THE JOY OF OBEDIENCE
“It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.” Proverbs 21:15
The children of God, those born again by His grace and power, will bear evidence of His supernatural work in their lives. One mark of God’s ownership is a new attitude toward His Word and His will. It is not like the unconverted rebel to desire to obey, but “It is joy to the just to do judgment.” The born-again believer, the saint of God, will have a different view about obedience. Paul describes this change in the following words: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). The new man wants to obey the Lord and delights after His Word. This does not mean that we never disobey, or that we never sin. But, it does mean that there is an inseparable part of us that wants to follow the Savior and walk in His commands.
The joy of obedience was not something we were familiar with before the Holy Spirit began to work in our lives. We did not have a heart to obey the Word of God. This is one reason why so many religious people debate the Word of God and His commands and refuse to submit to the authority of the Scripture. They seek to justify their willfulness and rebellion because they do not have a heart to obey God.
God’s Word is to be the delight of our lives. Obedience is evidence of love. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). God’s commands are not restrictions to be shunned or avoided. The commands of God are for our good. What pure joy it is to know that we are pleasing and obeying the Father! The Christian knows that inner peace when he has done some deed out of love for God and a desire to please Him.
Before we were saved, we had no sincere delight in going to church, worshiping, reading the Scripture, obeying those in authority, loving the brethren, praying, giving our money, or serving others. These activities were not a part of our lives, and to do them would have been anything but joyous. But with salvation, all this changed. He gave us a new heart, with new desires and motivations. We now want to do His will and delight to please Him. Obeying Him brings joy to our hearts, while disobeying brings grief and sadness. If God’s commands become grievous, something is wrong in the heart. The joyous Christian is the obedient Christian.