Where Obedience Leads

Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Our pursuit of obedience to the Lord may appear riddled with failure but as Edison’s failures led inevitably to success, our pursuit of obedience leads inevitably to righteousness.


Romans 6:16 ESV

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?


Our obedience to Christ doesn’t make us righteous, but it leads us to righteousness. When in obedience we pursue Christ, we become more like Christ (1 John 2:6). We are not yet perfected, but we have aimed our souls in the right direction (Philippians 3:12-15).

God is eternal. He sees the end from the beginning and the Lord declares us righteous when by faith we choose obedience to Christ (Romans 5:1). How can the Just Judge of the whole earth declare us righteous despite our constant failings?

First, the blood of Jesus pays the criminal penalty for our failings and second, because God sees the end product of our pursuit of obedience; if we were to live long enough we would become righteous and godly.

When the dead man’s switch releases the bowstring and the arrow of our soul launches into eternity, inertia carries it wherever we aimed.

Obedience Leads to Righteousness

In a similar way, obedience leads to righteousness. If we fix our eyes on Jesus and pursue Him, we will be like Him when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). We aim our souls at God (Matthew 6:22-23).

If I set my eyes on Christ and obey Him, I am His and will become righteous, not only because of my faith in Him but because of that faith, I am pursuing Him; The only thing that stands between the believer and true righteousness is revelation of God and time to conform to His image.

We have not failed. We’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Our pursuit of obedience compels us to find another way and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

God is not unjust. The Lord sees the final result while we struggle with our failures. Seek and you will find (Matthew 7:7-8). Those who pursue obedience to righteousness will always find God’s righteousness (Matthew 5:6).


Since I am the slave to whoever I obey, I will set my eyes on the Lord each morning and each evening (Joshua 1:8) and will consider all His ways (Psalm 119:15) and pursue Him (Proverbs 8:17, Psalm 27:8). The Spirit of God will transform me by the renewing of my mind; I will change and become more like Him (Romans 12:1-2).

I will not be a hearer only (James 1:22) but I will imitate what the Spirit reveals of my Father in heaven (1 Corinthians 2:9-11). What He does, I will do; Who He is, I will become (Ephesians 5:1). I will trust Him who loves me so much.


Father in heaven, You are my God and I honor and adore You. Like a boy, following his father, I will study You and Your ways so I may imitate You. I will follow You all of my days. When we are finally together and I see You as You are, I will rejoice in Your presence. I give myself to You!

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

6 Comments to Where Obedience Leads

  1. […] Where Obedience Leads was originally published on Joshua Plan for Success […]

  2. I love your Thomas Edison analogy. Once I realize that Christ was for me — no matter what — I was able to accept so called failure with much more grace. Praise God for His faithfulness. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rodney Olsen says:

    Thanks for sharing your devotional thoughts. Thankfully the Spirit is working in us to enable us to pursue obedience. 🙂

  4. Edison’s quote really has me re-thinking the whole failing to follow Jesus. I feel many times that I’m not following Him the way I want to in the busyness of this season and demands of 5 kids.
    Great post!

  5. Our obedience to Christ doesn’t make us righteous, but it leads us to righteousness. Very true that.

  6. How true! Obedience leads to righteousness…very encouraging@

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