Obedience And Blessing
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
Without God and salvation through Jesus Christ the world is a lawless place full of vanity, violence and corruption. The deeds of evil men in their hearts are evil and lead only to death and destruction apart from the transforming power of God’s Word and faith in Jesus Christ. This was the world in the days of Noah and it is still the world today.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:5-8
So, God sent the great flood upon the earth to purge it of the wicked who lived only to do evil and spread the seeds of sin and death throughout the whole earth. But one man found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Of all the millions of people on the earth in that day only a few, Enoch, and Noah namely, were found to be men who “walked with God” They did no evil in the sight of the Lord but sought His will and followed His Word.
Of Enoch it is written, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” Genesis 5:24. And it is said of Noah that he was just, that he was perfect in his generations and that he did all that God commanded him to do.
“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9
Now, though we are all by nature descendants of Adam, every human being on the earth today is a descendant of Noah, a man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord because He was obedient.
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Genesis 6:22
By obedience to God Noah saved himself and his family, and all the creatures of the earth through the time of the flood. So, all the nations on the earth today are directly linked to this man who walked with God. All around him men were living according to the nature of the evil and corrupt depravity of their sin-filled hearts. Nevertheless, Noah chose daily to walk with God, not in opposition to Him.
The promises and prophecies of God for us are great indeed, but every blessing comes with a condition. Everything of what God has promised concerning us of blessing, reward, provision, healing, wisdom, deliverance, even our salvation is conditioned upon what we choose to believe and our obedience to do what God has commanded us to do.
Here are just a few promises of Jesus with conditions.
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raisedHim from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:14
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10
“So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.” Matthew 21:21
“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:17
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:23
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6: 14-15
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:14
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
It is unavoidable and cannot be honestly denied, though some have tried to dismiss the truth of Jesus’ commandments in the name of their own sense of what they define as freedom from religion and deny that there is a Heaven or a hell. Therefore, to them their idea of love and compassion, if they have one, is superior to God’s love and in doing so they make themselves fools in His eyes.
“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.” Psalm 14:1
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.” Psalm 2:2-4
Obedience to God is never intended to be a burdensome, unattainable set of rules and regulations that we have to live up to in order to qualify for God’s love or His grace. He has already blessed us with Salvation in Jesus Christ when we didn’t and could never deserve it. And the Scriptures assure us that because we are now in Christ, God will also freely give us all things.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Obedience to the commandments of God is not for His benefit, but for ours. They are not egregious nor do they require some great sacrifice or suffering on our part. Think of it; forgiveness, confession, faith, asking, saying, believing, abiding are all within the power of our will to do, without the loss of anything except those things that are killing us, keeping us in poverty, in sin and in bondage to the burden of unforgiveness. God commands nothing from us that will bring us harm. On the contrary, every commandment of God is given for our benefit and to position us for abundant blessings.
Our obedience is the pathway to the true high life we all desire in the Kingdom of God. Our new nature in Christ draws us toward the upward way, toward God’s higher calling and the reward of being made a son, a daughter, yes a child of the Living God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
As His sons and daughters, as His children we are like Him in nature, in passion and compassion, in authority, in will and in fulfillment of His plan and purpose to be His chosen vessels for the proclamation of the gospel here on earth and to be united with Him for all eternity in Heaven.
And all these we will do if we are obedient to His call and His commandments. Because we love the Lord we do what He says we should do.
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” Luke 6:46-48
Obedience is the firm foundation on which our confidence is built that when we call on the Lord we do so according to His will and when we ask anything according to His will we know He hears and answers us.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
More Good News, God is not leaving our obedience up to us alone. He has given us the Holy Spirit who is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13