Obedience: Life-Giving or Limiting?

Obedience doesn’t limit the believer. It actually enables the believer to truly live.

This is the heartbeat of Proverbs 7:2, where Solomon exhorts his son to “keep my commandments and live.” This simple statement, which opens the chapter, is set against the solemn warning that closes the chapter, an alarm concerning the “forbidden woman” and “adulteress.” That warning? “Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death” (7:27).

What’s positioned between the opening words of life and the closing words of death? The call to obedience. With the starkest of language, Solomon shows the deathly danger that awaits those who refuse to resist sexual temptation and provides ample motivation to stay far away from the cliff of uncontrolled lusts. He elevates the beauty of obedience, prioritizing it as the avenue to truly enjoying life.

The world, the flesh and the devil would have you believe otherwise. This trifecta of evil deceitfully claims that unbridled passion has no consequences. They seductively and falsely assert that you should do what is right in your own eyes. What they fail to reveal is that “sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (James 1:15), and the end results of doing your own thing “are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

No wonder Solomon lifted up obedience as the doorway to life. He desired deeply for his sons to follow the Law of the Lord. He knew their obedience to God wouldn’t limit their life, but would, instead, enable them to experience true life. Thus, he called for them on multiple occasions to “let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life they will add to you” (3:1-2), “hear, my son, and accept my words that the years of your life may be many” (Proverbs 4:10), and “be attentive to my words…for they are life” (Proverbs 4:20).

Today, commit to obeying Jesus. Decide to follow the God’s Word. Submit to the authority of Scripture. It isn’t limiting you at all. It is actually sparing you from death and leading you to true life.

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