Promptly Obeying

1 Corinthians 2:9 But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].  AMPC

This morning God was showing me how we miss Him.  Looking at our text we can see that God prepares and makes ready for those who hold Him in affectionate reverence.  Affectionate reverence would be love, honor, and to worship Him.  To worship Him would be to take everything He says to heart; to value each and every Word He would speak to us— enough, to do what He has said to do.  

Jesus said if you love Me, you will obey Me, if you keep My Words We will make Our home with you (John 14:23).  Thus the Amplified Bible as it does, is elaborating on the definition of love, to us.

Lots of times we like to hear the good God wants to do for us and we want it, but not so much that we actually cooperate with God, like to get to know Him and worship Him in order to have His good.  The truth is as God said is— He prepares and makes ready for those who love Him.  In our text, the Amplified Bible makes love explicit— those who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing His benefits.

This is what God is teaching us, that loving Him— worshiping Him, is not limited to obeying Him but it has everything to do with promptly obeying Him.  Doing what He tells us to do right away because if we don‘t, we will lose sight of what He said.

This is one of the places God is telling me we miss it.  We think we are obeying Him, but as we put off doing His direction, we end up not doing His directive at all.   Thus if we are not doing what He instructs us to do, we miss what He wants to prepare for us, we miss the actual benefits of having Him in our lives.

Here is an example we can look at to convey how we look, to God. 

As a parent or parents, you ask your son to take out the trash on garbage day.  He agreed to take out the trash, but he forgot. You now have two weeks of trash and you have to remind him again, still he missed the garbage man because he forgot. Consequently, you have decided to ask your daughter to take out the trash.  No problem - task completed, she promptly obeyed. 

So why would one child be a prompt to do, and the other not?  Could the son be preoccupied so much that he couldn’t be responsive to his parent?  Or, could he be thinking taking out the trash is unimportant?  Or is he thinking, what will I get out of it, why should I? Whichever, the bottom line is that he wasn’t honoring his parent’s request.  He wasn’t showing love and respect to his parents which makes his parents feel, unimportant, unloved, and not valued.    

On the other hand the daughter who promptly obeyed showed love and respect for her parents, and at the same time was thankful, recognizing the benefits she would be rewarded with for her thoughtfulness in honoring their request.  When she asked for a favor from her parents, she received that favor and in fact, her parents have already prepared good for her before she even asked.  She knew she would benefit from taking the time to know her parents and what was important to them.  She wanted to have a love relationship with them.  In fact we could say she cared more about them than herself which is what makes a relationship, and makes it healthy.

That is exactly what God is talking about here; He plans for the one who promptly obeys Him, the one whose mind is stayed on Him, the one who values His presence, the one who cares about what He cares about.  He plans for one who is in relationship with Him, the one who has taken the time to know His heart.

The daughter cared about what her parents cared about.  She took out the trash because she cared.  Caring is love and love is caring.  She cared enough to help her parents take care of their home, while the son displayed for whatever reason, that he didn’t care.

Think how God must feel when He asks us to do something and we put off His instruction, and even forget to do it.  The message we are giving Him is clear, we don’t care, and we don’t have respect enough for Him that we would even value that He spoke to us.  We don’t expect, or even recognize we benefit from our relationship with Him, therefore we exclude Him.

The bottom line is we miss God because we are really not including God.  We have a back up plan because we don’t know for sure if He will do what were hoping He will do.  We’re not sure He will do what were hoping because (we haven’t taken out the trash) we haven’t cared.  We haven’t cared about Him enough to sit down with Him find out His true feelings, and so we have no idea, no perception of who God is. 

If we know God we would want to obey Him knowing we will be the one who will benefit from our relationship with Him— He is our privileged.  Knowing God, we know each instruction He gives comes with His benefits.  When we know God, we know that His good plan for us is revealed to us by Him as we value Him, as we honor Him, as we look for Him.