Someone you know needs to watch or read this. It may even be you . . .
Disobedience to God is no small thing – it always invites discipline. Obedience, on the other hand, always invites God’s blessing. Yes, we know that every blessing God gives is undeserved – it’s all grace – but that doesn’t mean there is nothing anyone can do to receive gifts from God. The grace of God is that he has revealed to us – in advance – truths about what we can expect from him. When you do what’s right, you’ll be blessed. When we disobey, we always invite divine discipline, which is designed to get us back on track to start walking with him once again.
Whenever we disobey God and don’t experience his discipline, it’s a result of his mercy, when God withholds from us the discipline we deserve. But we must always be careful that we don’t tempt God and take his mercy for granted. If you get into the unhealthy habit of disobeying him, thinking he will always forgive you, you wander into dangerous territory. You must be careful you don’t take God’s undeserved favor, grace, and his undeserved pardons, mercy, lightly.
“No one who truly surrenders to God will ever live to regret it – but there are a great many people who have resisted God and paid a heavy, heavy price.”
Being faithful to God, not popular with people, is life’s true objective. It’s the pursuit that will set you free – and keep you walking in freedom. Being faithful to God is the most rewarding pursuit in all of life, because whenever you disobey, you set yourself back. Disobedience is a choice to contradict the very purpose of your life, which is to love and enjoy God, and to glorify him in the overflow. No one who truly surrenders to God will ever live to regret it – but there are a great many people who have resisted God and paid a heavy, heavy price.
In 1 Samuel 15, there’s the story of how God clearly gave instructions to King Saul. He was told to listen to the LORD and obey him completely. When the whole episode was over, the attitude of Saul’s heart was exposed: “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them” (1 Sam. 15:24). Saul’s fear of people was greater than his respect for God, and it cost him dearly. Proverbs 29:25 says it this way: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
Throughout your life you will be constantly tempted to be more concerned about the opinions of people than the opinions of God. Be careful you don’t confuse the two, because they are on a collision course and cannot mutually co-exist. One will always dominate the other. If you obey God, you’ll please the people you need to please, and those you don’t end up pleasing don’t have opinions that should sway you, anyway. In all you do, all the time, trust God and leave the consequences with him.
PRAYER: LORD GOD, please help me focus on being faithful to you, and trust you with the outcome. Protect me from the subtleties of being influenced by people in ways that may threaten to gradually lead me astray from pure and sincere devotion to you. Help me to be faithful to you today, and every day, in every choice I make, so that my life is increasingly characterized by faithfulness to you.
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