Obedience is "compliance with an order, request, or law; submission to the rule or authority of another, compliance with or performance of a command, law, yielding to some actuating force or agency."—The Oxford English Dictionary

Obedience is an abstract principle—all Creation must obey the law of the Creator, a law of being—we must be obedient) and of doing (we must obey law, and a soul virtue. Obedience, Fidelity and Devotion form the fourth lesser trinity of Via Christa Degrees, whose keynote is Gratitude.

Obedience to divine law removes every obstacle from your path, and creates within you every joyful and loving soul virtue. Obedience creates peace of heart, mind and soul.

Edna Lister on Obedience

Obedience to the spiritual laws does not lessen your responsibility to obey the laws of man. You must obey law at every level.—Edna Lister, January 28, 1933.

"Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."—Proverbs 9:10 means obedience to the laws of Wisdom.—Edna Lister, The Beginning of Wisdom, March 15, 1934.

Passive obedience never satisfies aggressive intellect. Obeying the letter of the law is not enough, you must include the spirit of the law.—Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good, April 22, 1934.

Obedience and complete surrender and sacrifice of self exalts you into the highest sphere.—Edna Lister, The Saving Power of Christ Consciousness, April 14, 1935.

To be fully responsible means fully obedient to all divine laws. Full obedience will finally bring you to full expression of Godlike qualities, faculties and powers, and so lead to all "added things."—Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Prayer is the expression of the soul’s delight in obedience to law.—Edna Lister, February 7, 1939.

Fear of the Lord is the forerunner of obedience to all law, which is the beginning of all wisdom.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1939.

No one can progress without obedience to law, not only to the great principles, such as Love and Wisdom, but to small everyday details, especially your attitudes toward others. Nodding or saying yes when given a new law or a new interpretation is easy, but abiding by that law day and night is another matter.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Obedience to law on every level of consciousness causes and creates perfect balance among the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual phases of being, and you become one with all that is.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Everyone is judged according to effort of desire, obedience and surrender of the self.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1941.

True self-sacrificial obedience never asks "why," but is ever ready to do what is asked at once.—Edna Lister, September 11, 1944.

To see behind the veil, you must first reach the place of full obedience to the checkrein, to following law in instant obedience.—Edna Lister, October 3, 1944.

You are only as great as the extent of your full ability always to be in complete surrender of obedience to God.—Edna Lister, October 27, 1944.

Being strictly obedient at all times causes outer unpopularity, because none upon earth desire correction of any kind, public or private.—Edna Lister, November 17, 1944.

Instant obedience is the price paid for eternal life and ascension into immortality.—Edna Lister, February 5, 1945.

You are only as great as your least obedience to the least of all laws. Your weakness in your least obedience is stronger than all your strengths of love, devotion and humility.—Edna Lister, June 25, 1945.

Learn implicit, exquisite, instant obedience.—Edna Lister, July 7, 1945.

Watchful obedience is an essential law, or you can slip into a worse state, causing greater debts than before. Your debts have been softened and modified because of deep ignorance since the Fall; thus you can create as much debt in one disobedience now as you did in one whole lifetime under ignorance.—Edna Lister, July 16, 1945.

Only through full obedience can you reach the Supreme.—Edna Lister, March 11, 1946.

As you train your muscles and nerves to be obedient servants to your will, so must you train your thoughts and emotions in obedience.—Edna Lister, Vicarious Atonement, January 5, 1947.

The proof of obedience comes when a new situation arises, and your true desire to be selfless, to serve under new conditions surfaces.—Edna Lister, June 17, 1947.

You earn back your high place only by obedience to all laws.—Edna Lister, July 5, 1947.

The heavenly Gates open only to obedience. "I obey." Heaven is so composed. You can do nothing but butt your head against it.—Edna Lister, August 20, 1947.

Desire, imagination, the spoken Word, praise, will power, forgiveness, balance and equilibrium, and love as your spiritual anchor, will build obedience to law. Obedience to law builds your poise and powers of concentration into completeness.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Instant obedience demands application of all laws on every situation. Use logic, reason, discrimination, discretion and discernment constantly.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

Last year’s obedience to law isn’t enough for next year. Today’s changes in consciousness aren’t enough for tomorrow.—Edna Lister, June 17, 1948.

"Fear of the Lord" rejoices in obedience to law.—Edna Lister, October 1950.

Obey physical laws. If you disobey, you tempt others to demand approval to disobey also.—Edna Lister, March 6, 1951.

We are all equal in our ability to serve, to surrender, to be obedient.—Edna Lister, Salvation Through Faith, July 10, 1955.

All experience comes to steel the soul to meet life as a conqueror. You can hope to gain the necessary endurance to prepare and enable you to meet life’s demands only by accepting the experience the years bring for this soul-strengthening. Only experience empowers the soul to express those qualities, which stand the tests of time. Experience builds desire into that burning, flaming courageous quality, which holds fast to obedience when the tests and trials by fire arrive for no apparent reason. Often, without this stress on building soul qualities, you may have forfeited hard earned goals through foolishness and failure to apply the wisdom you gain by accepting your experiences.—Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1956.

You must bridge the gap between learning and talking about it, thinking and doing, and knowing and becoming. When you bridge these gaps though surrender to the Light, to be used by the Light, then obedience becomes the greatest joy you can feel. Obedience is the expression of joy.—Edna Lister, Your Treasures, January 15, 1956.

