The thought keeps running through your mind, “I’d rather have Chinese.” We have all been there. You meet someone new, maybe a neighbor or co-worker or a new friend from church. You make plans to have dinner on Friday night but do not set any details in stone. Friday night arrives, you pick up your friends and they say, “We know this really good place we want to take you. We heard the food is incredible!”
All day long your heart has been set on Chinese food. You know a terrific place, you have been there many times and really enjoy the food. Now, you find yourself with new friends taking you to an unknown restaurant claiming the food is incredible, based not on their personal experience, but on the advice of someone else. So now, by faith, you are headed to a new restaurant, while you really want Chinese.
In Deuteronomy 11:26-27, God states:
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today.”
In Luke 11:28, Jesus states:
In James 1:25, James states:
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
We find in Scripture that God promises blessing to those who obey His Word. The problem is we settle for Chinese food. What do I mean?
You arrive at the restaurant where you have never been or even seen a picture of. You find it is settled on a beautiful river, breezes blowing and the sun nestling down in the horizon. You think, “This place might not be so bad.” You order your food, filet mignon, and the waiter brings it out accompanied with a steaming baked potato perfectly cooked along with all the toppings. You begin the meal. You have never tasted anything as good as this meal. You now begin to think, “This is the best meal I have ever eaten. Why did I not know about this restaurant and this food? I almost settled for Chinese!”
This scenario illustrates what many of us are missing in our Christian lives. We miss the filet mignon of obedience and settle for the chinese food of selfishness. Don’t get me wrong, I like Chinese food! But don’t miss the point:
The point: When we fail to obey God, we choose to miss the blessings of obedience that He is waiting to place before us that far outweigh the perceived reward of our selfishness.
Why is that? Why do we not obey? That could involve several reasons. However in these verses we find a few possible reasons:
- We don’t know the Word of God. We do not spend time in His Word; therefore we do not know how to obey when the opportunity arrives.
- We choose not to listen. Notice what Jesus says in Luke 11:28; Those who hear and obey. We may be hearing the Word of God in preaching or even just reading the text of Scripture, but we actively decide not to listen.
- We settle for less. We don’t obey because we judge that what we gain by disobedience will be far better than His blessings for obedience.
We must strive after obedience. We must look at God’s commands and trust that when we obey them, the reward will be far greater on the other side than the perceived reward of our selfishness.
For, when you obey God He will bless you with blessings that far outweigh that of disobedience. Do you want to miss out on the filet mignon of obedience to settle for the Chinese food of selfishness?