Robert realized that obeying God does not mean leading a deprived life. God does not dictate “be very good, and never have fun.” Neither does God tell us that the only benefit of following God is the hope of heaven. If this is how you feel about obeying God, nothing could be further from the truth.
Obedience to God is God-directed and not self-directed. As we walk in obedience to God’s path, we reap many benefits. In fact, identity, security and prosperity, major aspects of a good life, depend on obedience: “The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today” (Deut. 6:24). The results of obedience and disobedience are very different: “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword” (Isa. 1:19–20).
How is this so? God designed life to be lived a particular way. When we follow God’s way, life works better. As wise king Solomon said, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps” (Prov. 14:15). Who has not experienced the suffering of innocently trusting the words of a deceptive person? And who has not reaped the fruit of taking time to consider before rushing into a decision? Obedience is for our own good.
Some people divide obedience into their religious or moral lives. However, this view misses the full and comprehensive path God has for life. The Bible teaches and guides on all areas of life: gifts, ministry, money, sex, love, and so on.
Therefore, when we pursue the path of spiritual growth, we feel we “come alive”. God speaks to our emotional, personal, and relational lives, as well as our spiritual lives; He is interested in all aspects of our life.