Walking on the smooth, straight road

“Love for God and obedience to God are so completely involved in each other that either one of them implies the other too.”
~F.F. Bruce~

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15, NIV).

Obedience is on my mind.  That’s partly because I’m a mom and I spend most of my every day giving commands for my kids to obey.  “Brush your teeth.  Get your lunch.  Don’t forget your homework.  Practice the piano.  Move faster.  Don’t run.” If you’ve never seen Anita Renfroe sing her William Tell Momisms, a quick listen will show you how most of my days sound.  If it’s been a while since you heard her sing this, treat yourself to another listen and a good laugh.

I’ve also been thinking about obedience, though, because since the start of this year, God has been gently compelling me to take new steps of obedience, to follow Him into some new areas, even though I don’t know if it will be “worth it,” or why it’s important for me to do these things.  I don’t understand; I’m just obeying.

As I’ve meditated on obedience, I’ve realized that healing, deliverance, blessing, and provision come as we obey—not before we obey.

When we hear God tell us what He wants to do, we could sit back and say, “Okay, God, I’ll totally give that after You provide” or “God, I’ll be happy to minister in that way after You deliver me from my pain.”  I’ve been telling Him I’ll obey after He gives me the time to do it or after He shows me whether what I am doing will matter.

That’s not how God works, though.

In Luke 11:11-17, we read about Jesus healing 10 lepers.   The men were outcasts of society, who cried out to Him to “have pity on us!  It says, “When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”

At a recent women’s conference, Lysa TerKeurst emphasized how Jesus’s instructions were so strange.  Technically, these men weren’t supposed to leave the leper colony.  If they thought they were in remission, they were supposed to call for the priest and the priest would come to them.  Only when the priest verified that they were “clean” were they allowed to go back to the village.

Yet, Jesus told them to leave and go get the priest before anything had changed for them.  They weren’t healed yet.  The Bible says, “As they went, they were cleansed.”

Sometimes God tells us to obey even before we’ve seen the provision or the healing.   I love reading about families who are adopting and their testimonies are almost always the same.  God called them to adopt.  They were overwhelmed by the financial cost and they had no money to pay for it.  They pursued adoption anyway and God provided every penny at just the right time.

As they obeyed His call to adopt, God gave them the resources they needed.

As you obey God’s call to give, He will provide.  As you obey His call to minister, He will equip you.  As you obey His call to go, He will direct your path.

The blessing is in the going and in the obedience.  In Psalm 128:1, it says:  “All you who fear God, how blessed you are! how happily you walk on his smooth straight road!” We’re blessed when we are walking on the straight road that God has directed us to take.  Our blessing is not in sitting beside the road watching others go by.  Our blessing isn’t in trailblazing our own road, heading in the direction we choose.  It’s only when we are in motion and taking steps of obedience, that we are blessed.

As it says in Psalm 128:2, 4:  “Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness! . . . Stand in awe of God’s Yes. Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!” (MSG).

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

2 thoughts on “Walking on the smooth, straight road

  1. Michelle says:

    I am prone to say things like “God if you want me to A then you have to B”
    For example…”God if you want me to take on that responsibility then you will have to lighten my load in other areas” or “God if you want me to call her you are going to have to give me the courage to make the call”. I don’t mean to make it an A then B kinda thing but I do. Sometimes I can just imagine God sitting there with the same look on his face I get with my own children say “Would you PLEASE just do what I say”

    Michelle

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