To obey means to hear God's Word and act accordingly

In the Old Testament, the word “obey” is the Hebrew word “shama,” Stong’s word H8085. It means “to hear” and is often so translated. There are several different Greek words in the New Testament which describe obedience. Most often the Greek word “hupakouó,” Strong’s G5219, is used, and it also means “to hear” or “to listen in a state of submission”, “to listen attentively.” Another New Testament word would be the Greek word “peithó,” Strong’s G3982, and means “to persuade”, “to have confidence”. So it also conveys the thought of “to trust”, which nicely describes that the person's obedient response to God’s Word is a response of trust or faith. Thus, to really hear God’s Word is to obey God’s Word.

The Bible beautifully expresses the connection between hearing and doing in Deuteronomy 6:3 (NIV), “Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey.” And we all know the precious picture of the Good Shepherd in John 10:27 (NIV), “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” 

It is essential to obey God to find His favor and receive His blessings. Obedience should be prompted by love as explained in 1 John 5:3 (NIV), “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” This goes back to the wish in Proverbs 23:26 (ESV) “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”

The essence of obedience means honoring God and imitating Jesus in holiness, humility, and love (1 Peter 1:15; Philippians 2:5-8; John 13:34).

Truly, it is only reasonable to obey God and our Lord Jesus. God is the mighty Creator and Source of life, all wise, just, powerful and loving; His Son is the Savior of the world. We can trust them with all our heart and should joyfully follow the commands. We express this also with our gratefulness, and in so doing we praise and honor God’s Name.