“Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.” Jeremiah 7:23 (NIV).
How do we know when someone is a true believer in God? When he/she obeys God.
Now keep on reading …
Intuitively most of us don’t like the word “obey”. When we hear it, we shut down. When we read it in the Bible we often think it’s a strident, harsh, cold, or demanding word. But we’re wrong! The word “obey” in the Old Testament is sama, which means “to hear.” When God asks us “to hear,” He wants us to understand and respond, i.e., act in accordance with His Word. Then, when we hear/obey, God promises to bless His people (e.g. Leviticus 25:18-19, Deuteronomy 6:3).
The good news is that obedience is God’s loving invitation to blessing (Jeremiah 7:23). Here are some important things we should know about obedience:
- to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)
- life goes well for us when we obey God (Jeremiah 7:23)
- we go backward, not forward, when we disobey God (Jeremiah 7:24-26)
- God gets angry when we refuse to obey Him (Jeremiah 7:27-29)
Obedience is a response. It’s hearing, grasping what God wants me to do, and acting on it. Obedience is intrinsic to our relationship with God. He initiates by speaking, and we respond by obeying. When we obey, we’re blessed with what He wants to give us. When we disobey, we’re disciplined. So let’s remember, as we go about whatever we’re doing today, that we live in fellowship with God only as we obey Him.