Did you know forgiveness is a command? So is loving your enemies, not worrying, not judging others, trusting God, managing your money well and more.
Until recently I viewed them as choices, mere suggestions.
Turns out I was wrong. See Matt 5:44; 6:14:15; 6:25; 7:1; 25:28-29
I ignored the “suggestions” I didn’t like until an aha moment changed everything.
God gently informed me these are not suggestions but commands and I could choose to obey or disobey the command.
His commands stand and aren’t up for debate. You and I have free will to choose “Yes I will” or “No I won’t” obey Him. “. . . then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve (obey). . . .” Josh 24:15
The commands spoken by Christ applied then and now as “I the Lord do not change . . .” Mal 3:6 and “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isa 40:8
So why obey?
Did you know obedience is an act of love towards God and was never intended to be this heavy load we carry but the means of unloading our cares? I didn’t.
“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3
His commands were also created to bring freedom “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. John 7:32, the TRUTH being God’s Word.
And there’s more.
Moses gave the Israelites two options along with a clear explanation of the results of each.
They only had one choice to make; They could obey or not. Deut. 28 1:13
We learn here the benefits of choosing obedience – blessings, prosperity, protection and provision and more.
Obedience invites God’s favor into EVERY area of our lives including our children, our home, job and bank account. (see below)
Obedience causes us to be “more blessed.” “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28
It ushers us into God’s presence and is an expression of our love for Christ.
“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
Disobedience brings the opposite of obedience, a lesson I learned the hard way as it opened the door for everything I didn’t want.
So who wouldn’t choose obedience and enjoy its rewards? Me.
My unwillingness to forgive resulted in bitterness. My refusal to trust Him invited insomnia and mismanagement of my finances led to debt, lack and anxiety.
That aha moment I mentioned earlier forced me to face a hard truth.
I didn’t want to obey God. I just wanted the benefits it brought.
I wanted Him to do for me what I was unwilling to do for others. I wanted the blessings but without it costing me anything.
I wanted the favor without having to forgive. I wanted the prosperity without the financial accountability and I needed His mercy while I judged others.
So here is what I know for sure.
You and I have one choice to make daily – obey or not obey God’s commands.
Both options bring results – it’s our decision which results we receive.
Which one will we choose?
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Deut 28: 1 – 13