Portraits of Obedience

We make many decisions each and every day. Sometimes we make good decisions and sometimes we make very bad ones. It’s hard to go wrong, though, when our decisions are governed by obedience to God’s word.

Abraham demonstrated that he was such a man. God told Abraham to leave his friends, his family, and his homeland behind and move to a place the Lord would show him. Abraham didn’t know where God would lead him or why God was leading him there. But he had faith that God wanted the best for him, so Abraham obeyed. (see Genesis 12:1-4)

Joshua also didn’t know why God gave him what seemed like the strangest military strategy ever conceived. But Joshua obeyed God and commanded his army to march around Jericho for six days and on the 7th day, they circled it 7 times. The priests blew their trumpets, and then all the people shouted. Because of Joshua’s obedience in following God’s commands to the letter, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and the stronghold was easily captured. (See Joshua 6:3-5)

If you had received these orders from God, would you have obeyed?

There can be consequences to disobeying the Lord. For example, consider when Moses sent the 12 spies into the promised land. Ten of them came back and reported that the Israelites were unable to take the land because it was full of giants. In their fear, they actually turned the people away from obeying God’s command to take possession of the land. Only Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to ignore the bad reports and do what God told them to do. But the people refused. The outcome was that God marched the Israelites around the desert for 40 years until all those who refused to enter the land had died. Only then, were their descendants, along with Caleb and Joshua allowed to enter the promised land. (see Numbers chapters 13 and 14.)

Have you ever considered that God might be keeping you in a wilderness of sorts due to your disobedience?

We might not audibly hear God’s commands as Abraham and Joshua did, but the Bible is full of instructions and commandments from God that we need to take to heart. Even when they conflict with what we desire or consider reasonable, we still need to observe and obey them. This means that we have to humble ourselves before God and turn away from our self-centeredness. We can only achieve this with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I hope you’re encouraged by these words and that you’ll trust and follow the Lord, for He is good.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Romans 11:33 (NASB)

Related messages

Characteristics of a Christ follower
Meaningful obedience can’t be separated from a heart-felt love for God.
How to become more obedient to Christ
Let’s face it, we all mess up and fail to live up to God’s will for our lives at one time or another. But there’s hope… We can do better.
Four promised benefits of obedience
You can receive these benefits now for being obedient to God’s word.
Assurance of salvation eBook
The bible instructs us to test ourselves to see if we’re in the faith. Here are 13 biblically-based ways to examine your life to see if your faith is genuine or superficial.

I first professed my belief in Jesus as the Son of God and accepted Him as my Savior more than 40 years ago. Since that day, I’ve never doubted that Jesus is who He claims to be. However, that belief didn’t keep me from living my life on my own terms for several years, which resulted in repeating the same sins over and over. In 2013, I became determined to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me an insatiable appetite for God’s word. As I turned more and more of my life over to Jesus and cooperated with the Holy Spirit, He has helped me break free of the sins that once enslaved me. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God’s word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

You must be logged in to post a comment.