Obedience

How to Bloom

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The pathway of faith has divine purpose, and we’re to obey the Lord, no matter what.  But even when God’s direction is perplexing, we can count on the fact that He is good.

Walking obediently with Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life, which is obvious when we consider Paul.  He encountered all kinds of hardships, including shipwreck, persecution, and beatings (2 Cor. 11:23-27).  Keep in mind, though, that nothing can touch a child of God without the Father’s loving permission.  He uses difficulty to strengthen and correct believers – and eventually as a tool in achieving His plan.  Also remember that the Lord protects His followers in their suffering, just as He kept the apostle safe in situations that seemed impossible to overcome.

Adversity can tempt us to ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  But we will ultimately regret such a decision, as God doesn’t spare us from the consequences of our sin.  However, He never lets go of His children, whom He will continue to protect and guide throughout life.

Walking in obedience and trust is the only way to true peace.  As Paul sat in an uncomfortable Roman prison where his life was in danger, he encouraged believers not to worry but to trust the Lord and pray with gratitude (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6).  Doing so leads to experiencing His perfect peace.

The only wise way to live is to believe in almighty God and follow wherever He leads.  That is the road to contentment, fulfillment, protection, and peace.  Are you journeying on the pathway of faith?  Or is something holding you back from all God intended for our life?

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, July 28, 2017.

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Joyful Obedience

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It has been said that “God prefers reluctant obedience rather than joyful disobedience.”  But this statement is misleading.  When we first learn to obey God, we sometimes do so reluctantly because we leave the familiar territory of doing as we please to discover the uncharted waters of yielding our will to His.  But once we understand that obedience to the Lord produces joy in our life, we also begin to realize that there is no such thing as “joyful disobedience.”  For, in fact, ignoring God’s directives is a joy stealer.

Alan Redpath states it this way:  “When there’s disobedience in the Christian life, the fullness ceases.  And you soon know when you’ve lost the fullness because the joy is gone.”

If you find that you are resisting obedience to God in some area of your life, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”  because no matter how vigorously you try to justify disobedience in your life, you can never replace the joy that is lost when you say “No” to God.

Dear Christian, run to do His will, and lay hold of the resulting joy that God has provided for those who obey Him.  There is nothing to lose and everything to gain, for a joyful heart stems from an obedient heart.

“Obedient submission is the only way to joy.”  Charles Stanley

Commentary from the Pathways devotional by David Jeremiah, June 9.

Stop Giving Up On People

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Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.  When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits.  But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.

God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul.  Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.