Thursday, May 18, 2017

When Blessings Depend Upon Obedience



I don't know how many temptations you face every day, but I have plenty. Most of them aren't action temptations as much as "attitude" temptations. 

Murder isn't a temptation to me. Critical thoughts sometimes are.

If we want to avoid those temptations that come our way on a daily basis, we would do will to imitate Jesus. When He faced the temptation in the wilderness, He countered it with Scripture. When the enemy spoke lies to Him, He countered them with truth.  

In response to the temptation to worship the evil oneJesus answered, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'" (Luke 4:8 NASB)

He was quoting from two passages in Deuteronomy that deal with the importance of obeying God's commands. The purpose of all the commands was 
that God's people would both fear Him (respect with awe and reverence) and obey Him. 

IF they willingly obeyed, God would pour out blessings on them: 

1) they would have long life
2) they would be blessed and things would "go well"
3) they would "multiply greatly" (many children)

Moses taught that obedience begins by loving God. Even at a time when faith seemed to be based on a stack of laws, God wanted a love relationship with His people. He still does. 

All-consuming love for God, coupled with an all-encompassing obedience, brings an amazing reward. God will surround us with blessings we don't deserve and give us the precious gift  of contentment with what we have. 

There's a risk in this extravagant blessing, however. In our contentment, we can easily forget that every gift we enjoy comes from the hand of God. 

We avoid that danger by diligently fearing God, worshipping Him, and serving Him. 

Moses taught the people (Leanna paraphrase) that God is a jealous God, and He won't put up with a bunch of mess from us. He means what He says. We can have blessings galore, but we will only have them by doing things God's way. 

In the wilderness, the Scripture Jesus had learned as a boy came back to Him. Those words He had hidden in His heart helped keep Him from sin, (Psalm 119:11) and allowed Him to begin His ministry the same way He continued it: by focusing on His Father and obeying, every step of the way. 

It's the way we avoid the tactics of the evil one, too. Know the Word of God. Live the Word. Use the Word to help us choose God's path. 

Let's actively choose to memorize Scripture and refresh those verses we've learned, then pray that God's Word will keep us from sin and point us to truth. 

God's extravagant blessings are available to use, but only when we choose both love and obedience. 
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Vomiting Dog and the Holy God

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