Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 119:2 – Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. (NLT)
As a child and teen, I fought my parents' rules tooth and nail, only realizing later how much obeying them had profited me.
Forty-seven years later, I can still see the rules hanging in a frame on my bedroom wall. I can't remember them all, but one in particular stands out: "No sassing." My father meant, "Don't talk back." The others I can't remember exactly, but they related to God's moral standards. As a nine-year-old child, these rules were cumbersome. Some didn't make any sense, and others I just wanted to break for the heck of it — maybe because I wanted to be a bad preacher's kid instead of a compliant one, but more than likely because of the sinful bent that I was born with. Little did I know that obeying the rules would usher in the blessing of my parents, God, and others.
In Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, the writer maintains that joy is the fruit of obeying God's laws. He follows this verse with more than 170 others that also proclaim the benefits of obeying the directions found in God's Word.
While God won't force my obedience, He will discourage disobedience with discipline. My parents couldn't make me obey them, even though they tried. My ability to do what I wanted was birthed in me by what God created in the first humans: free will. God wants me to obey Him just as my parents reached for the same goal. In the end, it was my choice. I've paid for disobeying God — and also for not obeying my parents.
Peace and happiness are the fruits of obeying God. My life would have been much easier had I obeyed my parents, but I couldn't see that then. Obeying God's commands puts me at peace with my Creator. This naturally leads to a happiness that I won't discover anywhere else.
My relationship with my parents was always better when I did what they told me. I've discovered that the same thing happens with me and God. If I want others to know that I'm His follower, I have to act like His child. Obeying Him keeps my body — His temple — holy and clean and propels me forward in my spiritual growth.
Don't let Satan fool you into thinking that going your own way will make you happier.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us the treasure of Your Word. Amen.