“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.'”
A young son of a missionary couple in Zaire was playing in the yard. Suddenly the voice of the boy’s father rang out from the porch, “Philip, obey me instantly! Drop to your stomach!” Immediately the youngster did as his father commanded. “Now crawl toward me as fast as you can!” The boy obeyed. “Stand up and run to me!” Philip responded unquestioningly and ran to his father’s arms.
As the youngster turned to look at the tree by which he had been playing, he saw a large deadly snake hanging from one of the branches! His father’s commands were not issued out of cruelty but for his well-being.
God’s commands to the Israelites were given for the same reasons. He wanted the absolute best for them. He assured them through the prophet Jeremiah that His purpose in requiring obedience from them was “that it may be well with you.” His heartfelt intent for the people of Israel was that they might enjoy a loving relationship with Him and, at the same time, avoid the sin that was destroying the nations around them.
God wants to control your life also–not for the sake of ruling over you, but because He desires the very best for you. He wants you to enjoy a fulfilling, purposeful and meaningful life with as little distress brought about by sin as possible. His commandments are to make your life more enjoyable, not miserable.
If you feel that your life is being limited by God’s commandments, remember their intent. In His infinite wisdom, the Lord knows what will make you happy, not just for today but for all of eternity. Instead of arguing with God or resisting Him, embrace all that He asks, “that it may be well for you.”
OBEDIENCE IS NOT JUST GOOD FOR YOU; IT’S BEST FOR YOU.