by Rick Warren — September 17, 2023
From 50 Days of Faith
“LORD, you gave your orders to be obeyed completely.”
Psalm 119:4 (NCV)
Partial obedience is still disobedience. You can’t just pick and choose which commands of God you will follow.
There are two important truths you need to understand related to God’s commands:
God’s standard of right and wrong never changes. If something was wrong 6,000 years ago, it’s still wrong today. Cultures change. Popular opinions change. But truth never, ever changes. Truth is eternal.
God’s perspective is bigger than yours. God sees what you can’t see. It’s humanly impossible to see back before time began or to forward into eternity or to understand everything—seen and unseen—that is going on around you.
You need to trust God. “Your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it” (James 4:11 TLB).
The oldest temptation is not murder or lust. It’s the temptation to doubt God’s Word. Satan is still using the same lie he did on Eve when he told her, “Did God really say not to eat that?” (Genesis 3:1). He convinced her that her desires were more important than God’s commands.
Faith is trusting God in the details and obeying completely, not just the portion you understand or the part you feel like doing. Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own” (MSG).
The story of Naaman in the Bible illustrates the need for complete obedience (2 Kings 5). Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army, but he also had leprosy. One of his servants told him the prophet Elisha could heal him. When Naaman arrived at Elisha’s door, the prophet didn’t come out himself. Instead, he sent out a messenger who told Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times.
Naaman was angry because the prophet didn’t speak to him personally and Elisha’s instructions seemed ridiculous. Naaman started to head home.
But his servants convinced him that he had nothing to lose if he would do what Elisha told him to do. And so Naaman went to the Jordan and immersed himself seven times. And God healed him!
Imagine if Naaman had gone home in anger. Imagine if he’d only gone under the water six times and then decided God was making him look like a fool.
But Naaman trusted and obeyed God completely, and God healed him of his leprosy.
Imagine what God will do in your life when you fully obey him with your whole heart.