Friday, March 14, 2008

Obedience, the Key to Success: Dt 11:22-25

"For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea. No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you." (Deuteronomy 11:22-25)
The children of Israel would soon be entering the Promised Land. They would be inheriting a land previously owned by others but that was now being given to them by God. The previous owners had forfeited their claim to the land because of the magnitude and accumulation of their sins. Israel had spent four generations in Egypt waiting for "the iniquity of the Amorite" to be complete (Genesis 15:16), but now was their turn to enter in and possess the land.

The land was to be theirs, but what would be their history in the land? Would they increase and prosper, or would they decline? Their entry into the land was based upon God's promise, but their longevity and prosperity in the land was conditional upon their obedience. God reminded Joshua that success was the result of obedience.
"Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:7-8)
The same can be said for our Christian walk. We come into the Kingdom of God purely by the grace of God and not by own own works or righteousness. "Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works , but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity." (2 Timothy 1:9) We all enter the Kingdom of God the same way, but not everyone will be equally fruitful in their kingdom walk. Paul tells us of those who would build upon the foundation of Christ in their lives with wood, hay, and stubble. "If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:15) Our fruitfulness in the Kingdom of God is determined by our obedience, not an obedience to an external law, but an obedience to the Spirit of God.
"Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?" (Romans 6:16)
To our faith, let us add obedience. We should obey, not to appease God and to grant us access into the Kingdom of God, but out of gratitude that, through Jesus Christ, we have already been born again into God's kingdom. Therefore, with thanksgiving, let us obey God.

David Robison

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