One of the greatest things God has given mankind is free will, the power to choose. In a busy world that tirelessly competes for our attention, God through His Word tenderly makes clear what the best choices in life really are. In the Old Testament, God lovingly instructed the children of Israel on the way of life—a life that is to be long, rewarding, and blessed.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days….
The choice is always that simple.
God still places in our hands the power to choose a life filled with His blessings. During this Grace Administration in which we live, God directs the children of faithful born-again believers to obey them and gives the simple reasons why.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
The Greek word for “obey” in verse 1 means to hear with the idea of stillness or attention in order to answer, to listen, hence to obey. Perhaps you have seen a parent stop their child’s activity, have the child look them in the eyes, and then give the child instruction. The goal is to help the child pay attention to the parent’s words to the end of carrying them out.
Why should children obey their believing parents? Because it’s right! And, as a result, they will have God’s blessings of being “well” and living long on the earth. By obeying their parents who are in the Lord—those who are faithfully walking according to the example of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ—they will learn to obey God.
As believing adults, our obedience is first to God and to His will. Since the Word of God is the will of God, we go to God’s rightly divided Word to understand His perfect will for each situation in our lives.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
As we stop each day, give God’s Word our proper attention, and then receive its instruction, it puts us in the best position to choose our actions wisely to the end we carry out that Word. Obeying God, our heavenly Father, and His Word is always right.
Jesus Christ taught the importance of daily choosing what is right in the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. It’s in the hearing and the doing of God’s Word that we get blessed.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The Greek word for “beat upon” in this last verse means to strike against. When the winds blew, without much force, the foolish man’s house was ruined. A different Greek word is used for “beat upon” in verse 25. This word means to rush violently upon, to beat against. No matter how intense the floods and winds were, the wise man’s house stood firm. The difference was its rock-solid foundation.
Jesus Christ taught that those who hear and do God’s Word will be like the wise man. The rightly divided Word of God is the firm foundation that we build our lives upon. As we build the habit of going to God’s Word and obeying that Word, no outside influence—no matter how subtle or strong—will be able to overcome us.
We get immersed in the Word and see how loving our God is; and then out of a pure heart of thankfulness and love, we choose to live our lives for Him. When we have the Word living in our hearts, the proper actions will follow.
I John 5:3:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments….
So, why obey God? Because it is right! And because He has great blessings in store for those who love Him and do His Word.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
We have the free will to choose a life that is rewarding and blessed. The way to that quality of life is in our loving obedience to God and His Word.