by Pastor Tim Burt
When God instructs us to obey, He is asking us to obey His laws and guidelines for living. The Bible teaches us that when there is righteously (fair and appropriately) executed law and order, there is the diminishing of chaos and lawlessness, and the nurturing of peace and blessing. This is why parents love obedience! When their children learn it and walk in it, they feel as though they are of the most blessed in the world.
When parents go through the teen years with their kids, they don’t think in terms of the word obedience so much anymore. Either their children have grown to the teen years having learned respect, a civil attitude, and reasonable compliance, or they haven’t.
And as one grows to adulthood, the first thing many want to do is banish the word obedience! New young adults don’t want to obey anyone but themselves. They want to explore their new found adult-freedom thinking, I am an adult and I can do what I want. Submission to any kind of authority is more often motivated because of a paycheck or to avoid pain and trouble than it is from a mature attitude and appropriate reasons.
Obedience may become less important to adults but it never becomes less important to God. He wants children to learn obedience because it prepares them to reverence and respect Him and will help them also one day respect those in positions of authority as they become adults. It is what helps them become a vessel God can use, and one who will experience greater opportunity for success. He wants everyone to learn obedience for exactly these reasons!
Let me show you this truth through these verses.
Exodus 19:5-6 (NIV) says, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…”
Let me expound: “obey me fully” means to know and understand God’s character and desires. This comes over time from reading and rereading the Bible. It teaches and helps us become familiar with what He wants us to gravitate toward and to restrain ourselves from. For example, He wants us to learn to restrain ourselves from unbridled anger and instead learn to put on the qualities of patience and love. It is more than that though. As we learn God’s Word and hide it in our hearts, He brings scriptures to our memory and speaks to our hearts through them. It is how He prompts us and instructs our conscience to follow Him.
“Keep my covenant” means to understand that we are in a covenant relationship with God that we come to understand, love, and value. Let me use this illustration. Imagine you had a best friend. This relationship is so tight and special that you wouldn’t do anything to mess it up. You are so close at heart and in friendship that you would do anything for each other. Your sincere attitude is what is mine is yours and you both feel that way toward each other. Now take that even one step higher in that you are also a business partners with a legal agreement. That is what a covenant relationship with God is. He has that kind of love toward us and makes Himself legally bound to us by His Word to keep His promises. (Even when we stumble and fall—something He will never do.)
The Lord says, “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant…,” then something precious will happen—“out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession.” Now God started out with that promise to Abraham and his heritage, the Jews—to Israel—to those He chose to bring the revelation of Himself to the world through. After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He gave us the chance to also walk in that covenant as a part of His family through our faith in Jesus. Through this covenant and our faith in Jesus, we are also a part of God’s “treasured possession in all the earth.” Are you starting to get the picture of how God feels about you? It is through the execution of obedience that these blessings manifest in their fullest form in our lives.
God continues to tell us. “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
God spoke these words through Moses to Israel. They reach to us through Jesus Christ today. His ways are still relevant to life today. God tells us we are His treasured possession as we take in, learn, understand, and walk out obedience to His Word in our life. Restraint from what God considers evil is not depriving ourselves of fun. That’s a lie. It’s protecting ourselves from the curse that evil actions bring about in our life. We become those that learn to respond to God and walk it out His ways from a heart of love for Him so that we can be a light and influence and a blessing representing Him to the world around us.
Your life is significant to God and so very important to His plan and purposes. And obedience to His Word out of love and reverence for Him is significant and is what makes your life precious to Him and to this world! Satan lie’s saying this kind of walk with God is hard, impossible, and no fun! The truth is, it’s easy! Just decide in each moment to walk in obedience to His word each day! You’ll see how joyful and easy it becomes. And you’ll be blessed for it!
Exodus 19:5 (NIV) “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession…”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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