FIRST TEST: Do you ask for reasons when your request is turned down?
OBEDIENCE IS ACCEPTING “NO” AS A FINAL ANSWER. (No questions, no appeals, no discussions, no nothing!!!)
When you make a request, and are told “no,’ it would be an act of disobedience to discuss the matter any further. Simply thank your authority for considering the request, and drop the subject. Trust God to work out any change of heart. If you ask for reasons, you are assuming that your authority can clearly and fully explain himself. Often he will have cautions that he cannot immediately explain based on past experiences, conflicting circumstances, the concerns of others, or direction from the Lord. Any reasons he gives you are usually incomplete; thus, when you answer his objections, he still will not be convinced, and an argument will usually result.
SECOND TEST: Do you stop what you are doing when given instructions?
OBEDIENCE IS ACTING ON COMMANDS IMMEDIATELY. (No delays, no objections, no reasons like, “Let me finish this first.”)
Delayed obedience is disobedience. When your authority asks you to do something, stop what you are doing immediately, and carry out what you were told to do. If you are working on a project that will be damaged if not finished, make your authority aware of this, and let him decide which is the greater priority.
THIRD TEST: Do you smile when you are told to do something?
OBEDIENCE IS CHEERFULLY RESPONDING TO REQUESTS. (No frowns, no murmurs, no groans, no rolling of your eyes.)
A smile communicates that you are pleased to carry out the wishes of your authorities. The lack of a smile implies that you do not want to do a job. A frown or any murmuring indicates that you are inwardly rebelling against your authorities, and that you are complying only because you have no alternative.
FOURTH TEST: Do you ever give reasons why you cannot do a job?
OBEDIENCE IS FINDING WAYS TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES. (No negative thinking, no failure to be creative, no “I can’t.” )
When told to do a job, it is normal to think of obstacles that are in your way, but do not voice them. Ask yourself, “How can I overcome these obstacles?” Ask God for wisdom. A desire to obey motivates creativity. Where there is a will, there is a way.
FIFTH TEST: Have you ever had to be reminded to do little tasks?
OBEDIENCE IS DOING LITTLE COMMANDS AS WELL AS BIG ONES. (No excuses, no frustrations, no reactions, no justifications.)
Do you need to be reminded to wipe your feet, pick up your clothes, make your bed, brush your teeth, wash the dishes, or carry out garbage? A person who neglects little commands will usually overlook important details which make the difference between success and failure in a project or in life. He will also tend to be careless in his thinking, personal disciplines, neatness, speech, or actions. The principle that Jesus gave is very true: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10) On the other hand, he that is unfaithful in little, will be unfaithful in much.
SIXTH TEST: Do you ever have to re-do a job you did the wrong way?
OBEDIENCE IS FOLLOWING ALL THE ORDERS THE FIRST TIME. (No assuming, no guessing, no forgetting, no self-will.)
Before carrying out a task, an obedient person will make sure that he has all the information on how to do it. He will know what questions to ask in order to clarify instructions, and he will know at what points. to check back with his authority to make sure he is doing the job the right way. Disobedience is adding your own will or ideas to a job when you are not sure they are in harmony with the precise instructions of your authority.
SEVENTH TEST: Do you ever think that a job is “stupid?”
OBEDIENCE IS DOING JOBS AND UNDERSTANDING THEM LATER. (No mocking, no whining, no questioning, no evaluating.)
A former Marine recalled the days when he went through boot camp. He was ordered to dig a hole six-feet-square. After completing the task, he was told to fill it back up, and then start another one. Later he learned that the purpose of those jobs was to teach him to obey even without explanation. His life would depend on it. In battle, he would not always be given the reasons behind a command, but if he failed to obey, his life would be jeopardised, as well as the lives of those around him.
EIGHTH TEST: Do you ever ask one parent after the other said, “No?”
OBEDIENCE IS NOT PUTTING ONE AUTHORITY AGAINST ANOTHER. (No scheming, no withholding important facts, no repeat requests.)
When one parent tells you, “No,” and you ask the other parent the same question, you may get your way, but it is sure to damage the relationship between your parents and demonstrate the fact that you are disobedient. God instructs us that in a multitude of counsellors there is safety. (See Proverbs 11:14) By rejecting the counsel of one authority, you expose yourself to the destruction that comes with rebellion.
NINTH TEST: Do you ever plan in recreation after finishing chores?
OBEDIENCE IS PUTTING ALL YOUR ENERGIES INTO A TASK. (No half-hearted effort, no holding back energy, no day-dreaming.)
God instructs us to put our whole heart and soul into whatever we are doing. (See Colossians 3:23) This means that we will have little energy left after the job is finished. Instead of being distracted by thoughts of recreation, there would be the anticipation of rest. If the same energy that an athlete gives to his training would be expended in fulfilling a job, the one who assigned the job would be amazed with the spirit of obedience.
TENTH TEST: Do you obey whatever you are told to do?
OBEDIENCE IS BASED ON WHAT GOD SAYS IS TRUE AND RIGHT. (No blind obedience, no surrender of personal responsibilities.)
Even if an authority would tell you to do something that the Bible clearly prohibits, you are not to do it. Disobedience is violating any of God’s laws; regardless of what others may tell you. If an authority should ask you to do something that you know is against God’s Word, you must respectfully explain that you are ultimately under God’s authority, and therefore you must obey God rather than man.