Especially when our kids were younger we talked about THIQ obedience. I worked through the acronym in an exhortation to confession in 2012, and as we start the household series tonight, as many head back to school this week, and especially as we think about what God wants with all His children, it seemed like a good time to revisit it, this time with some verses.
Two qualifications. First, most of these passages refer to our obedience to God. Second, no human authority is above God, so if we cannot obey God while obeying a lesser authority then we cannot obey the human authority. But how we obey the Lord, and the fact that the Lord is the one who established human authorities, should teach us how obedience obeys under most conditions.
THIQ obedience is Total, Happy, Immediate, and Quick.
Obedience ought to be total, as in, all parts of all the instructions completed. Before God, “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). Obedient children must “be holy in all (their) conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). Children are to obey their parents “in all things” (Colossians 3:20).
Obedience ought to be happy, as in, not begrudgingly or with annoyance, no sighs or rolling of eyes. “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2). “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God” (Philippians 2:14-15). Moses said judgment was coming upon God’s people who “did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47).
Obedience ought to be immediate, as in, not delayed, not put off. “I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments” (Psalm 119:60). “Today if you hear his voice” don’t wait (Psalm 95:7). Obey, right away.
And obedience ought to be quick, as in, not slow. “Do not be slothful in zeal” (Romans 12:11). Laziness is not just seen in delay but dawdling, by drawing-out the task. The one who is “slack/sluggish in his work is a brother to him who destroys” (Proverbs 18:9).
Our works don’t save us. None have perfect obedience before God anyway. But He forgives us in Christ, and by His Spirit works from the inside out to give us a love of His standard.