Imagine going skydiving for the first time. It’s an exhilarating and liberating experience that is simultaneously terrifying because a mistake could easily become a fatality. So when your instructor is speaking, you listen intently. You hang on to his or her every word, afraid to miss any crucial steps. When your instructor guides you on how to check the security of your straps, you do so. When your instructor tells you to practice deploying your parachute, you follow his directions exactly. When you jump, you listen to your instructor on how to arch your back and space your legs and arms apart. You do all these things because you know that your very life depends on it.
If we will obey our skydiving instructor because we value our lives, why do we not obey God for the same reason? As Christians, we know that we should fear God and most of us claim to fear God. But, if we really fear God, then why don’t we obey His instructions?
The Bible is essentially a playbook telling us how to live, how to treat one another, how to settle arguments, how to be a wife, a husband, and a friend. The Bible tells us how to pray, how to think, and even what we should think about. It tells us how to be disciples of Jesus, how to be generous, how to love, and how to have a relationship with God. I cannot think of anything that is important for me to know that isn’t covered in this great Book. We have all of these instructions in the palm of our hands, but we pick and choose which ones we want to obey and which ones we choose to ask forgiveness for.
Fear God, Find Life
If we are afraid to die, why aren’t we choosing life? Proverbs 14:27 (ESV) states, “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death”. God has given us written instructions on how to live without fear of death and a perfect example to follow named Jesus – we can do this!
It’s time we start taking the Word seriously and discover the blessings that come with obedience. In Deuteronomy 5:29 (ESV) God says, “Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!” God promised that if we would just fear Him and keep His commandments, not only will it go well with us, but our descendants too, forever! Is this your desire? I want future generations to be blessed because I made the decision to obey God.
In Luke 6:46 (ESV), Jesus asks, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” What Jesus is saying here is that if we truly consider Him our Lord, we would obey Him without question or hesitation. Jesus goes on to explain that those who do what He says cannot be destroyed no matter what forces come up against them, but those who are disobedient are immediately destroyed by those same forces.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to follow in the path set forth for Team Jesus. “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it,” (James 4:17 NLT). We have the map, let’s follow it! I know that we aren’t perfect, but my desire is for us to be as much like Christ as we can. We can start with fear then obedience. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding” (Psalm 111:10 ESV). Once we have a healthy fear of God, He becomes our friend. Psalm 25:14 NLT states, “The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. He teaches them His covenant.” After we become His friend, He teaches us how to obey Him so that we continue to uphold our part in the covenant.
So, What’s The Play Call?
- Fear God as if your life depends on it – because it does! Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”
- “Do not merely listen to the word, and deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22 NIV).
- Obey God all of the time, not just sometimes.
- Read your Bible! The only way to develop consistent obedience is by knowing the Word of God.
- Pray and ask God to give you a healthy fear of Him; pray for obedience like David prayed in Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV gives the final word, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.