Day 117: April 27, 2023

The Blessing of Obedience

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of god, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (I John 5:1-3, ESV)

For Insight

There’s no getting around it. Life on the Vine must include being obedient to God’s commands, what the Spirit tells us. Without obedience we cannot experience the degree of blessings God promises and has communicated to us in his Word.

One of my favorite passages on this subject is found in Deuteronomy chapter 28. You must read it from beginning to end to enjoy the fullness of its message. But Moses details what God says concerning the blessings they will have for their life if they obey and the curses or lack, they will experience if they choose not to. Being obedient and following God’s commands they would be set high above other nations—this is favor—the wombs of the women would be opened and blessed, even their land would produce for them, and their herds would increase. God said even their enemies would be defeated. The blessings God promises them would prosper them. God said they would be lenders and not borrowers and he would make them overseers not those bringing up the rear or lacking in power. But these kinds of blessings would only come through their complete obedience, not as result of doing things their own way.

On the other hand, God said not only would they not receive all he promised through an obedient life they would be overtaken by curses. Being cursed is not the same as just-not-having. Being cursed means there would be no producing, there would only be emptiness. Their land would not only not produce there would be pestilence to consume whatever they grew. They would be struck with disease, and experience droughts and even their bodily health would suffer disease and fevers. Their enemies would defeat them and they would be robbed and oppressed.

These conditions and much more would be the outcome for them if they chose the path of disobedience and it is no different for us today.

Praise God we live on this side of the Cross of Christ and can enjoy his blood and righteousness that covers and protects us. These are the common blessings of every believer but faith in Jesus does not mean we are not to be obedient to God’s commands. The amazing thing is that God sends us help to live a life of obedience. We are not on our own or have to draw from our own strength or human willpower. As Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me” (Php. 4:13) and this includes responding to the love of God and his commandments with obedience.   

God does not force obedience upon us. We always maintain our free will but God does show us the results of both ways of life.

If you are raising or have raised children then you understand this very practical and logical side of God as he parents us. A good, and truly loving parent does not reward children for disobedience. That would send the wrong message. And we’ve seen plenty of these examples where children were rewarded for bad behavior and grew into adults believing their bad behavior could still be rewarded and not experience any consequences. Disobedience should not result in a parent withholding the necessities of life: food, shelter, education, love, health care, emotional attachment, and so on. To withhold these would be child abuse and neglect. But a disobedient child should not get the same rewards that an obedient child receives. This is how God parents. In Deuteronomy God tells his children their obedience will result in blessing upon their lives from within and without; beginning to end.

Obedience to God is a natural progression of Vine life as long as we do not resist the Spirit. Through the Spirit’s ministry of sanctification, we become obedient—not kicking and screaming—but willingly because we love Jesus and want to please the Father with all we have. As we are growing up in our salvation our rebellious nature is traded for an obedient nature. We are learning to enjoy the fruit of obedience.

Heaven is our goal and there we will experience perfection in every way—all blessing, no curses—but that does not mean we cannot experience and enjoy the blessings and treasures of heaven today. God rejoices to give us the blessings that come through obedience.

God our Father, Jesus our Savior, we praise you for the blessings that come through a life of obedience. May we never tire of responding to the Spirit’s ministry of sanctification that transforms our heart and life. Amen

Ask Yourself

On a scale of 1-10 how am I doing in responding in obedience to God’s commands? Am I enjoying more blessings or curses right now?

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