dr-rev-joaquin-willis_web.jpgScripture tells us there are benefits to be found in obedience. Often we look for God’s glorious actions toward us without concern for obeying His Word.

Do you in your daily routines serve God by obeying His Word, or do you wait for Him to do some mighty act first? If you seek His glorious acts, before you obey Him, you may find yourself sidestepping your everyday duty to obey Him and, therefore, miss out on your blessings.

While it is true obedience to God may bring problems and, yes, it may cause fear, too, obedience should not be compromised. First, we remember obedience to God brought problems during the Exodus. When Moses and Aaron first took their message of deliverance to Pharaoh as God had directed them, the initially unhappy result was harder work and more oppression. For on that same day Pharaoh ordered his servants, “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them gather their own straw.” (Exodus 5:6).

Secondly, obedience may also frighten us when God’s task for us seems impossible.

In another instance, Moses said, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me?” (Exodus 5:6) Think how scary it must have been for Moses to bring God’s message to Pharaoh only to find that his own people had trouble believing it.

Third, while obedience causes problems and frightens us, it is not to be compromised. Later on, in the same story, Pharaoh suggested a compromise in the form of letting the people make a local sacrifice in the land of Egypt, if Moses would pray to God for the plague of flies to leave him.  Pharaoh wanted Moses to compromise God’s Word and not take the people on the journey God commanded but Moses said, In Exodus 8:25-29, no deal.

Obedience to God cannot be negotiated. When it comes to obeying God, half measures will not do. This is something Christ shows us also in the Garden of Gethsemane: Half measures just won’t do.  After three separate requests to let the cup of suffering pass from Him, it became clear to Christ that God wanted His whole life for our sins, not a portion of it. (Matthew 26:44).

Again, according to the Psalmist (112:2-9), if we are obedient to God’s Word, many blessings become available to us: honor, prosperity, security, freedom from fear. 

Further, it stresses that if we fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands, we can expect benefits but we must revere Him and gladly obey His Word.

Obeying God’s Word and words themselves are important to God. Jesus said in Matthew 12:37, “For by your words you will be acquitted (KJV reads “justified”) and by your words you will be condemned.” The word “justified” means to be deemed right. In other words, when you line your words up with God’s word, then He will honor your obedience and through your own words, with the help of angels, you will be blessed.

In Proverbs 6:2, KJV, we read, “Thou art snared with the words of thine mouth” and in NIV it reads, “You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.” The point is when we speak contrary to the Word of God, we are setting a trap for ourselves.  Like it or not, our words are going to come to pass.

Jerry Savelle said in his book, Living in the Fullness of the Blessing, “We cannot live in the fullness of the blessing the way God wants us to if we are constantly speaking words that are contrary to His Word.”

As a result of our obedience we will see the glory of God. In Psalm 19:1, we read,

“The Heavens declare the glory of God,” but it seems this is particularly so at the place and time where sacrifices are made. It is through sacrifice and at the time and place of sacrifice the glory of God appears.

 This is why the glory of God was most fully revealed at the time and the place of Jesus’ death, the moment of His greatest obedience, submitting himself as a living sacrifice for our sins and our salvation. The benefit we all got from His obedience and death is still being felt today.

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at pastor@churchoftheopendoormiami.org.