“‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety (Leviticus 25:18-19 NASB).
It is obedience and not human effort that leads to fruitfulness and blessing in our spiritual journey. This portion of scripture is couched in a section where the children of Israel are told to rest the land and themselves every seventh year. Human wisdom tells us that if we do not work, we do not eat. This is generally true. But there are times for our own good and to prove Himself to us He supersedes human understanding. Matthew Henry says that this portion of scripture was given “to be an encouragement to all God’s people in all ages to trust him in their duty and to give their cares to him”. Faithfulness and persistence are character traits that God wants to build into all believers and they will bring fruitfulness, but only when coupled with obedience. I tend to be a consistent person, but on occasion I have found myself to be consistently wrong. King Saul lost his kingdom because self-reliance and self-effort. This is why the prophet Samuel said to Saul “…to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams” (I Samuel 15:22). Some of us faithful Christian workers need to learn, as our forefathers in Israel did, to obey is better than sacrifice. This brings God’s provision. As our young people would tell us, sometimes we need to learn to chill.
Pray with me. Lord, put to death my self-effort and self-reliance. Help me to persevere in only what You want and not what I want. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing