“As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!” Psalm 119:7-8
I’ve been thinking about obedience in relationships. As a parent I taught my children to obey by being pretty consistent with the consequences—discipline for disobedience, some type of reward for following my directions. God told Moses to put it this way:
“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the LORD your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.” Deuteronomy 11:26-27
With my children, my goal was to teach them to respect and honor authority, an attitude that would set them on the right road in life. In my mind, the ultimate “thanks” I wanted was for them to mature into adults who valued their opportunities with integrity, sensitivity and loving hearts. Most of all I hoped they would choose to follow Jesus.
“I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”
3 John 1:4
Jesus—the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) tells us:
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
IF we love God with our whole heart, mind and soul…and love others as we love ourselves, that love will cause us to desire the characteristics of Jesus’ nature to rule over our own choices. It is the very nature of God—the Holy Spirit dwelling in us—which gives us the power to obey, so how else could we thank him, but to keep his Word.
“You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!” Psalm 119:4-8
by Marilyn Allison