March 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you." Deuteronomy 4:1
Moses proclaims the universal, abiding principle that is evident throughout the Scriptures: Listen to the word of God: make His commandments the rule of your life so you shall live abundantly in His companionship, and you will possess all that He wants to do in and through your life. The true pathway of life and the secret of possessing your possessions is simple obedience to the commandments of God.
God has given us His Word, not to speculate on or critically debate its issues, but to be instructed by it and to walk in obedience to it. John makes this very clear. "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23).
What a tremendous promise! He has not only promised to love us but to manifest Himself to us. It would be a serious mistake to think that every believer enjoyed the blessing of this promise; they do not! This promise is only to those who yield in loving obedience to His commandments. It lies within the reach of all, but all do not enjoy it, because they are not walking in obedience to His Word or delighting themselves in Him.
We see this graphically illustrated in our families. There are two sons. One thinks only of himself, doing his will, and gratifying his own desires. He does not seek to be with his father and takes no pleasure in his father's interests. He has no desire to carry out his father's wishes or seek to know his mind. He avails himself of all the benefits of a son, but never seeks to gratify the father's heart with loving attention to his will.
The other son is the direct opposite. He delights in being with his father, loves his interests, his ways, and his words. He seeks to carry out his father's wishes, seeks to be agreeable and supportive. He loves his father, not for the inheritance, but for himself and the joy of doing his will. He seeks to gratify his father in loving obedience and is grateful to be his son. There is great joy in satisfying the heart of his father.
We have no difficulty seeing how differently the father feels toward these sons. He can have no pleasure in the willful, self-indulgent, careless son. He will occupy much of his thoughts with anxious concerns for his welfare and will spend sleepless nights thinking and praying for him. He will spend and be spent for him. But he does not agree with him or condone his lifestyle. He does not possess his confidence or freely seek to influence his choices. He cannot be in close fellowship with his thoughts and actions.
How graphically this plays out in the lives of Christians today. God manifests Himself to His obedient children, to those who keep His commandments and do them, who delight in His Word and seek to do His will. What the Lord has done for us through His love and grace should occupy the first place in our hearts. There should be a heavy responsibility within our hearts to walk circumspectly before others in submission and humility before God. We should respond with implicit obedience.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-03-07
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