“Always obey the Lord and you will be happy. If you are stubborn, you will be ruined.” (Proverbs 28:14 GNB)
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Faith isn’t just something you talk about. It’s something you do. Faith is only activated when we act. We have faith in God when we do what he says.
Proverbs 28:14 says, “Always obey the Lord and you will be happy. If you are stubborn, you will be ruined” (GNB). Obedience and stubbornness are two sides of the same coin. Obedience brings joy, but our stubbornness makes us miserable.
Say my wife and I take a drive, and I take a wrong turn. Both my wife and I notice this wrong turn. My best choice would be to turn around and go the right way. But my stubbornness kicks in. I decide that I'm going to prove that I'm right even if I have to go all the way around the world to get to our destination. The longer I'm stubborn, the further I get from where I need to be. The minute I stop being stubborn and make the U-turn, I get back going in the right direction.
Stubbornness can ruin us. The longer it takes us to do what God has asked us to do, the further we get away from what He wants.
God’s Word is a message to obey, not just hear. James 1:22 says, “Don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (NLT).
We can come to church every weekend and listen to the Bible and feel very spiritual because we’re listening. When we do that, we’re like the one who goes to a health club and watches people exercise. That doesn’t get you healthy. Reading and listening to God’s Word without acting on it won’t make you more spiritual either. You’re fooling yourself if you think it will. It’s not enough to just say that you agree with what God’s Word says on a subject. You must actually do it. God’s Word is meant to be acted upon.
God wants you to apply the 100 Percent principle. Obey God 100 percent of the time in 100 percent of your life. You can’t be 100 percent obedient in 80 percent of your life. Faith doesn’t work like that.
What part of your life are you not being obedient in? Maybe it’s one little part of your life, or maybe it’s a big chunk. Maybe it’s your entertainment choices. Maybe it’s your sexuality. Maybe it’s food. Maybe it’s a bad habit. It’s not enough to be obedient in 99 percent of your life and disobedient in the other 1 percent.
God wants to change your life. He wants to bless you in that one area you’ve been holding back from him. Will you let him?
Tom Holladay is a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
© Copyright 2011 Tom Holladay. Used by permission.