Just yesterday, I preached a sermon at BRC on ‘The 5 Qualities That Will Set You Up To Receive Divine Favor‘. You can watch, listen or share the sermon. One of the points in the sermon was Obedience. As I was pondering upon the same in my heart, I realized how much, as Christians, we need to grow in obedience.
There are various levels of obedience. The first of them all is your obedience to God, to His Word, to the voice of His Spirit. Following it, comes your obedience to your parents, both physical and spiritual, and leaders, both spiritual and secular, even the government and the law of the land.
Of course if any of them challenge your obedience to God, your first commitment should be to obey God over the law or system of the land, or even the parents or the leaders.
Here are few things, out of the countless many, that the bible promises in response to our obedience. Here, I am trying to give you a picture on how Obedience is not such a sad and reward-less thing.
1. Long Life
“If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” Deuteronomy 4:40 NLT
One thing that we all hate is the fact that most things in life including our jobs, wealth, health, even ministry have a temporal run. They don’t last for long, issues and worries and challenges and problems keep creeping in. And that’s normal, because that’s how life is. However, the perks of walking in obedience is that God would bless you with longevity not just for your life, but also the work of your hands!
2. Unexpected Favor
But Noah found favor with the Lord. Genesis 6:8 NLT
The stories of Noah, and even Ruth, are splendid examples of how God favors a man or woman who walks in obedience. What Ruth was told to do by her mother-in-law was outrageous, and Ruth knew nothing of the outcome, yet she blindly trusted and obeyed Naomi, leading to her marriage and a blessed future with Boaz. If you have been expecting a breakthrough in your life, look for ways to exercise obedience!
3. Promotes Worship
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22 NLT
Every worship, offering, or even monetary giving that comes outside of obedience is rejected by God. That is the story of King Saul, and even the story of Cain. When we give to God, it has to be coupled with obedience. In other words, it is our obedience that makes our worship acceptable before God!
4. Power & Authority
King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 27:6 NLT
There is a wrong notion that when we walk in obedience, we lose the power and authority over own lives; that somebody else is in control of our lives. That is the joy of surrender to God; the more you yield and obey, the more powerful and authoritative you become. This includes your ministry, your secular work, your family, church or even relationships.
Your power does not come from the fact that you are in control of your life, your power comes from the fact that you are obedient to the one who is in control of your life!
5. Blessing & Multiplication
“This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. Genesis 22:16-17 NLT
I am sure you would be excited about the blessing and the multiplication. But Abraham had to come to a point of sacrificing the blessing and the only point of increase in his life for the sake of obedience. It is not always an easy thing to be able to obey, because it involves a lot of sacrifice and giving up. But when you do obey, you will surely come out of it with so much of blessing and overflow in your life that you will not be able to handle it.
The selfish creatures that we are, rewards are what motivate us to do things. Hence the title.
However, I want to encourage you to develop a lifestyle of obedience simply because you love God, completely forgetting about all the benefits and the rewards that come along with it.
The greatest joy or reward of obedience that could ever be is a smile from your Father in heaven!
How has obedience to God, or to your elders blessed you? Have you faced challenges obeying God because of the people around you? How have you overcome those challenges? Please share in the comments below.