"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." So writes the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 1:19). This statement is not alone a promise; it declares the law of God, which accomplishes the fulfillment of all good.

Willingness and obedience—what wonderful qualities these! They cannot be separated. There is no real willingness without obedience, nor is there real obedience without willingness. Willingness which is based on fidelity to Principle lays hold of spiritual strength. It brings to light spiritual receptivity, the quality of thought which recognizes the operation of divine law and its manifestation in human experience. It leads to meekness and might.

The so-called willingness, which is not based on fidelity to Principle and hence not regulated by law, is not willingness but weakness, the tool of evil. The obedience which underlies true willingness evidences the operation of divine Principle; and the willingness which underlies obedience indicates the spontaneity of Love. Referring to the saying of Jesus, "If ye love me keep my commandments," Mary Baker Eddy writes in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 (p. 17), "He knew that obedience is the test of love; that one gladly obeys when obedience gives him happiness." True willingness is instant readiness to obey. It is Principle, not person, which demands our obedience, and divine Principle is Love, expressed in spontaneity, not coercion.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

June 7, 1947

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.