“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” — Isaiah 1:19 (ESV)
Throughout our lives we are commanded to obey. Whether it be a parent telling us, “Pick that up,” or, “Don’t do that,” or a government laying down a law, we acknowledge obedience as a necessary part of life. And so often because we grow up with some sense of the purpose of obedience, we apply our worldly notions of obedience to our relationship with God. We see the commands of Scripture or feel a prompting from the Spirit and sense a similar tone of command.
The problem with carrying a worldly notion of obedience into our relationship with God is that no one, no matter how loving, can or will fully care for us the way our Heavenly Father does. No matter how good the lawmaker, parent, friend or teacher, no one truly knows the future like God does.
Isaiah 1:19 (ESV) promises us, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” God asks for us to be obedient to Him because His plan is always for our betterment. He sees what lies ahead of us. He knows the potential perils or fruits of our actions. And like a Good Shepherd, He longs to guide us into an incredibly abundant life filled with all the goodness of His Kingdom.
If we are ever going to experience the wealth of glorious inheritance God has for us, we must learn to trust Him and obey. God cannot lead us to still waters and plentiful pastures if we are unwilling to follow Him. He cannot lead us into the depths of His love if we don’t trust in His loving kindness. He cannot lead us into consistent encounters with Him if we don’t trust that He is as near as His Word promises. And He cannot satisfy the deep desires of our hearts if we don’t trust that His purposes for us will truly satiate our longings.
First Samuel 15:22 (ESV) says, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” God longs to fashion us into children who are quick to obey Him. He earnestly desires our obedience because He earnestly desires abundant life that only comes through acting upon a foundational trust in His goodness.
Take time in prayer to think about reasons why you aren’t fully obeying God’s Word or the promptings of His Spirit. What doubt do you have in your heart? Why don’t you fully trust that He will completely satisfy your deepest longings? Make space to rest in His presence and trust that He is who He says He is. Trust that He will do what He has promised. May you experience the abundant life that comes through total obedience to your loving Heavenly Father.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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