“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2,NIV).
How many of us really make a determined effort to follow the Lord's command to live a surrendered life? Perhaps we don't because following Christ means sacrifice. We want to follow Him, but it means giving up who we are for who He is. It is going to cost us. Selfishness and pride are two of the first things that must die. Following Christ also takes up our time and uses our energy. We sometimes make our Christian walk circumstantial and based on our feelings instead of God's desires. But if we sacrifice our feelings and follow His will in all circumstances, God's blessings “will come upon us and accompany us”.
It is God's desire to bless His children who make a commitment to follow Him. His blessings are His gifts which flow when we sacrifice our personal desires for His, and live an obedient life. Sacrifice without obedience has little meaning. Sacrifice is whatever we lose for His sake, and obedience is whatever we give. Obedience is our offering to Him that comes when we realize that the sacrifice of ourselves is not about us. It's all about His love that gave His life for us. He was obedient to death on a cross for us. How can we not respond in return with an obedient life that praises His love, and gives up all that is necessary for His sake?
Never live for the sake of His blessing. Always live for the sake of His love. We must never regard sacrifice and obedience as a means to earn God's blessings. Then pride enters, and makes us see God's blessings as a reward for all we have lost and given. Sacrificing our desires for His desires and living a committed life brings blessings because of God's love for us—not based on our efforts. His blessings are an outpouring of who He is. He is the love which gave His life for ours on Calvary. He is the love that is only completed in us when we give all of who we are to Him. His blessings flow as a result of who He is, and never because of anything we have done. “I have come,” Jesus said, “that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b). God wants us to experience the fullness of our relationship with Him. In living a sacrificially obedient life, that is what we receive.
In these verses in Deuteronomy God's blessings are intertwined with our obedience. His direction is very clear. If we fully obey the Lord our God and carefully follow all His commands, His blessings will come to us. And His blessings are the very best. Different from any humanly-inspired gift we might receive, His blessings will change our very lives. We will learn that sacrificial obedience brings His abundant life. In giving all of ourselves to Him, we shall receive all that His chosen for us. His blessings are beyond whatever our human mind might conceive. They are more than our human heart can hold. They are of Him, divinely-inspired and given out of the greatest of all love.
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