You will receive God’s best
When I was a freshman in high school, I let one of my cousins talk me into playing hooky. The idea of skipping an entire school day without my parents’ knowledge or permission terrified me. But my relative was convincing. She told me it would be fun and that I should “just do it this one time.”
After a lot of cajoling and assuring me that it would be okay, I made the knucklehead decision to ditch classes. We headed downtown, ate, hung out with other friends, and had the time of our lives completely wasting our day. The plan was going just fine until we ran into a major hiccup. She lost track of time and we missed our bus. The next one didn’t get us back home in time.
The late arrival blew my cover. I knew I was in big trouble. I honestly expected to get a whipping that day. I felt I deserved it. But Dad didn’t do that. He verbally chastised me. I must admit, that look of disappointment in his eyes broke my heart. I would rather have gotten the whipping after all. Being such a let-down felt far worse than the leather belt stinging my hips and thighs.
Whenever I think back on that moment, I thank God He allowed my cousin to get the schedule messed up. Being found out, though uncomfortable, was a blessing. It put me back on the right path before I was too far gone.
Anyway, my punishment was being grounded for several weeks. I couldn’t talk on the phone, hang out with friends, or do any extracurricular activities. After that, I never skipped school again. The chastisement did me a whole lot of good. My father just wanted what was best for me. He knew I needed that discipline.
Similarly, in our walk of faith, God wants the best for us. That’s why, when we need it, according to Hebrews 12:6, God disciplines and chastises His beloved children. Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Earlier today, I was reading Matthew 18:15-20, where Jesus taught disciples about church discipline and handling unrepentant sin. To briefly summarize, Jesus essentially said, if a brother or sister in Christ does someone in the church wrong, the two of them should work it out amongst themselves. If they won’t listen, get two other witnesses because “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” If that doesn’t work, tell the whole church. Finally, if that person refuses to listen and repent, they are to be excommunicated.
This prescription for unrepentant sin in the church doesn’t end there. Jesus says in verses 18-20, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
This meant, once they followed Jesus’ prescriptive measures to reconcile this issue, then, whatever sin they declared “bound” or unforgiven, Heaven would back them up. And whatever sin they called “loosed” or forgiven, Heaven would back them up. Whenever these two or three witnesses came into agreement, in obedience to God’s will in how they handled the situation, Jesus said, “I am with them.”
Now, even though these verses are talking specifically about church discipline, there is a powerful principle here to live by: when you walk according to the word of God and are obedient to His will, Heaven backs you up, and the presence of God dwells with you.
If you want to be sure God’s presence is with you and get the best God has to offer, dare to obey the prescription He has laid out for your life in His word. Listen, the Lord loves it when you are obedient to Him.
If you’re hoping to see an outpouring of blessings, follow Him. When you do, He’ll put His stamp of approval on your endeavors because they’ll align with His desires.
Obedience is powerful. When you say yes to God’s way, you receive His best. His presence shows up. He richly rewards you. He favors your efforts. He sees to it that things work out for you. In a world of selfish ambition and compromise, forsake all to follow Christ. Let His word be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path as Psalm 119:105 says.
Do that, and you will be fruitful. Do that, and you will see God work in wondrous ways. Do that, and you will receive God’s best.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring Isaiah 1:19 GWT into your cup of inspiration, which says, “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, as you willingly and obediently surrender to God, I believe you will reap your best harvest yet! God will bless the work of your hands as long as those hands are committed to His work.
Now let’s pray.
God, I thank You for reminding me that Your blessings are directly tied to my obedience. My heart is totally committed and submitted to You. I anticipate all the ways You will show up in my life and all the great things You will do through me for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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