My “One Word” for both last year and (now carried over into) this year, is CLOSER. It’s aim: increased intimacy with God.

Sometime last year the idea hit: Make C-L-O-S-E-R an acronym, each letter standing for a key to greater closeness.


C came to stand for “Call”— on Him. Intimacy is not a do-it-yourself project. I need Him for the relationship, and His help (especially with my inadequacies) in building it.

L became “Look” — to (and at) Him. Love looks at the object of its affection, not all around at everyone and everything else. And if I expect my help to come from Him, that’s where I should obviously look to see its approach.

Then came… O.



To it I assigned an Odious word. Obey. Odious to the rebellious, but also to victims of abuse, especially spiritual, especially those taught that disobeying their twisted leaders, in anything—is disobeying God. I hope my next “Closer” series post rectifies this distortion, showing obedience to God as a spirit of oneness with Him, rather than slavish adherence to cold, hard man-ufactured rules.

Maybe that post should precede this one. I had trouble deciding. But the plain facts in this one are important, and basic.

So… Why is Obedience crucial to getting CLOSER to God?

1 – In one sense it only makes sense: “Just a closer walk with Thee” needs must be a walk with Him, going His way. I can’t walk very closely with anyone by heading out in a different direction! I can’t walk in close intimacy with my sovereign Lord and walk in dis-obedience to His Spirit.

Walking with God, in step with His Spirit — they’re biblically synonymous with obedience! Where scripture says Enoch walked with God it implies obedience, in the deepest sense. Ditto Noah. With each instruction God gave, Noah did precisely as God told him. Ditto Abraham, called “the friend of God.”

2- Disobedience to Christ, no matter how small, wrongs the Lover of my soul. It grieves His heart. He means good for me in His instructions, and when I reject them, I reject Him.

3- Disobedience (sin) separates me from Him. It’s not that God turns away from me the second I go disobedient, it’s that I’ll avoid facing Him.

4- Even if that weren’t true, how can I expect His direction and companionable assistance in one area while I’m unwilling to follow it in another?

5- Obeying is how I get to experience God’s wondrous workings, right in my li’l ole person. I’ve seen the most amazing things happen by obeying the difficult, especially the “impossible.” Compelled to call on God to enable, then putting one foot in front of the other is when I have found myself operating under a whole new power far beyond my own — His!

6- I learn heart-and-soul lessons through obedience that I can’t “get” any other way. Some commandments make little sense until I do them. Only after the fact does the why of them come clear, and the wonder of God’s ways.

7- If the obedience requires great strides of faith, bringing me into a greater dependence on Him, it can give me more confidence in trusting Him and walking with Him in the next situation. The closeness grows.

8- Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Not keeping His commandments is therefore not-loving Him. And growing intimate with Him apart from love… well, that just can’t be!



8 thoughts on “Why Obedience for Intimacy with God? Eight Reasons

  1. Once we get rid of the idea that we are more in and of ourselves than with the One who created and sustains us the obeying gets a little easier. The seeking is part of the obeying… A good thought for the day and life… Thanks.

  2. I really appreciate what you say here about the importance (vital-ness, really) of obedience. So many people want Jesus to be their savior, but not too many want Him to be their Lord (master). The thing is, however, that He doesn’t offer the one without the other. Thank you for pointing that out.

  3. Amen, Floyd. Well said, and more good thought: “The seeking is part of the obeying.” Thanks.

  4. Come, Lord Jesus, into my days, and help me to
    Love You utterly through the intimacy of
    Obedience. Help me to
    Sever anything that separates me from you–the sin that
    Entangles, the rebellion that snares, till you and I are
    Rightly related in my complete dependence on you.

  5. You are so right, Lori! I am remembering a dear young woman asking me, straight out and with fiery spirit, “If Jesus is my Savior, why does He have to be my *boss*?” I asked her why she wouldn’t *want* a boss like *that*. We talked more and it came to light that her unfaithful father gave her a picture of God, of Christ, that probably made her not want to obey. I think it was an ah-hah! moment for her. What a shame that such obstacles come between people and the loving Lord!

  6. Sylvie, when you mentioned writing the acrostic, I thought another thing I love to do is to pray the acrostic in the form of an alpha (or abecedarian) poem. It’s amazing how quickly the Lord draws out what is deep in the heart.
    Bless you as you seek to obey.

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