Today as I was driving home from church, asking the Lord what would be the subject of my next newsletter, it became clear what I was to write about. I have been thinking a lot about Isaiah 1:19-20, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
We receive lots of prayer requests, some about needing healing, some about needing finances, and some about needing favor or jobs. But they’re always about a need, an area in which they are lacking something to be living in the perfect Shalom that God wants for us. Am I walking in that perfect Shalom? Not in every area, but in many, yes. Does that mean I’m either not willing or else I’m not obedient in some area? Well, If I read my Bible right, YES!

That’s exactly what it means. You see, God’s word applies to ministers as well as those who aren’t. How are we “devoured by the sword”? The “sword” is the Word of God. Do you really think out of the mouth of the Lord comes sharp steel blades? No, let’s read Hebrews 4:12; For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. God continually knows if we really want to obey Him, or if we’re just giving Him lip service.
Today’s trip home from church revealed something to me. I continually notice how people pass me as I drive the posted speed limit. So on the way home, I decided to keep score. I counted no less than 153 vehicles that passed me in excess of the 70mph speed limit in just fifty miles. Now, let’s do some math. It is said that 62% of all Americans are Christians. That means 94.86 of those drivers were Christians, who know to obey God and choose not to. Part of obeying God is “honoring the king”, which is obeying the laws of the land. It doesn’t matter if we agree with them or not, or if we’re in a hurry or not. Remember, obedience is better than sacrifice, and obedience is a key to blessing. God said so. Now the 58.14 drivers who are not Christians have an excuse…they just don’t know any better. You can’t expect unsaved people to act Godly. It’s just not “in them” to be able to………yet.

Several years ago I asked the Lord why people don’t obey Him. Just then a car speeded by me, and nearly sucked my windshield out on the way by. The Holy Spirit said to me, Jerry, if people won’t obey the speed limit sign which they can see, how do you expect them to obey Me, whom they cannot see ? Well, good point, Lord, but, they still they need to if they want to be blessed. So why aren’t we walking in a greater degree of blessings? We’re willing, yes? But being willing to be blessed is not enough. Everybody’s willing to let God bless their socks off. What everybody’s not willing to do is obey. I’ve spoken much about the “Burger King” mentality that seems to be rampant these days. You know, you can go into Burger King and get a hamburger anyway you want it. So, likewise, we think we can just obey God any old way we want to. But remember, you ain’t the chef, mate. God makes the burger and gives it to you His way. And you can either like it, or you can go to…..well, somewhere else.

So either way, you don’t always get your way. That’s not to say that God doesn’t let you have your way often. Actually, He lets you have your way most of the time. That’s the problem. Most of the time we choose to do things our way, and don’t walk in all the blessings we want to. We ( and I include me) are often not diligent enough to ask God how HE wants us to do things, and anything less than His way, is less than His best blessing for us. And I know if I fail sometimes, there’s a pretty good chance you do too. But let’s don’t dwell on our failures. Do you know that 1 John 1:9 was written to the church, to believers who are saved and love the Lord? It is written, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
If you’re not walking in all of God’s best, stop bawling and squalling about it and take responsibility for your misnakes and just ask God to forgive you, repent, and set your heart to start walking right now in obedience and love with not only the local laws, but your fellow man. Even those who fly by you nearly blowing you off the road. You’re family! I want to see you blessed! As we Christians set the example for the unbelievers, sooner or later, they’re going to see how blessed we are and want to get in on it. That’s our cue to tell them about Jesus.
There’s no good reason for God’s kids not to be blessed. God’s willing, we’re willing, all we have to do now is be obedient. Now I know we don’t earn our salvation by being willing and obedient. But it sure makes our time here a lot more enjoyable…..and I could use a lot more of that. How about you?