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Consequences to Disobedience and Rewards for Obedience

By Rev. J. Leroy Wimbush,
Fresh Harvest Christian Church (D.O.C.), Woolwine
I was sharing with my sister, daughter and son-in-law one day how when I was in my teens I wanted to go somewhere with a cousin. My father told me I could not go before I went to get some water from the spring and bring it to the house. I told him I wasn’t going to do it, and he firmly repeated his first statement. Reluctantly, I went, got the water, and brought it back to the house. My downfall came when I make the conscious decision to have a few mumbling words. Without hesitation, my father grabbed the closest thing to him (back in the day there was no sparing the rod) and gave me a whipping that well over fifty years later, I have not forgotten.
Two things we can glean from this story; 1. Despite my upfront refusal and moment of disobedience, I still did what I was told to do, 2. It took less time for me to go do what my father told me to do than for me to be rebellious and tell him I wasn’t going to do and receiving the subsequent whipping. If I had only been obedient, trusted my father’s wisdom and guidance, went to get the water, brought it back to the house, I could have avoided an unforgettable whipping, and been on my way to meet up with my cousin that much quicker.
The definition of obedience is compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority (Dicitionary.com). This one word brings so much disruption in our lives. My sister tells me that the issue is submission; we as people have a hard time with the word more so than the definition. How difficult would it have been for me to submit to my father’s authority? Dr. Charles Stanley suggests there are eight consequences to our acts of disobedience; He names confusion, conflict, cost, loss, regret, pain, disaster, and discipline. Think about it.
Let us go back to the word submission. Submission means the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will and authority of another person (Dictionary.com). There is depth in submission. However, we in our carnal selves, only scratch the surface and stop at yielding to the will and authority. We must get beyond the first layer. As I have heard it described, we must peel back the layer like on an onion. Once we get beyond the first layer, we are better able to understand that there is a blessing in the submission. Going back to my whipping, the blessing would have been not having the pain, conflict, and confusion; I could have gotten to my destination quicker. Because of our disobedience, we experience the same thing several times before we finally get past it; we have bumps bruises, anger, conflict, loss of time, and money … and the list goes on.
God cannot lie (read Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18, Luke 1:37). It is written that if we are obedient and follow His commands, He will give us the desires of heart, and we shall have eternal life Read Philippians 4:19, Psalm 34:8, Psalm 23, Proverbs 16:20, Galatians 5:22-23, Deuteronomy 28:1, Matthew 5: 1-16, Matthew 25:21).
Don’t get me wrong, we may still go through some tests and trials, but Jesus said (John 16:33 NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus gave us many commands, but there were two that, if we do these, we can comply with the others. Read Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Understanding this and applying it to our lives requires some of that layer removal. However, if you are willing, submit yourself to God, attend Bible study, Sunday school, regular corporate worship service, a Bible teaching Pastor, preacher, or minister, you will have the tools necessary to start peeling.
While the whipping my earthly father gave me was a painful experience, it helped me become a better man. I am a better man because I have learned that disobedience has consequences. I am a better man because I have learned to honor my father and respect the assignment he had to raise me. I am a better man, that because of this “attention getter,” I understand there are dire consequences of not following the instructions of both my earthly father and my heavenly Father. There are indeed consequences to our disobedience and rewards for our obedience.

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