We had an interesting conversation last night about obedience vs. blessing. Does God bless us more when we are obedient? For most of my life I believed and taught this. It’s based on the Old Testament. Here is just one of the many Old Testament examples that support this manner of teaching:
“Therefore, obey the terms of this covenant so that you will prosper in everything you do.” (Deuteronomy 29:9 NLT)
But we have to be very careful with this train of thought. Because if our obedience and our actions are the reason for the blessing, aren’t we saying, “I deserved this blessing”? Which leads us to the thought “The more spiritual I am, the more blessed I am.”
Here are some thoughts to help reconcile Old Testament and New Testament.
1. God’s original intent was to bless us. After we were created, before we had opportunity to obey, God’s first act towards us was to bless us. (Genesis 1:28)
2. Good is good and he delights in the prosperity of His children.
3. We are blessed because of Jesus’ obedience. When we were born again, we were placed inside of Christ. We reap the benefit of Christ’s sacrifice. As Jesus was in this world, so are we. (I John 4:17b) God sees us as holy and blameless. He sees us as He sees Jesus.
4. So why walk in obedience? As we walk in obedience we mature in Him. We avoid the pitfalls and snares the enemy has set up for us as we walk by His leading. There is joy and peace in doing what God has called you to do. We were created for good works.
Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14 NLT)