God smiles when we obey Him wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don't procrastinate and say, "I'll pray about it." You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience.
God doesn't owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can't. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding.
Often we try to offer God partial obedience. We want to pick and choose the commands we obey. We make a list of the commands we like and obey those while ignoring the ones we think are unreasonable, difficult, expensive or unpopular. I'll attend church, but I won't tithe. I'll read my Bible but won't forgive the person who hurt me. Yet partial obedience is disobedience.
Wholehearted obedience is done joyfully, with enthusiasm. The Bible says, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing" (Ps. 100:2).
This is the attitude of David: "Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law and observe it with my whole heart" (Ps. 119:33-34).
James, speaking to Christians, said, "You see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).
God's Word is clear: You can't earn your salvation. It comes only by grace, not your effort. But as a child of God, you can bring pleasure to your heavenly Father through obedience. Any act of obedience is also an act of worship.
Why is obedience so pleasing to God? Because it proves you really love him. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
Talk It Over
- How can you discern when it is God telling you to do something?
- In what areas have you displayed partial obedience to God?
- How does your attitude toward obedience change when you consider it an act of worship?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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