God Smiles When We Obey
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
“Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him” (Genesis 6:22 NLT).
Noah obeyed completely (no instruction was overlooked) and he obeyed exactly (in the way and time God wanted it done). That is wholeheartedness. It is no wonder God smiled on Noah.
If God asked you to build a giant boat, don’t you think you might have a few questions, objections, and reservations? Noah didn’t. He obeyed God 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 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 LB). 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 LB).
James, speaking to Christians, said, “We please God by what we do and not only by what we believe” (James 2:24 CEV). 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 so pleasing to God? Because it proves you really love him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15 TEV).
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