Our joy in and after obedience is God. More of Him. A greater understanding of His presence or goodness. Experiential knowledge of His heart and the way He works in and through our lives.
Every time God asks us to do something difficult (something we are afraid of doing) or something that might not seem that attractive in our eyes (possibly giving up a sinful pleasure), He is offering us a chance to trust Him. He offers us a chance to see Him do what He does best: take situations that aren’t good and make them good. To me, getting to see that happen, in whatever context and way that God deems best, is a great source of joy.
As you take steps of obedience and see the faithfulness of God in response to those steps, I believe obedience itself becomes more and more of a joy rather than some kind of burden because we see more of God, and we see He is good.
For example, He only asks that we be obedient because He desires connection with us.
Disobedience separates us from Him. Lack of trust separates us from Him. And it’s not God that pulls back. It’s us. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when we disobey God, it’s a natural human tendency to try to run and hide. And God more than anything wants to be connected to us, so He asks us to obey Him so there is nothing in our lives that would cause us to want to run and hide from Him.
God shows us His great faithfulness as we are obedient to Him. He is so patient, even when we struggle. His patience will never run out. If you are struggling to take a step of obedience in any way, take some time to reflect on His goodness and how much He just absolutely loves you. Shaming yourself into obedience will not work.
As we are more and more faithful to God, He shows us more and more of Himself. He leads us into deeper places of His heart and trusts us with His assignments in the world. Getting to, one, be in communion with God and, two, be a part of His processes of loving the people on this Earth is probably the greatest joy of being obedient to God.
“Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me,” (Exodus 19:5).
Author | Lindsay Conway