by Pastor Tim Burt
Parents love obedience! When their children learn it and walk in it, they feel as though they are of the most blessed in the world.
When parents go through the teen years with their kids, they don’t think in terms of the word “obedience” so much anymore. Either their children have grown to the teen years having learned respect, a civil attitude, and reasonable compliance or they haven’t.
By the time we are adults, we dump the word obedience. Adults think more in terms of I am an adult and I can do what I want. Submission to any kind of authority is more often motivated more because of a paycheck or to avoid pain and trouble than it is from a heart of love or for appropriate reasons.
Obedience may become less important to adults but it never becomes less important to God. He wants children to learn obedience because it prepares them to reverence and respect Him and will help them also one day respect those in positions of authority as they become adults. It is what helps them become a vessel God can use and ones who will experience greater opportunity for success.
Let me show you this truth through these verses.
Exodus 19:5-6 (NIV) says, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…”
Let me expound: “obey me fully” means to know and understand God’s character and desires. This comes over time from reading and rereading the Bible. It teaches and helps us become familiar with what He wants us to gravitate toward and to restrain ourselves from. For example, He wants us to learn to restrain ourselves from unbridled anger and instead learn to put on the qualities of patience and love. It is more than that though. As we learn God’s Word and hide it in our hearts, He brings scriptures to memory and speaks to our hearts through them. It is how He prompts us and instructs our conscience to follow Him.
“Keep my covenant” means to understand that we are in a covenant relationship with God. that we come to understand, love, and value. Let me use this illustration. Imagine you had a best friend. This relationship is so tight and special that you wouldn't do anything to mess it up. You are so close at heart and in friendship that you would do anything for each other. Your sincere attitude is what is mine is yours and you both feel that way toward each other. Now take that even one step higher in that you are also a business partners with a legal agreement. That is what a covenant relationship with God is. He has that kind of love toward us and makes Himself legally bound to us by His Word to keep His promises. (Even when we stumble and fall—something He will never do.)
The Lord says, “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant…,” then something precious will happen—“out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession.” Now God started out with that promise to the Jews— to Israel—those He chose to bring the revelation of Himself to the world through. After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He gave us the chance to also walk in that covenant as a part of His family through our faith in Jesus. Through this covenant and our faith in Jesus, we are also a part of God’s “treasured possession in all the earth.” Are you starting to get the picture of how God feels about you? It is through the execution of full obedience that these blessings manifest in their fullest form in our lives.
God spoke these words through Moses to Israel. They reach to us through Jesus Christ today. His ways are still relevant to life today. God tells us we are His treasured possession as we take in, learn, understand, and walk out obedience to His Word in our life. We become those that learn to walk it out in love so that we can be a light and influence the world around us.
Your life is significant to God and so very important to His plan and purposes. And obedience to His Word out of love and reverence for Him is significant and what makes life precious—is what makes you precious —to this world! Walk in it today!
Exodus 19:5 (NIV) “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession…”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt