October Obligation


We participate in events and activities because it is the “right thing to do”.  We feel obligated to be involved, show our support, and encourage others.  In our minds we have a spoken or unspoken binding agreement.  We want to keep our end of the bargain and do what we are “supposed” to do.

There are times we are overcome by all the obligations we’ve allowed to be generated in our lives.  As we quickly approach the Holiday Season the more multiple will be our supposed obligations.  The more we’ll be overcome by obligation.  We need help overcoming obligation.

The help comes not in providing suggestions for how to get it all done, in declining opportunities, or in taking more time for yourself.  The help is much more foundational and transformational than you may have considered. 

The way to not experience overcoming obligation is to experience a new definition for overcoming obligation.  This transformation is presented to us in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

The word “overcome” means “to get the better of”.  Let’s choose the obligation – the binding duty that is most essential.  Let’s get the better of obligation rather than letting the obligations get the better of us.  This can only be done as we choose to prioritize fearing God and keeping His commandments.

As we consider all the activities that could have overcoming obligation to us, let us be transformed in our thinking.  Let us get the better of obligation by setting our minds on the things above.  Instead of looking to please people, let us look to please our God.  Let us come to God, believe He is and rewards us as we seek Him diligently.  Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

You may still have a lot to do, but the obligations will not get the better of you.  Instead you will get the better obligation.  Choosing to Fear God and Keep His Commandments should be the Overcoming Obligation in your life this Holiday Season and all through your life.

When organizing your Holiday activities and events, ask yourself often the following:

  • Is this activity increasing my fear of God by increasing my awe and reverence for Him?
  • Is this event allowing me to better know and keep God’s commandments?

Overcoming obligation can only be accomplished by transforming our mind in God’s Word and recognizing the most essential obligation of all.  The whole binding duty of everyone is to Fear (reverence, honor, stand in awe of) God and keep (know and obey) His commandments.  

Written By: Anne Gurley

Additional Thoughts

If you fear God in an appropriate way of humble reverence and awe, you won’t have to be afraid of man. ~Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:10

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