One such word as this is the word “obey”. No doubt there will be other words that will come to mind later, but for now the word obey stands out because of its direct correlation to the many varied paths travelled by all throughout their lives.
I invite you to think back on your life anywhere between the ages of 1 thru 8 years old. When you were given a request to do something at that age by someone in authority, which at that time you probably deemed anyone taller or bigger than you as having authority, what was your response? You were asked to do some simple task. Please hand someone a glass of water on a table. As a norm, most of us at that age once we heard and understood the command, would instantly stop whatever we were doing and bring the glass of water to the person that requested it; simple enough. Hear, retrieve, and deliver, just like that. Obey. No additives. Within 5 seconds flat done! Obey.
As we progressed to the pre-teen stage, when asked to fulfill the same request, we give an answer of okay first, then aptly stop what we were doing, do the task, and 30 seconds later all is done; and as an actual teenager, when asked, we hear it, ignore it, contemplate, answer, and after 1 to 5 minutes later the request is carried out. While being in the young adult stage, we hear the request, question it, disect the answer, agree, and after 10 minutes or longer of explanations the task might be done. Finally in the adult stage, the request is heard, possibly ignored, we leave the room, come back, do something else, recall the request back to the person, answer, decide if we are in the mood to do it or if it is viable. That task was never really obeyed, but was actually rebelled against (to obey in delay is just quiet rebellion).
What changed the attitude towards the completion of the task in the various age groups? What brought about those time gaps in response to the requests? What began the process of altering the definition of Merriam and Webster’s “obey”? I contend the lack of humbleness.
You didn’t see that it changed? Well yes, it changed. Many times we believe that we are actually in a mental setting to obey, but yet we are not. In the beginning, to obey was immediate. Then it progressed or should I say regressed all the way to the point of 10 minutes or more of lag time—disguised rebellion.
As we matured, that seemed to have led to immaturity. Shouldn’t grown-up children know that to obey things that are grounded in substance are of much value in the long and short of things? Little children seem to grasp this matter of humbleness as a result of their normally untainted states of life. Christ cautions us in our worldly “matured” states to work to remain as humble as we once were in our worldly “immature” states.
The more we become aware of self, the more self is allowed to override things in our lives. This society ushers us into the idea that the more resources and money we have, the more independence we can have from others; and it “dolls up” the idea further with the constant offering of fresh possessions to acquire to make it look really attractive. It tells us that the more needs and wants we can gather on our own, the less humble we should have to be. Then that same self has to be corralled in order to bring it into proper spiritual territory; it has to be deprived of its “taken for granted” pay checks and other experiences of such consequences if ever it is to follow through to truly obey.
In the reality of our active general lives, the definition of this particular word, obey, is not always or rather cannot always be found in a Merriam and Webster dictionary. There are many times, for example, when in our haste to be sure that “self” is undoubtedly satisfied, our actions do not line up with what is printed in those dictionaries.
When we casually remove property, such as pens or paper, from our workplaces that the company has not offered as marketing tools, do we obey? These routine small acts give us daily practice of how to not obey; they quietly cunningly train us by our participation in them, thereby making it easy and comfortable for us to accept the idea to not obey.
If a sign says no dumping in a particular place, which certainly has its reasons for asking our cooperation in complying with this, then should we dump? By the dictionary definition of obey, we shouldn’t, and yet we dump anyway if we cannot find another place quickly or because it is what we “feel” like doing. With each dump, we are not complying with the definition of the word obey.
This domino effect set in motion by all of those who do not obey, has brought about issues such as pollution, hunger, fraud, inequality, dishonesty, poverty, and the list goes on; aftermaths of an environment of rebellion, non-compliance, one that tends to alter the word definition of obey despite.
The legal court’s dockets are overflowing with those who have gotten confused about what it means to obey. It is full of those who have opted to use “flexible” meanings for the word as it suits their desires at the time; thereby leading their actions to reflect an added word of which is an excuse to not obey. This new word has now attempted to alter the meaning of our highlighted word “obey” by yet another method. It has cast an incorrect shadow upon it.
Let your personal acts of non-compliance roll into your mind right now as I continue to refer to the word obey. You remember those past numerous occasions that you have experienced of which by now you realize that just a sheer attitude to obey would have prevented and resolved, no doubt, both the major and minuet issues that you were facing at those particular times in your life.
