Reward #4 – Follow the Instruction
God speaks to His people not only to encourage us, but also to instruct us in life. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God shares His wisdom, His commands, and His teachings throughout the Bible. For example, read Proverbs 2 to catch a glimpse of the benefits of seeking God’s wisdom. Also, Jesus sums up the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-38 when He says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These are instructions to live by.
Seeking God’s wisdom by listening to His voice and then following through on His instructions leads to a life of intimacy, peace, and joy with the Lord. When we tune our ears to God’s voice, quite often we hear or feel the Holy Spirit prompting us to do something important. Just as a parent instructs a child and expects obedience, God expects us to obey when He speaks to us. When we do not obey His voice, we miss out on some great opportunities to experience the plans He made for our lives, including the benefits of lasting joy, indescribable peace, and abundant blessing—the kind of full life Christ came to give us.
Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose My instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” In this verse, God compares His instruction to precious metals and reveals a worth far greater than silver or gold. Nothing you desire or money can buy surpasses the rich wisdom imparted in God’s instructions.
In John 14:23, Jesus shared an insight on how to experience intimacy with God: “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” When we love Jesus, we will obey His teaching. When we obey His teaching, God loves us and makes His home with us. We learn and grow in intimacy with God. Jesus didn’t leave us guessing how to get close to God. This verse came in the context of Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit to live with us. God dwells with those who love and obey Him. He doesn’t just visit us from time to time; He makes His home IN us forever. Jesus modeled His love for God by being obedient to His Father’s instructions, even unto death on the cross. It’s not enough to listen to God’s voice. We also must obey.
In Acts 1:1-2, Paul reminds Theophilus that before God took Jesus up to heaven, Christ gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to us so He could continue to teach us and give us instructions after He returned to the side of God the Father. When the Spirit of God instructs us, He does not allow us to forget about what He wants us to do. In my experience, the Spirit does not let me ignore His instructions. He persists until I obey.
When you are obedient to God’s instructions and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you will experience incomparable joy just as Jesus’ disciples did in Acts 13:52: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Don’t put off doing the will of God. When you hear God’s voice and instructions, don’t wait months to carry them out. Confirm what you hear, and then do it! When we’re obedient to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we’ll experience a greater joy lasting longer than any happiness we might receive from the things of this world. In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Listen to God’s instructions, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).