God demands your obedience, but rewards you with ascension of soul and illumination when you obey. Obedience to law will bring us to a state of honor, loyalty, integrity and consideration above all things.—Edna Lister, God Is a Gentleman, September 29, 1957.

God gives us contradictory stints of service; He expects us to obey without question.—Edna Lister, December 16, 1957.

Obedience to law is the only way to worship God. Any other worship is of a graven image of self.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1958.

Obedience is a quality. Constancy refers to quantity. Science uses the term, constant, to indicate a set amount. Constancy in obedience refers to the quantity and quality of love permeating your life. Love is cut off by anything not like itself. Resentment cuts off love. You can judge where you are by your degree of acceptance and obedience.—Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958.

Obedience in all things is the first principle. We may state "Obey God and live" as "Obey the law and live." The law of obedience covers all law, for if you break the least of the laws, you have broken the whole.—Edna Lister, February 8, 1959.

So much depends on every phase of obedience. Surrender without obedience means nothing, joy without obedience is a mock, and love without obedience is a puerile, scattered thing. Keeping obedience consistent is best, for obedience "here and there" or "now and then" is not good enough.—Edna Lister, October 29, 1959.

Comprehension of the necessity of obedience to law is the only security.—Edna Lister, April 7, 1960.

The measure of your obedience to law is the measure of the Power that goes through you.—Edna Lister, Miracles Through Comprehension, July 10, 1960.

Obedience to the Ten Commandments at the physical, emotional and mental levels completes the first twenty-eight Degrees of Via Christa.—Edna Lister, The Destiny of America, October 11, 1960.

As you accept obedience to the New Testament laws and assume the attendant responsibilities, then, and only then, can you learn how to become a creator.—Edna Lister, Forgiveness, March 31, 1961.

Where holding a trainee to obedience is necessary, make an impersonal stand, giving no thought to whether he will love or hate you for it. Immediately, despite the outer world, ascend to the altar of prayer, for only so can you release enough Light through the trainee’s earthly body to overcome any hate, which Light can then absorb and change into love. Do this under complete selflessness and surrender with no taint of self-justification or pride or the Gates of Light close, and the trainee is left to wallow in repressions of hate.—Edna Lister, July 19, 1961.

Surrender is an outer, voluntary act of obedience, a final giving up of the self.—Edna Lister, This One Thing I Do, November 26, 1961.

Obedience is to be willing to do as you are bid, submission to law or authority, dutifulness, and surrender. —Edna Lister, November 15, 1962.

Love carries obedience and forgiveness with it. Obedience means "I accept." Forgiveness means "I love."—Edna Lister, November 26, 1962.

Understanding comes only by obedience to the law. Ask for wisdom, seek wisdom and receive law, for law is wisdom.—Edna Lister, November 26, 1962.

You must be obedient to be responsible and to be an ensample of truth.—Edna Lister, The Cross, June 23, 1963.

You can use law for yourself, but not to make others do what you want.—Edna Lister, Prediction and Prophecy, December 10, 1963.

Obedience is justice under a just appraisal.—Edna Lister, January 12, 1966.

You must gather up each law as a pearl to ascend. Review and integrate early laws, coordinating them with the new laws given. Fold the simplest laws into the highest, obedience being very important.—Edna Lister, May 15, 1966.

The Adept’s law of obedience is, "Obey the law and live." The law of obedience covers all law, for if you break the least of the laws, you have broken the whole.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, October 18, 1966.

Obedience to law takes you to your highest visionary goal.—Edna Lister, Omnipresence as Time-Space Relationship, October 17, 1967.

Every life spark of Light contains the whole Magna Carta of the divine plan, and thus has the hallmark of obedience to law within it. Obedience to divine will is called nonresistance. Our two great divine compulsions are to use Mind as will and to be obedient to law.—Edna Lister, Religion and the World, November 5, 1967.

The secret of the ability to unveil a mystery is obedience to law.—Edna Lister, The Heavenly Mysteries Unveiled, October 20, 1968.

The vow of the Disciple is "complete obedience" to God in all ways, and this begins with perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments on the physical level.—Edna Lister, From Osiris and Isis to the Pyramids, October 22, 1968.

You don’t have the right to dissent, but to obey.—Edna Lister, October 24, 1968.

Obedience to divine laws forms rays of repulsion, which admit only the River of Life. Disobedience shuts off your access to its life-giving flow.—Edna Lister, The Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam, December 6, 1970.

Only self fears obedience.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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New Testament on Obedience

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.—Matthew 5:18-19.

It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.—Luke 16:17.

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Old Testament on Obedience

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.—Exodus 24:3-7.

When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.—Deuteronomy 4:30-31.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of obedience: Middle English: via Old French from Latin oboediens, oboedient-, present participle of oboedire, ’to obey.’

Obedience is an abstract principle.

Obedience is a law of being./p>

Obedience is a law of doing.

Obedience is a Via Christa Degree.

Obedience is a soul virtue.

Love Constrained to Obedience
No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.

How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toll’d the precept to obey,
But toil’d without success.

Then, to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.

Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.

"What shall I do," was then the word,
"That I may worthier grow?"
"What shall I render to the Lord?"
Is my inquiry now.

To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
—William Cowper


Cowper, William. "Love Constrained to Obedience," The Poems of William Cowper, Olney Hymns LV. John Cann Bailey, editor. London: Methuen, 1905, p. 70.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

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