FoundationsForGrowing

The Blessing in Obedience

by Joanna Pierce on March 17, 2016

He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me (Psalms 18:19, KJV).

The “Delight” Perspective

King David was blessed mightily by the Lord, but there was a reason. He was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22): upright before God, honest, just, respected authority, etc. Therefore, God delighted in Him. Delight is from the Hebrew word chaphets, which means favor, take pleasure with, or approving. We cannot just gain “delight” from God living any ordinary way. There are certain requirements God places on us, and our obedience to those requirements directly correlates His behavior toward us.

Getting to the Status of Delight

Scripture tells us if our ways are blameless (Proverbs 11:20), trustworthy (Proverbs 12:22), and upright (Proverbs 15:8) God will delight in us! By walking in these ways, favor, blessing, protection, and promotion will come from God. All throughout Scripture we can see contingencies in God’s blessings—if man will do “x,” God will do “x.”

God will look to the works in our life that are toward righteousness. If found, He rewards us in the same measure that we extend and/or demonstrate in our life (Psalms 18:20). If we are merciful, pure, have clean hands, etc. God will extend those things unto us (Psalms 18:21–26).

We need to be careful we don’t take Scriptures applicable to salvation out of context and believe we can live any way and God will accept/bless us. These Scriptures don’t apply to our relationship with God, which comes after our initial salvation experience (repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and infilling of the Holy Ghost). Jesus wants to have a relationship with us so He can teach us what is acceptable. We won’t know how to live right without the Holy Spirit working in our life!

Obedience Modeled By Jesus

Jesus told the Pharisees strict obedience to rules was not going to lead them to perfection in the Holy Ghost (Matthew 5:20). We need to be careful our obedience does not lean toward man-made thoughts and intents. Obedience cannot be prideful and full of human thinking! God’s idea of spiritual obedience is defined by relationship, service, and sacrifice.

Scripture tells us, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19, KJV). The obedience of Jesus made all men righteous—His obedience was based on His compassion for humanity. Jesus took upon the form of a servant, humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death (Philippians 2:5–8).

We were made in God’s image, and therefore, are designed to be like Him. There is already an innate sense in us to obey because it was in our Father! Our goal should be to strive to be like our Master. We were born to serve, but we need to choose what and whom we will obey. What way will we go (Romans 6:16)?

Obedience Starts in the Head and Not the Hands

Paul instructed the church how to utilize their spiritual weapons to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, and command every thought into the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:4–5). He spoke specifically against people in the church raising up ideas contrary to what he was teaching. The strongholds he referred to are in the mind. If we allow the Holy Ghost to work in us, we can push back those thoughts and choose to follow Christ.

Paul described the war taking place in his mind—as well as other believers—which tried to lead him into the captivity of sin (Romans 7:23). We need to allow the Holy Ghost to work in us and bring those thoughts to obey God. When we have the Holy Ghost working in us, we’ll see the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and not the works of the flesh.

Obedience Ends in the Hands and Not the Head

Just accepting God’s word as true doesn’t make it active in our life. Even the demons believe there is One God (James 2:19), but they aren’t saved. James admonished the church to show their faith by their works because faith without works was dead (James 2:14–26). We cannot afford to leave obedience in our minds and not allow it to come out in our behavior. If we really believe it, we have to be it!

Our flesh will want to stop what God is trying to do in our hands and feet. We need to yield ourselves over to the work of God and become His servant (John 12:26). Obedience to Him will always require and action—thought, attitude, and sacrifice evolve over time into our words and actions.

Searching to Obey

Scripture spells out plainly how we can learn to follow Christ and what to do/not do in our walk with Him (Ephesians 4:20–32). But remember, we have to learn Christ before we can be like Christ. If we are going to be successful in our obedience to Him, we need to follow Him more closely than we ever have before and imitate Him every chance we get (Ephesians 5:1). We have a responsibility not to walk in darkness because we are the light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8)—walk as children of the light and learn the blessing in obedience.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on March 16, 2016