To obey is a pre-requisite to many other aspects in each of our lives, no matter what your beliefs, talents, goals, or status, you have to obey to have some form of a true life on Earth. You have to humble yourself, time and time again.
To pick and choose when a word meaning will be acknowledged is a horse of a different color.
This non-compliance attitude will show up somewhere else in our lives. It will bring disorder upon us. We must reap it. It will alter what seemed to be concretely in place. These accumulated alterations of obey deteriorate the possibility of effortless communication amongst all of us throughout the world and of a life absent of eternal death.
Quite often when we carry on in our lives in such a way as to “flex” the meanings of words, we walk around puzzled regarding why the things in our lives do not seem to be in more order or as orderly as we would like; and we notice that this disarray is not only just in our own personal lives, but also in the lives of those of whom we habitat with. We question these truths that are before our eyes, as well as wondering why things are as they are for all of us?
To obey a sign posted at a street corner that instructs us to stop, gets you results. Good results. For one, it can eliminate your involvement in a vehicle crash. Respecting others by silence in a library brings on good results as well. It gets you respected also at just the right time when you need it to concentrate on studying or reviewing something that is of importance to you. To obey is to exercise wisdom. It is to contract wisdom’s very muscles.
We must see that each act which we obey is a step to something else, as with each act that we do not obey is also a step to something else. To obey is certainly a key factor to bringing things into right position. To obey is to comply with universal laws.
In many instances, we cannot even be influenced to obey regardless of the fact that it is directly for the betterment of our own personal well-being. At a time in our lives, as a result of a condition within us, we may have been warned by a respected professional to omit particular foods from our diets because of the health hazard or detriment associated with these foods. With each morsel placed in our mouths anyway, is not to obey.
We have to believe that we really do have to obey His Word; completely, fully, immediately if we are going to be of any influence. We convince ourselves that just because it appears that nothing happens at the moment or just because things are hidden, we do not have to obey. However, we have to obey to serve and to be of service.
Oh, do remember that doing only half or part, is not to obey. This gets us half or part results. It will split who gets what. Where people obey, things are smooth, calm, collective, peaceful and joyful; but where people deem its meaning as flexible, things are cloudy and chaotic—shaken up.
How can one little four letter word, obey, house so much power to keep things together? Have a dictionary around? Dust it off a little bit and somewhere in there in the “O” section is a non-flex definition. Consider incorporating it into every single aspect of your life. Incorporate it in a very complete way, walk the line with the definition and watch things shift around you, watch things move in a direction for the better.
Merriam and Webster had it right about obey. The young child who retrieved the glass of water had it right too. Things are unconsciously and sincerely rendered different by unfiltered cooperation in matters that are just. It brings up trust within us, trust that impacts things; and that trust nurtures faith.
Many great things have occurred on Earth because of faith. There have been life altering changes, city altering changes, world altering changes, just off of trust. We drive around daily on concrete roads elevated high above the ground in what we call our “modern” cities, based on faith. We have said to the designing engineers by our usage of these roads that we have faith in what they might know that we don’t know.
Christ revolutionized an entire people from one simple word, “obey.” His example is THE example and He is in absolute expectation of His people to do just as He did, obey. If you obey, He swiftly reacts, He responds; because what you have said to Him when you obey is that I truly trust you, I have sincere faith in you.
Have you done your part to cause that orderly movement you requested to occur in your life? One should not expect to receive any more than what one has put in. Put in full—get full, put in partial—get partial, or put in nothing—get nothing.
The glass of water that was on that table made it timely to that hand simply because someone cared enough to follow through on the true definition of obey. It made it there because someone humbled themselves to be of service, and that reception quenched a thirst. What more, when that child has a need or want that arises, thoughts will quickly come into the conscious regarding their prior concerns that lead them to obey. One will be reminded of their willful trust and faith.
That retrieval carried forth fed the receptacles of peace and joy. Isn’t that very much of what Christ wants for you while you are here on your visit to Earth? Isn’t He willing, as your personal Savior, to give you peace and joy through all you shall encounter along the way? Do not deprive yourself . . .
In His word: Jude Chapter 1