Blessings of Obedience
Dear Children of God, I Wish you all a Blessed New Year 2016. This year is a year of Obedience. The Bible is full of blessings that are contingent upon our obedience. Someone said, “Obedience is the hinge upon which the door to God’s blessings swings.”God withholds blessings from some of His children and extravagantly bestows blessings upon other of His children who put themselves in a position to receive them through obedience (John. 14:21). Obedience does not earn God’s love. Obedience puts us in a position to claim God’s promises and blessings!
I. AREAS OF OBEDIENCE
The Lord wants to bless us according to Leviticus 26: 4-13. But these blessings are the result of keeping the conditions set down in verses 1-3.
1. Refrain from Idols: The children of God were warned over and over again against worshipping idols. We wonder how they could deceive themselves with these objects of wood and stone. Yet God could well give us the same warning, for we are prone to put idols before Him. Idolatry is making anything more important than God, and our modern lives are full of that temptation. Money, success, beauty, reputation, computer, social media etc.- these are today’s idols. As you look at these false gods that promise everything you want but nothing you need, does idolatry seem so far removed from your life?
2. Regard the Sabbath (v. 2).God’s people must not only abstain from making and worshipping idols, they must actively observe God’s Sabbaths and revere His sanctuary. The Lord says, “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord” (Isaiah 58:13, 14).
3. Reverence the Sanctuary of God (v.2): The children of Israel were required to reverence the sanctuary. Today the Bible tells us we need to have Christian fellowship so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). Likewise, a believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21-26). For these reasons, church attendance/participation or fellowship should be a regular aspect of a believer’s life. Kevin DeYoung says “Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.”
4. Respect the Law (v.3): We should carefully obey the word of God in order to inherit the blessings of God. We are missing a lot of God’s blessings in our lives because we are living in disobedience. It is really quite simple: obedience brings blessing. Hear the heart of God as He pleads with His people in Deuteronomy 5:29, “Oh that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” Then in Psalm 81:13-14, “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” And again in Isaiah 48:18, “If only you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” God wants to bless you. Would you respect his laws and obey his commandments?
II. BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE
The following blessings are promised by God when we walk in continual obedience to His word.
1. Plentiful Rain: “I will send rain in its season” (v. 4). God promises to give his children the needed rains, at the proper time, which will make their harvests bountiful. The former and latter rain is essential for fruitfulness and harvest (Deu. 11:14). The Lord will send His Spirit like a rain (Isaiah 44:3; Joel 2:28) in this year in our lives so that we can experience a spiritual revival and a bountiful harvest of souls. In Ezekiel 34:26 the Lord says, “I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
2. Peaceful Rest: “I will give you peace, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid” (v. 6). Instead of worry and weariness there will be peace and rest in this year. (Psalm 23:2). First, there is peace from enemies. It does not mean that there won’t be any war, but rather that God will grant victory over foes, and that we will not live in constant fear of attack or of defeat. There will also be peace with respect to the wild animals which could endanger our lives. The Lord promises a deep sense of security for us. Praise the Lord!
3. Powerful Victories: “I will remove wild beasts from the land” (v. 6). There are many “beast-like” evils from which the Christian needs deliverance. Love of money and pleasure, pride, impatience, self-assertion etc. Many others are mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21. God will give you victory over all these works of the flesh.
The Lord will give victory in our spiritual warfare also in this year. “You will pursue your enemy and they will fall before you. Five of you shall chase an hundred and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you” (vv.7-8). Twice in these verses the Lord says that your enemy will fall before you. He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). You are going to walk in victory. Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57)!
4. Prosperous Supply: “I will look on you with favour and make you fruitful and increase your numbers…You will be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.” (v. 9, 10). The Lord will look on you with favour. Favour is the fountain of all good. The obedient ones will always have the eye of God’s special grace continually upon them. The old blessings will not be hoarded because of the number and greatness of the new. The meaning of the verse 10 is that the yield will be so great that what has been gathered in the earlier year must be carried out of the storehouses to make way for the abundant fresh produce. There will be new blessings, new anointing, new gifts in our lives. Praise the Lrod!
5. Pleasant Communion with God: “I will put my dwelling place among you… I will walk among you” (v. 12). To crown all the other blessings, God promises that his special presence will be with us in this year 2016. Just as the pillar of cloud and fire went with the children of Israel in all their journeys, the Lord will dwell among us and walk with us to protect, instruct, and comfort us. His presence with us is the pledge of prosperity, progress, protection, purity, and power. The Lord will enable us to walk with our heads held high, not pressed down with a yoke (v. 13). It denotes our liberty, security, confidence, and glory!
– Rev. Dr. Jerry Daniel