Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statues
and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways.
You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.
How is it possible to find blessings, or happiness, through obedience? Aren’t those two terms naturally exclusive? How can I find joy by choosing to do what God wants rather than what I want? A natural comparison is seen in life. People who choose to live without rules regarding sex often contract sexually transmitted diseases. People who choose to drive while under the influence often get DUIs, or in some cases, they kill or injure other people. Disregarding rules may give a momentary thrill, but the consequences often leave us miserable and broken-hearted.
There are perks for those who obey God’s law. The best perk of all, for me, is that closeness we feel towards God when we obey Him. It’s hard to feel close to someone who you’ve just offended or hurt. Try snapping at your spouse, friend, or parent. How close do you feel to them immediately following your bad behavior? The same is true of God. He loves us regardless of how often we mess up or fail Him, but true closeness is found through obedience to Him. Jesus tells us, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23).
John 14:23 is a special treasure for me. During the toughest times in my life, the roughest spots when I am all alone, it is only God who can walk with me. When everyone else is at work or busy with their lives, it is God alone who will hold my hand. I want to cultivate that special relationship with Him and obey His word because I have walked through dark valleys, and He was, and still is, my biggest comforter.