EXODUS 23:20-22 – “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. 22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
THEME OF THE DAY: THE PATTERN FOR OBEYING GOD’S WORD. Today’s scripture contains the Lord’s promise to His people of occupying Canaan – the land of promise. Within the promise are specific conditions or details for the Israelites to follow. What is contained is the pattern all Christians are to follow when living the Christian life as the Lord directs in His Word. There are four steps to God-honoring obedience.
First, don’t be in a hurry when reading God’s Word – pay careful attention to Him. Don’t speed read. Don’t mindlessly read. Don’t skip parts. Do exactly what the Lord directed His people of old – pay careful attention. And the way to maintain this posture is to always remember what we are reading – God’s Word – and who is speaking – God Himself.
The second step in the pattern of obeying God’s Word is put it in action – obey His voice. An ever-present danger is reading, hearing, and studying the scripture and it never goes into application in our lives. James warns us what this does – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22). But being a hearer-only of the Word leaves another spiritual consequence; it hardens the heart.
Moving on to the third application of the Word in our lives is the refusal to complain or rebel against it because of difficulties – do not rebel against him. Is obedience to the Lord difficult? Yes, I know He tells us “His yoke is easy” and it is, but the battle of our always rebelling flesh against obedience isn’t. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he identifies this intense war between the flesh rebelling against obedience and the Spirit always promoting uncompromising obedience – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do (Galatians 5:16-17). Don’t let the high calling to intense self-denial distract us from the joy of whole-hearted obedience to the Lord’s Word. And it is the last one that brings us to the final step in the pattern of obeying the Word of God.
We bring all obedience to its conclusion by refusing no commands – But if you carefully obey His voice and do all that I say. The Bible is the whole Word of God to be obeyed wholly. We are not allowed to pick and choose which commands to obey. Selective obedience is simply disobedience.
The pattern for obeying God’s Word. He has always given His people clear direction and expects clear steps of obedience from them. And is He not worthy? Oh, yes, He is worthy and it is our great privilege to follow His pattern for obeying His Word!
PRAYER: “Father, help me to listen to Your direction and follow it as You directed.”
QUOTE: “The Lord, through His Word, gives us clear direction with the intent we would follow with clear steps.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,