In Matthew 21: 28-32 Jesus says, “What do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ The son said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” [The Pharisees] said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John [preached] righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”
What does this mean? It’s this: “Whatever you SAY; God cares about what you DO.” So the Pharisees answered correctly. But Jesus skips right to the main point, “You guys say the right things; but you don’t do right. So the bad people, the people you despise because they don’t do right and they don’t answer correctly; they are going to heaven and you’re not. They believed John’s preaching and turned; but you didn’t turn even when you saw how they were changed.”
So I guess you could say, “Practice what you preach,” and God will like you. But that might not be quite right either; because God looks at our hearts; and He knows what’s in your heart, even if you’re able to hide it from everyone else. Doing right is not necessarily obedient, if your heart’s not in the right place. Just like the two sons, the first son said, “I won’t go;” but then regretted it and went. His heart was in the right place. The second son said the right thing, but his heart wasn’t right, ’cause he didn’t go. Like the Pharisees.
So obedience must be about having your heart right. And how do you make your heart right? You humble yourself, you surrender to Jesus and you trust Him; and His Spirit comes into your heart. Your ole heart just can’t get any more ‘all right’ than that.