November 25, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people."
What a simple statement, yet how profound are the results when we follow the covenant God offers us. Obedience is not following the Lord and regarding His Word with casual consideration. It's not applying its truth to our lives according to how it fits our life-style. God does not speak to us in generalities but in direct specific commands. This verse gives the basic principle of how we can be His people and how He will be our God. "Obey my voice!"
Obedience is the starting point in our relationship with God. It is also the constant virtue God demands in the life of anyone who seeks to be His disciple. It is the hallmark of Christian character that enables God to manifest His hand of blessing upon our life and His power in our walk and ministry to others. Obedience is initiated and born of love, is inspired by it, and opens the way for God to reveal Himself to us as in no other way.
"If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever...He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:15-16, 21, 23). Can you fathom the incredible truth these verses reveal to us? They also reveal the unmistakable value Christ puts on obedience. We cannot please God in any other way than through childlike obedience. It is the foundation on which our whole spiritual relationship rests. God will not coerce us, nor will He impose Himself upon us to obey. He has set the "standard" upon which rests our relationship and upon which determines the manifestation of Himself to us. That's why the Lord used the conditional "IF" regarding those who would follow Him. He said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Obedience is the fruit of love, and love leads us to unwavering obedience, and obedience opens the floodgates of God's presence and power in our lives!
There are numerous examples in the Scriptures of the response of those to whom God spoke. When God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac upon the altar, we read, "By faith Abraham obeyed" (Hebrews 11:8). Obedience was the watchword of Noah when God spoke to him to build the ark, to Moses when God spoke to him out of the burning bush, to Isaac when he wrestled with the angel at Bethel, to Saul on the way to Damascus, and to all the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. The measure of their usefulness to God was in direct proportion to their obedience to His commandments.
Oswald Chambers writes so meaningfully in regard to our obedience. He says, "When I have to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate come in, I am bringing in an element that is not of God." Obedience coupled with faith means we step out where I see no evidence on which to lean. We simply dare to trust Him regardless of circumstances, with a deliberate commitment to Jesus Christ when I see no way.
When we live in childlike obedience to God, it is but the fruit of walking daily in the reality of a committed life to the person of Jesus Christ, initiated by His love to us and governed by our love to Him. "Obey my voice, and I will be your God."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=330&date=2012-11-25
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