Obedience is the Key to Spiritual Growth
Obedience is, without question, the most important aspect of consciousness that one must master in order to attain God-realization. It is also, ironically, the last aspect of consciousness to which most aspirants succumb. The ego personality, like a recalcitrant child, does not like being told what to do. Unlike the soul—the Mission Statement of which is: “How may I serve?”—the ego personality is defiant, arrogant, insubordinate, and focused on serving the self, rather than being in constant deference to the Divine.
Over time, I have witnessed so many aspirants who have mastered the other three critical aspects of consciousness that are necessary in order to attain God-realization (Desire, Faith, and Willingness), and when it comes to the fourth (Obedience), they put it in the “too hard” basket. Such is the powerful nature of the ego personality and its Mission Statement of: “Don’t tell me what to do.”
I often talk about the co-creative nature of the relationship between God and humanity: God’s role is to protect and serve (us); and humanity’s role is to serve and obey (God). Obedience, therefore, is endemic to our species. In fact, many of the problems people create in life can all be traced back to some form of defiance and/or disobedience.
Many in the New Age movement see obedience to God or to one’s Master (which is one and the same), as giving one’s power away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The way to become a great leader is to master the art of following. The way to become One with God, and therefore become the ultimate servant (to God’s will), is to be humble and obedient. The more you become selfless, humble, and obedient, the more you ingratiate yourself into the Divine and enter into the Romance with The Beloved, which is where all the magic happens.
It is true that obedience to Divine Will is about listening to that inner voice, the voice of God (which we all are very capable of hearing) and obeying it. Listen to your heart and obey what you hear—without question, without hesitation. However, it is equally important to realize that in order to master the art of obedience to Divine Will, you must first practice obedience in all your earthly relationships: to parents, employers, managers, supervisors, mentors (which includes one’s Guru), coaches, the Law, authority figures… as well as being obedient to basic principles of Divine Living, such as Truth, Integrity, and Love… for truly: Obedience in the world is obedience to God.
Side Note: I have recently recorded a video series called The Core Principles. One of the videos in the series, What it Takes to Become Enlightened, provides a detailed discourse on these four aspects of consciousness to which I alluded in this piece.