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Obedience: The Missing Link

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Social media is the premier outlet for how we express ourselves, and in this digital age, there is so much emphasis on our outward appearance. Typically, when posting on social media, I am guilty of this as well. We use the picture with the best angle and the best lighting—and the aesthetics matter so much today that it can be difficult to be authentic. Plus, we may also prefer things that seem to be pure rather than what is actually pure, holy, and acceptable to the Lord. 

In Matthew 23, we find that Jesus was concerned, and even confrontational, about whether or not a person was being authentic. He admonished His followers in those days, as He does today, to hear, practice, and obey what the church leaders taught regarding Scripture, but to not follow their showy practices. 

“Everything they do is done for people to see,” Jesus said (Matthew 23:5 NIV).

Jesus warns us that the Pharisees, scribes, and religious people loved the look and feel of being holy and righteous—yet in their hearts, they were filled with pride. This upset Jesus greatly. He referred to people like that as blind and foolish and commanded them to clean up their matters of the heart. He wants us to address what is on the inside, too, so that what is seen on the outside will be a reflection of Him.

What Jesus was teaching wasn’t a new doctrine. In essence, He was showing us the reason why the Lord accepts our obedience over sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). In the Old Testament, Exodus 39 and 40, the Lord instructed Moses to set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year. He then gave instructions on where to place each item. Not only was each item to be placed in a special way, though, certain items for consecration had very specific instructions on how to do so. As Moses followed the Lord’s instruction, and even as he consecrated Aaron, his obedience resulted in God’s glory filling the tabernacle. 

In the New Testament, the body is depicted as a tabernacle wherein the Holy Spirit may dwell. Now we see why Jesus was so passionate about the intents and motives of our hearts. It is because without holiness, we would not be able to see God’s glory in our lives. It is not lip service that pleases the Lord, but rather the willingness and obedience of our heart to invoke the presence of God. 

Let us commit to letting the Lord’s instruction through His Holy Word shape our view of what is pure and what is holy. Let us follow the example of Jesus Christ and be His ambassador. And as we allow the Word of God to transform us, the inner workings of our heart will align with our outward expression and cause the Lord to smile on us and His presence to dwell with us.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11). 

While living for the Lord may not always be trendy or cause your media posts to go viral, you will certainly have the audience of our Father in Heaven—and His approval is worth it all!


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Cassey Nathan

Cassey Nathan joined CBN in 2022 as a Product Owner for CBN Bible and myCBN apps. She serves as worship leader for Kingdom Church of Houston. Cassey enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband. She is grateful to work in the Kingdom while awaiting the return of Christ.

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