The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 NKJV
In the previous 8 verses Paul talked about unity, being of one mind in Christ, rejoicing, being in prayer always, being thankful and setting our minds on the things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Now he says, you’ve learned, received and saw in me what you now need to do.
James spoke of the same message in James 1:21-23 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:25 says “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Who doesn’t want to be blessed? In the path of obedience lays blessing. Obedience is talked about throughout the bible. In fact, search www.BibleGateway.com for word the “obey”. You’ll find 154 references to that one word.
Some of the verses are:
- Genesis 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
- Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”
- Deuteronomy 30:18-20 “that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days”.
- Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God.”
One thing I noticed in the list of 154 verses, is about two-thirds of these verses were talking about the consequence of not obeying God. While there is certainly blessing in obedience, there is also consequences for choosing not to obey. I’ve found this to be true in my own life. Check it out for yourself.
Sometimes it’s easier to choose God’s way, when you know someone is watching you. In today’s verse, Paul says do what you’ve seen me do. Talk about accountability. Paul was putting his life on display and urging others to follow his example. That sounds like a lot of pressure to always make sure you’re doing right, so others may follow. But remember, if Paul was operating out of his own flesh, it would have been exhausting to always keep the law. Paul’s had a secret weapon — Christ Himself dwelling in him, giving him the strength to do all things ( Philippians 4:13 ). Actually, it wasn’t a secret. Paul constantly told others about Him.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the secret weapon – your Holy Spirit – giving us the strength to do what is pleasing to you. Thank you for loving us. In Your name we pray. Amen.