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God Delights in Obedience (Luke 5:1-11)

By Charles Stanley
The only similarity between obedience and disobedience is that they reflect the type of lifestyle we have. If we have sincerely committed our lives to God, then we are going to obey Him; we are going to trust Him and leave all the consequences to Him. In times of disobedience, we lean on our own desires for direction. We vacillate back and forth between what we want to do and what we know is right.

What We Can Expect

God never intended for us to be harassed about the decisions we make each day. Sometimes when we pray, we immediately discern the will of God. Other times, we must wait, trusting Him to show us when and how to move forward. At still other times, He spends a great deal of time preparing us to step forward through an open door. But when the opportunity comes, we hesitate with feelings of worry and doubt. Then there are situations that result from a relaxed attitude about purity and holiness.

I cannot begin to count the number of times I asked a person why he or she allowed sin to gain such a stronghold. One man confessed that he had been around a certain type of sin most of his life. He did not have a clue about its influence on him until he realized that he did not have the joy and peace that he believed a Christian should experience. He had moments of happiness but nothing that lasted. He noticed that every time he tried to pray, his mind filled with images that were sinful and wrong. The enemy knows when we have withheld our obedience to God. Like a well-trained warrior, he moves in for the attack, but often his approach is not a full frontal assault. It is subtle and hidden, like a landmine just below the surface. The mistake we make is in assuming that we can ignore God’s commandment to obey Him and not suffer harm.

The bottom line is that there is never a time when it is OK to disobey God. We should obey Him regardless of what we think or how we feel. It is a matter of choice, but one that many Christians do not yet understand or submit to. Far too often, people evaluate their circumstances according to what they perceive will profit them: How will this help me get ahead? or Will this move be beneficial to my future? We say we believe God is all-wise and knows what is best for us, but often we end up looking for advice from people around us and not from the only One who knows everything we need to know. We need to consider only one issue: Is this God’s will for my life?

Disobedience is not always wrapped in a sinful-looking package. Yes, it is sinful to disobey God because it hurts the heart of Someone who has a plan for our lives. It damages our fellowship with Him and leads to feelings of guilt and shame. But far too often when we hear the word disobedience, we think of a sexual sin or some habit that is just dead wrong. However, we disobey God when we refuse to do what He has gifted, trained and called us to do. Our refusal to be open to His plan can bring misery and regret. On our own, we do not have significant insight into the future. All we can do is make choices based on what may or may not take place. When all is said and done, only one Person has absolute knowledge, and that is the Lord. And He has promised to provide the guidance we need:

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