Obedience (i believe) is not just important but central in our walk with Jesus Christ. Yes, we're not in a religion but a relationship and the core to that relationship is love but the Word of God is very clear in that our love is seen through our obedience to Him (i'm paraphrasing from a portion of scripture in James i think... or is it 1 John...anyway).
i guess it's because obedience really puts things in perspective doesn't it. You see when we talk about 'love'... it can sometimes be misconstrued and vague in its expression... and many a time just limited to its qualities as an emotion... a feeling. But how do we really grow or get by in our relationship with God just based on a feeling? Can we ever know for sure, so to speak, that our 'feeling' is true? Is strong? Is what we make it out to be? Cos' the heart is deceitful beyond measure (you don't really need to read the bible to know that) and often if we're honest with ourselves, we tend to have an overvalued idea of ourselves. We never can be accurate in our own 'self-assessment' if it were just based on an evaluation of how we 'feel' and where our emotions lie.
But, obedience... well, that tells no lies. Obedience is the acid test. Obedience is where feelings meet fact. Where the rubber hits the road (as we so often say). Now that, can be a mirror to our souls. For how can we say that we love God so much if we fail to obey Him?
So ya, obedience is far far better than any possible 'sacrifice' we can offer. i have far more respect for the guy who loves his wife and is faithful to her (and still makes it for prayer meetings as best as he can) than the guy who never misses a prayer meeting but can't control his 'wandering eye'. Better is the man who stands by the principles of God and tells no lie than the man who 'preaches' so well but fails to be true and trustworthy.
Better is the man who is far more concerned with 'being' Christ than 'doing' Christianity.
For what does it matter if i read all the books about God and go to every meeting in church and be involved in every ministry of Christ but fail to obey God, have no love for my brothers and sisters in Christ, no passion for the extension of God's Kingdom and His church and most of all have no resemblance to Christ.
i'm all for the 'doing'. Really. In fact, it is my hope and prayer that i can 'do' more. But i think in this day and age especially where if it were possible even the 'elect' will be deceived... that we need more of us being far more concerned wit the 'being'. Let's not get distracted by the programmes (as much as our involvement in them is necessary and good) but let's come back to the simplicity of obedience as we 'do' all that we can for God.
i honestly think a man who has overcome his weakness of lust for example (by the power and grace of God and through simple obedience and faith) has achieved far more than the man who has read all that can be read about overcoming lust and attended every single meeting there is about overcoming lust. In the end, it boils down to that doesn't it?
i think about Jesus Christ himself and His time in the garden of Gethsemane. No fan fair. No 'big time' meeting. No hype. Not much of anything really. Just a son getting into the face of His God and working through His obedience.
That's what i strive for. Obey, Vinod.. i tell myself. Obey. Stick to it. Persevere. Yes, it's difficult and yes, the progress may seem slow ... but don't give up. Obey.
So God help me.