Our Lord never insists on having authority; He never says — “Thou shalt.” He leaves us perfectly free — so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did; and He will never say a word. But when His life has been created in me by His Redemption I instantly recognise His right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination — “Thou art worthy.…” It is only the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy. If when I meet a man who is more holy than myself, I do not recognise his worthiness and obey what comes through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me. God educates us by means of people who are a little better than we are, not intellectually but “holily,” until we get under the domination of the Lord Himself, and then the whole attitude of the life is one of obedience to Him.
If Our Lord insisted upon obedience He would become a taskmaster, and He would cease to have any authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we do see Him we obey Him instantly. He is easily Lord, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The revelation of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience. We have to rescue the word “obedience” from the mire. Obedience is only possible between equals. It is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant. “I and My Father are one.” “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” The Son’s obedience was as Redeemer, because He was Son, not in order to be Son.