Obedience - First15 - November 13
Trust is something we are not created to give away lightly. We value trust like we value our own lives, constantly scrutinizing others to see if they're worthy of our trust. But still we are made to do life with help. We are made to place our trust in that which will provide us with more life, joy, and peace. I pray that this week you and I will discover how trustworthy our heavenly Father is. I pray that we will willingly hand over control of our lives to a capable, loving, and near God. And I pray we will experience the abundant life that can only come through placing our trust in a God who gives up everything for relationship with us.
Scripture:“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
Throughout our lives we are commanded to obey. Whether it be a parent telling us, “Pick that up,” or, “Don’t do that,” or a government laying down a law, we acknowledge obedience as a necessary part of life. And so often because we grow up with some sense of the purpose of obedience, we apply our worldly notions of obedience to our relationship with God. We see the commands of Scripture or feel a prompting from the Spirit and sense a similar tone of command.
The problem with carrying a worldly notion of obedience into our relationship with God is that no one, no matter how loving, can or will fully care for us the way our heavenly Father does. No matter how good the lawmaker, parent, friend, or teacher, no one truly knows the future like God does.
Isaiah 1:19 promises us, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” God asks for us to be obedient to him because his plan is always for our betterment. He sees what lies ahead of us. He knows the potential perils or fruits of our actions. And like a Good Shepherd, he longs to guide us into an incredibly abundant life filled with all the goodness of his kingdom.
If we are ever going to experience the wealth of glorious inheritance God has for us, we must learn to trust him and obey. God cannot lead us to still waters and plentiful pastures if we are unwilling to follow him. He cannot lead us into the depths of his love if we don’t trust in his loving-kindness. He cannot lead us into consistent encounters with him if we don’t trust that he is as near as his word promises. And he cannot satisfy the deep desires of our hearts if we don’t trust that his purposes for us will truly satiate our longings.
1 Samuel 15:22 says,“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” God longs to fashion us into children who are quick to obey him. He earnestly desires our obedience because he earnestly desires abundant life that only comes through acting upon a foundational trust in his goodness.
Take time in guided prayer to think about reasons why you aren’t fully obeying God’s word or the promptings of his Spirit. What doubt do you have in your heart? Why don’t you fully trust that he will completely satisfy your deepest longings? Make space to rest in his presence and trust that he is who he says he is. Trust that he will do what he has promised. May you experience the abundant life that comes through total obedience to your loving heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the importance of obedience. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to obey God sooner and to greater measures.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
2. Why do you have a hard time obeying God’s word or his promptings? In what ways do you not trust him?
3. Reflect on his promises in those areas and place your trust in him. Rest in his presence and experience his wonderful character. Ask him to reveal how trustworthy he is that you might place your trust more fully in him today.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Placing our trust in someone is always a process. God does not assume that you will fully trust him until you truly get to know him. To know his love and kindness in a way that will result in trust takes time spent daily developing your relationship. If you want to experience the fruit of obedience and trust, you must make time to get to know your heavenly Father. In a moment where you feel like going your own way, you must have a solid foundation built on knowing the goodness of God and his word. Have patience with yourself and center your life around developing a greater relationship with your heavenly Father. May you come to know the heart of God as described in Ephesians 3:17-19:
That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Extended Reading: 1 Peter 1
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For more information on today's devotional click here!