Do we or do we not … want to obey?

The Bible speaks plainly. In the Old Testament, God proclaims countless times: if you obey me, I will bless you. If you do not, you will suffer the consequences.

It’s that simple.

In the New Testament, Jesus says, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

We who are born again Christians, churchgoing, and Bible believers say that we love the Lord. We say we believe the Bible from cover to cover.

And that’s good.

Why don’t we obey?

My husband and I have counseled people, showing them in black and white from the Bible what God wants them to do in a specific situation, not adding our words to it. But they won’t.

If we love God, our desire should be to please Him.

The Bible tells us what God wants us to know. If we obey His Word, we have His blessing. If we choose to disobey, we reap the consequences.

I’m talking about clearly stated principles.

Let’s pretend—and I know my readers aren’t like this pretend story—that you are cognizant that the Bible says, Thou shalt not steal. It’s one of the Ten Commandments, and you’ve known them all your life. No problem.

One of your friends asks you to help her rob a bank. Your part will be fairly easy. You’ll hold a gun on the guard at the door, and she will go to the bank teller and make demands. You will split the money afterwards.

Now, apart from security cameras and all the logistical problems involved in this totally made-up scenario, you decide that this a great way to get quick money. You holster your Glock 19 and head for the bank with your friend. Of course, you get caught, and both of you serve jail time for attempted robbery. This is what happens when you disobey God’s rules.

The Bible instructs us about practical living: family relationships and roles, purity, entertainment, dress, helping the poor, how to act in church, and all kinds of other subjects.

Yet, we constantly choose to ignore or disobey.

Or we choose ignorance.

I don’t think Christians willingly choose ignorance, but sometimes we honestly don’t know what the Bible says.

Maybe we need to find out.

We need to find out so that we can obey. I love how Psalm 119 develops this concept. In closing, let me share the heart of the psalmist with you. We’re not sure who actually wrote this particular Psalm, but it doesn’t matter. What’s important is his desire to know what God wants so that he can obey. (These are not all the verses on this topic, only about half of them.)

From Psalm 119:

  • Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart (verse 2).
  • O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! (verse 5)
  • Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word (9).
  • I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart (32).
  • Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart (34).
  • So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever (44).
  • I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments (60).
  • Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments (73b).
  • Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth (88).
  • I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments (106).
  • I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end (112).
  • Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God (115).
  • I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies (125).
  • Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold (127).
  • My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly (167).

Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law.

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