OBEDIENCE RELEASES GOD'S POWER
“We see then, that they (Israel) were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe!” (Hebrews 3:19 TEV)
This is one of the saddest verses in the scripture. It reminds us that the people of God were not able to enter the promised land because of their unbelief. Think about this situation: for 400 years God planned the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. To convince Pharaoh to let them go, God sent the various plagues to Egypt. He opened the Red Sea and He fed the Israelites with manna and quail. He took care of all of their needs as He brought them to the edge of the promised land ….. their destiny. However, at the point of decision, God’s people said, “We can’t do it!” And the Bible says that because of their unbelief, they were not allowed to go in and that generation missed all that God had planned for their lives. Entering a new year in obedience to the Lord and His Word is entering to the promises of God for our future and our destiny.
We would not want to see anyone miss what God has planned for their lives in 2018 simply because they were unwilling or afraid to take a step of faith. We need to realize that our unbelief leads us to disobedience which limits God’s work and purpose in our lives. Psalm 78:41 reminds us that Israel, through unbelief and lack of obedience, “Limited the Holy One of Israel!” It goes on to say in verses 56 and 57 that they “Refused to follow His decrees, turned back and were faithless…’ Obedience is a choice!!! We must choose to obey God in faith when He is seeking to lead us. Every time we trust God’s wisdom and do whatever He says to do, even when we don’t understand it, we deepen our relationship with God.
We must also live with this motive and understanding, though, that we obey God, not out of duty, fear, or compulsion, but because we love Him and trust that He knows what is best for us. We want to obey and follow Christ out of gratitude for all He has done for us, and the closer we follow Jesus, again, the deeper our relationship with Him becomes. Unbelievers often think that Christians obey out of obligation, guilt, or fear of punishment, and I guess there are some that do, but for the true believer the opposite is true. Because we have been forgiven and set free, we obey out of love – and our obedience brings great joy!! Jesus said,
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in my love. When you obey Me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in His love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9-11 NLT)
The greatest tragedy for any of us would be to stand on the edge of our destiny in Christ in 2018, like Israel stood on the edge of theirs at the promised land, but because of fear, disobedience, and unbelief fail to enter into all He has planned. Let’s remember, that our obedience in moving forward, taking risks and steps of faith in obedience to Him, will release the power and joy of God in our lives. As the new year unfolds we don’t want anyone to miss the blessing of what God wants to lead you into. There is no reason to be afraid, God is on our side. Let’s believe, obey, and move ahead, because nothing will compare with the joy and excitement of finding ourselves in the perfect will of God. The hymn writer, John Sammis (1846 – 1919), penned these simple words that carry such a weight of truth:
When we walk with the Lord, In the light of His word
What a glory He sheds on our way
While we do His good will, He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey
Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey