Obedience releases God’s power in your life
By Rick Warren
— January 5, 2011
We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe. Hebrews 3:19 (TEV)
"The greatest tragedy this year would be for you to stand at the edge of your destiny, but to be afraid to enter into all that God has planned for you."
The saddest verse to me in the entire Bible is today’s verse. It says the people of God were not able to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief.
Think about this: For 400 years God planned the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. To convince Pharaoh to let them go, God sent the various plagues to Egypt. He opened the Red Sea and he fed the Israelites with manna and quail. He took care of all of their needs as he brought them to the edge of the Promised Land.
But at the point of decision, God’s people say, ‘We can't do it.’ And the Bible says because of their unbelief, they were not allowed to go in and they missed all that God had planned for their lives.
I do not want that to happen to you. I do not want you to miss what God has planned for your life simply because you were afraid or unwilling to take a step of faith. Your unbelief limits God.
We must choose to obey God in faith. Every time we trust God’s wisdom and do whatever he says to do, even when we don’t understand it, we deepen our relationship with God
Understand, though, we obey God, not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love him and trust that he knows what is best for us. We want to follow Christ out of gratitude for all he has done for us, and the closer we follow Jesus, the deeper our relationship with him becomes.
Unbelievers often think Christians obey out of obligation or guilt or fear of punishment, but the opposite is true. Because we have been forgiven and set free, we obey out of love—and our obedience brings great joy! Jesus said, "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9–11 NLT)
The greatest tragedy this year would be for you to stand at the edge of your destiny, but to be afraid to enter into all that God has planned for you. Your obedience in moving forward -- to take risks and step out in faith – will release God’s power in your life.
What are you afraid of in 2011? Whatever it is, it doesn't stand a chance when you do whatever God tells you to do. There is no reason to be afraid. The Lord is on our side.