We must take a close look at our walk. We must examine ourselves. Are we obedient with a whole heart or are we simply being religious? What are our motives? We must weed out all compromises. Our obedience must be pure and bound to a humble, devoted heart.
22 Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22 (NASB)
When my son was about 5 years old we had a Revival team visit our church in Tulsa for about three weeks. Each evening the adults would go to the auditorium while all of the children were in the gym or class rooms. The team had two or three teenagers who took care of the children by age group. Over those three weeks my soon started singing a new song almost constantly. It was a song called “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E.” He would sing this song over and over. It was during this time that we bought him his own tape player and several “Psalty” tapes. However, no matter how much he loved Psalty and those songs, he would default to the “Obedience” song most of the time.
We must admit that we are all guilty of rebellion against God’s sovereignty, His will, and His commandments. Obedience is something we tend to give lip service to, but in reality, we give in to our own special interests. All through the book of Jeremiah, God tells the Judeans, through His Prophet, to repent by turning from their idolatry to Him. He was calling them to obey their part of the Covenant.
9 God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. Genesis 17:9 (NASB)
The Jews did not keep this covenant as they should have. Instead they disobeyed God which resulted in their exile from the land of promise. I am not a Dispensationalist so I view the Church (The True Church) to be spiritual Israel. There is plenty of scriptural evidence that this is so. If this is true, then what is the implication for the Church. Are we liable to keep our side of Covenant with God? Yes, we are! All in Christ are partakers of the New Covenant. God’s part in this Covenant is to save and keep those He saves. Christian’s part in the Covenant is their obedience to the Lord’s Commandments.
This obedience is not ceremonial or liturgical. It is not a set of rules to keep. Instead, it is obedience borne from a Heart that loves the Lord God with its entire being.
16 “This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 26:16 (NASB)
45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 32:45-46 (NASB)
Does God bless those who disobey His commandments? Does He punish those who obey Him? There is a clear cause and effect with obeying the Lord. There is no guarantee that we will be problem free if we obey God. In fact, we are promised that we will suffer persecution if we live a life of obedience to the Lord. However, there is a promise of success to those who obey God with a whole heart.
8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8 (NASB)