Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
Maybe this isn't something you've thought about before....joy in obedience. The verses above tell us that those who walk in obedience are blessed, have joy in their hearts, and walk in love and light. When we follow God's precepts and commands, life goes well for us. Take a look through the Bible for references of obedience. When people obey God, they sing and dance and celebrate with joy because they are successful, or blessed, or rescued. However, it is also clear throughout scripture that things do not go well for those who disobey.
Think about a time you knew you were doing something you should not do. Or perhaps you knew good you should do and didn't do it. James 4:17 tells us "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." So, what happened? Did you feel convicted? Did you hear that voice in your heart telling you that you were being disobedient? If you are building a relationship with the Lord, trust me...He will convict your heart when you are being disobedient. You can choose to listen to that conviction or to ignore it and continue to disobey. Chances are good that it will begin to affect your attitude...and not in a positive way.
However, when we follow God's commands and live in His light...when we love others, give, use words that encourage and build up others...when we step out of our comfort zone to do the things that He calls us to do...when we, like Jonah, turn around from going to our Tarshish and head to Ninevah...we will find joy. There is peace and joy in the results of obedience. Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who obeyed God and then sang praises to Him in the midst of an unwed pregnancy:
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
Take a look at your life today. Is there disobedience in your heart, in your actions? Confess those sins to the Lord, ask forgiveness and then strive to walk in the light and joy of obedience.