Jesus challenged us to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8). This means that no sin is advisable, not even a little white lie.
How do we keep from telling fibs, when we will hurt people’s feelings if we tell the truth? We can always say, “I am not sure.” “I will have to think about that.” “Let me pray about that and get back with you.”
In our human efforts, we cannot help but sin, because we are not walking in the center of God’s will for us. We are effectively successful only when we obey the Lord.
When we obey the Lord, we explicitly follow His Spirit’s instructions and reaped the rewards. God does not receive pleasure or praise in the results of our humanistic efforts or our plans, goals and accomplishments.
He only delights in our obedience to His will (1 Samuel 15:22). People often consider God’s laws as restrictive and oppressive and God’s judgment as mean or vindictive.
God’s laws are parameters that protect us, and even in judgment, God gives His people every opportunity to repent and to return to Him (Jeremiah 15:19). God’s laws and judgment are His loving attempts to draw us away from sin and back into His protection and abundance.
The same people that give God the most grief through their hatred, give Him unrivaled joy the instant they humble their self, repent, trust in Him and obey the leading of His Spirit (Luke 15:7).
God rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17), delights in the death of His Saints (Psalm 116:15), and calls everyone ever born on the earth to come to Him in repentance and enter into fellowship with Him (1 Timothy 2:4-6; John 3:16-17).
Father God, sometimes, we cannot see how the task You give us fits into Your overall plan until years after the event. At other times, we will not even know the effect of our obedience until eternity dawns, and You open the eyes of our understanding. This is not important, however.
Delayed gratification provides a way for us to gain assured pleasure in the future. Obedience is like making deposits into our savings account. We bring God glory with every submissive step we take, regardless of the outcome. God wants complete devotion to Him from a dedicated heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:33). Sometimes, that is the only result for which He is looking.
Thought for the Day:
God prefers obedience rather than sacrifice, and a humble spirit and a repentant heart rather than accomplishments from our own humanistic efforts.
– Psalm 51:17; Ephesians 2:8-10