God Smiles When We Obey Wholeheartedly
By Rick Warren
— January 27, 2018
“Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey” (Psalm 119:33-34 TLB).
God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don’t procrastinate and say, “I’ll pray about it.” You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience.
God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding.
Often we try to offer God partial obedience. We want to pick and choose the commands we obey. We make a list of the commands we like and then obey those while ignoring the ones we think are unreasonable, difficult, expensive, or unpopular. “I’ll attend church, but I won’t tithe.” “I’ll read my Bible, but I won’t forgive the person who hurt me.” Yet partial obedience is disobedience.
Wholehearted obedience is done joyfully, with enthusiasm. The Bible says, “Obey him gladly” (Psalm 100:2 TLB).
This is the attitude of David: “Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey” (Psalm 119:33-34 TLB).
James, writing to Christians, says God is pleased not only by what we believe, but also by what we do (see James 2:24).
God’s Word is clear that you can’t earn your salvation. It comes only by grace, not your effort. But as a child of God you can bring pleasure to your heavenly Father through obedience. Any act of obedience is also an act of worship.
Why is obedience pleasing to God? Because it demonstrates that you really love him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15 GNT).
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Talk It Over
- Why do you think God doesn’t explain some commands until after we are obedient to follow them?
- Think about the last time you exercised instant obedience to God. What did that choice reveal about your faith?
- Why do we sometimes offer God a partial obedience? Why have you tried to bargain with God in the past?
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