As a child and teen, I fought my parents’ rules tooth and nail, only realizing later how much obeying them profited me.
Now, many years later, I can still see the rules hanging in a frame on my bedroom wall. I can’t remember them all, but one stands out: “No sassing.” By sass, my father meant don’t talk back. The others I can’t remember exactly, but they related to God’s moral standards.
As a nine-year-old child, I thought these rules were cumbersome. Some didn’t make any sense. And others I just wanted to break for the heck of it. Maybe because I wanted to be a bad preacher’s kid instead of a compliant one. More than likely, because of the sinful bent I was born with. Little did I know that obeying the rules would usher in the blessing of my parents, God, and others.
In this, the longest psalm in the Bible, the writer maintains that joy is the fruit of obeying God’s laws. “Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts (Psalm 119:2 NLT).
He follows this verse with more than one hundred others that also proclaim the benefits of obeying the directions found in God’s Word.
While God won’t force my obedience, he will discourage disobedience with discipline.
My parents couldn’t make me obey them, even though they tried. My ability to do what I wanted was birthed in me by what God created in the first humans: free will. God wants me to obey him just as my parents reached for the same goal. In the end, it was my choice. I’ve paid for disobeying God—and for not obeying my parents.
Peace and happiness are the fruits of obeying God.
My life would have been much easier had I always obeyed my parents, but I couldn’t see that then. Obeying God’s commands puts me at peace with my Creator. This naturally leads to happiness I can’t discover anywhere else.
My relationship with my parents was always better when I did what they told me. I’ve discovered the same thing happens with me and God. If I want others to know I’m his follower, I must act like his child.
Obeying God keeps my body—his temple—holy and clean and propels me forward in my spiritual growth.
Don’t let Satan fool you into thinking that going your own way will make you happier.
Martin Wiles is an author, pastor, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized website, Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing, and Assistant Editor for Vinewords.net. He has also served as Web Content Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. Wiles has authored Don’t Just Live…Really Live (Ambassador International), A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots (Vine-Word Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Parenting Teens, Open Windows, Proclaim, Stand Firm, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, The Upper Room, The Upper Room Disciplines, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Converge, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, The Banner, Relevant, Bible Advocate, Reasons to Live, Author Magazine, and Lutheran Digest. Wiles has also written for the Bridges and Pathways Curriculum (Warner Press) and is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, Inkspirations, and VineWords and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles has also served on faculty for the Asheville Christian Writer’s Conference. crat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.