The Blessing Of Obedience
WE KNOW FROM the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden that our intimacy with God rests on our obedience to Him.
And if we are not close to God through obedience, we are separated from Him through our disobedience and therefore forfeit receiving His blessing.
Adam and Eve were given a simple charge, and that was to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Any other bountiful blessing and experience in the garden was theirs:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
But they did not heed the voice of the Lord and, as we all know, lost their place of honor, blessing, and protection from the consequences of sin.
It is even clearer that the blessings of God depend on our obedience when we go back and review the Book of Deuteronomy, where God spelled out His covenant plan to the children of Israel.
It almost seems as though He repeated Himself too much, but we know from the Old Testament account and our own life experience that even with His faithfulness in reminding us of the blessing of obedience, man still goes his own way and moves himself out of the path of blessing.
In Deuteronomy 11, God laid out His plan for how His children can receive His blessing.
If they were careful to do all he commanded, His blessings would flow out to them, the children, their cattle, and their servants. Everything their hand touched or foot tread upon would not only be successful—but it also would be theirs.
Imagine this kind of blessing over your business, career, or ministry. Imagine this blessing over your home and finances, your education, and all the things that concern your family.
God desires to release this kind of blessing over you, because it testifies of His goodness among the nations. When God's people prosper, not only do they look good, but God also looks good.
Reading further, you see that the children of Israel would also have the protection of the Lord from all their surrounding enemies (Deut. 11:22-25).
He was declaring Himself to be their strong tower. This is what obedience will bring to you as well. Obedience brings protection from death and defeat of all kinds.
In Romans 6:23, the Bible says that "the wages of sin is death.” So if you obey God, you will be blessed with life. Death is a curse that Jesus died on the cross to release you from. He recaptured the blessing of an abundant life for you.
All you have to do is receive His gift and walk in it by being obedient to His Word. The choice is yours.
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
—Deuteronomy 11:26-28, NIV
John Eckhardt is an Apostle and Bishop of Crusaders Church Chicago. John Eckhardt has experienced a strong apostolic calling and has ministered throughout the United States and abroad in more than 70 nations.