God takes delight in people who obey His Word and He blesses them. Obedience is the strength to bring down God’s amazing power. God-pleasing obedience doesn’t refer to reluctant and coerced obedience in keeping His commandments but God is pleased when we understand God’s heart and obey it with joy. If we love God and perfectly obey Him, we can do the things that are impossible for men and transcend any kind of situation. Such a truly righteous man obeys with faith whatever will of God is.
- Obeying is a step to becoming righteous
Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” What does it mean ‘For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness’?
When people have faith as knowledge, it can’t lead them to righteousness. Those who believe from the bottom of the hearts circumcise their hearts and live by the Word of God. They throw away things God tells them to throw away and don’t do the things He tells them not to do. They also do and keep what He tells them to do and keep. Through this, they can cast away sin and evil and reach righteousness, which also means ‘becoming sanctified.’ When we believe with the heart and confess our faith, it is deemed true by God and it results in our salvation.
Romans 2:13 reads, “For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.” It means that only when we hear and keep the Law, which is the Word of God, can we become righteous men.
We have to cast away hatred because God tells us not to hate others. We also must not envy because God tells us not to envy. We must love even our enemies since God tells us to love them. To the extent that we obey the Words of God by deeds, we can become more righteous. Thus, as much as we believe with a heart and obey, we can become even more qualified as righteous men.
- Blessing given when obeying God in the order
Many sections of society in the world require obedience of people between a master and his servants or in hierarchical organizations. How well the members obey the given order may decide their performance. To form a happy family, parents should teach their children to grow up justly, wisely, and well in the Lord and children should obey their parents without going astray. If a child doesn’t listen to his parents and often causes troubles, how sad his parents would feel! The family members may feel unhappy and sad and keep arguing with one another. On the other hand, when a child obeys his parents in the Lord and works as a precious asset to society, his parents might feel very happy.
The same applies to the relations between teachers and students. Teachers want their students to respect them and to understand and use what they learned. They want them to act as good examples for others. An owner of a company also likes skilled workers who obey and contribute to the company’s development being diligent, honest, and wise.
Everything is made favorable when we obey following the order. This also applies to the relations between God and people. God is very pleased with His children’s obedience to His Words. How lovely His children look in His sight when they don’t follow untruthful things that Satan likes and they practice the Word of God.
As the Bible describes, Abraham’s belief in God was perfected. He believed God would be able to revive the dead and Abraham obeyed Him joyfully when He told him to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering, who was more valuable than his own life. How lovely he looked to God. God reckoned such faith and obedience as ‘righteousness’ and He took delight in him. He blessed him as the father of faith.
- The reasons we are unable to obey the Word of God
Contrary to Abraham, there was a person like King Saul who came to be forsaken by God because he continually disobeyed. In 1 Samuel 15, Saul disobeyed God’s command using his own thoughts. God commanded him to ‘utterly destroy the Amalekites’. But with his own thoughts, he did not kill Agag, the king of Amalek, but captured him alive. He also spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, but he destroyed only things despised and worthless. This disobedience of Saul caused him to be forsaken by God and his throne was handed over to David.
That is why Samuel the prophet reproached Saul severely in 1 Samuel 15:22-23, saying, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” What should we realize from his case?
People fail to obey because of their own thoughts. Many parts of the Bible are contrary to our knowledge. It tells us that when we humble ourselves we will be lifted up, when we are put to death we will live, and when someone slaps us on the right cheek, we should turn our left cheek to him. In fact, these things don’t agree with our thoughts. If we don’t obey the Word of God because it is not in agreement with our knowledge, we cannot please God or seek after His heart.
1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” It means that unless we love others that we can see in our family, workplaces, and church and seek for their hearts how could it be possible for us to say we love God who is not seen.
Therefore, we should clearly remember that only when we do not do anything according to our thoughts but act according to the Word of God can we obey Him.
- God works on righteous people who obey
Suppose someone is about to leave his home to accomplish the work of God. Suddenly major problems occurred with his family. If he thinks in his way, ‘Oops! How can I leave my family while they are in trouble!’ and doesn’t go, what about the work of God? If he obeys thinking, ‘I made up my mind before God, so I will go’, then, God will cause all things to work together for the good for him. Only one who sets aside his own ideas and obeys God can greatly achieve His works.
Here, we should realize that if we are led by our thoughts, we cannot either disobey God or follow after others’ hearts such as our spouses, family members, or people around us. In this way, how can we know and follow the heart of God that is great and broad beyond any comparison with the heart of any man! That is why Romans 8:7-8 says, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
God is love itself, but He still works within justice. So, He doesn’t work for those who disobey Him. To the extent we become more righteous by obedience, God can work with us and lead us to prosperity.
It is clearly seen in the case of a widow in Zarephath. There was severe drought so she had food just for a single meal. Elijah, a man of God, told her to make him a little bread cake. Furthermore, it is recorded in 1 Kings 17:14 that he promised her saying, “For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth'” (1 Kings 17:14). Elijah’s word was something very hard to obey for an ordinary person, but the widow in Zarephath obeyed it.
What was its consequence? As Elijah promised, she could live peacefully without worries for food until the drought ended. In the same way, if we please God with deeds of obedience, then we can receive answers to whatever we ask. Therefore, I urge you to demolish human thoughts, obey only the Word, and become truly righteous people so that you will glorify God.