Empowered To Obey

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God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, stand up on your feet” (Ezekiel 2:1). 

Ezekiel had fallen face down at the sight of God—how awesome God’s presence must have been! Now God tells Ezekiel to stand up so that He may speak with him. It seems as if God is asking Ezekiel to do the impossible. 

But we must remember this principle:

All of God’s commands are also His empowerment.

Ezekiel responded: “As He spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet” (v. 2). 

As God spoke His commandment to Ezekiel, His empowerment to help him obey infused Ezekiel. God’s power allowed Ezekiel to obey. His word of command was also His word of enablement. 

There is no word of God that can ever be too hard for us to obey. God would never command us to do what is impossible for us to do, but with His command also comes His empowerment to obey that command.

And as Ezekiel obeyed, he was then able to hear even more of God’s word to him. 

This principle is still true for us today. When God speaks a word to our heart, never say to Him, “What? That’s too hard! I could never do that!” Instead, we need to say, “God, that seems like a hard word, but because Your word is also the empowerment I need, I will obey You.” And as you obey, God is then able to speak even more words to your heart. 

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A Leader Must Be Consistent

There was a man…whose name was Job (Job 1:1).

Job is described by the author of this book like this: “that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. … This man was the greatest of all the people of the East” (vv. 1, 3).

God Himself described Job like this: “There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (1:8). Even after Job’s calamities, God repeats this description and adds, “and still he holds fast to his integrity” (2:3).

satan acknowledged that Job feared God (1:9). But that slanderer accused Job of being a mercenary—that is, he said Job only feared and obeyed God because of what he got out of the bargain (1:10). But the liar missed something: Job’s obedience came before God’s blessing, and Job’s worship came after Job lost all his earthly possessions.

“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (1:22), and “in all this Job did not sin with his lips” (2:10).

A mark of a godly leader is one who acts consistently in good times and bad times.

It’s a good question for godly leaders to ask: why do I obey God? why do I trust Him? why do I fear Him? is it so that I can get something out of it? is it because I’ve already received something? is it so that I can avoid punishment?

Or do I obey, trust, and fear God because He is worthy of all that—and more!—regardless of anything else? Godly leaders consistently ask both sets of questions and answer an assured “Yes” to the last question.

This is Part 14 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts on this topic by clicking here.

Be Careful

In the final instructions before the Israelites were going to enter the Promised Land, the book of Deuteronomy uses the phrase be careful fifteen (15) times:

  • Be careful not to forget
  • Be careful to obey
  • Be careful to avoid making idols
  • Be careful to honor your leadership
  • Be careful of your thoughts

In the dictionary careful is defined as being attentive to potential danger, error, or harm. It implies paying special attention to accuracy and being discerning.

God doesn’t ask this of me to cramp my style but to put me in a place where He can bless me. And not just me: being careful leads to generational blessings. Here’s my favorite be careful verse:

Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you today, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.

Sometimes to be careful we have to slow down. We seem to want everything quickly and with as little effort as possible. Remember the cliché “Haste makes waste”?

What if you slowed down a bit today?

What if you took just a little time to be attentive to potential danger?

What if you paused long enough to discern if you were giving your best to God?

What if you took a moment to simply ask God to give you the wisdom needed to make a godly decision?

Being careful so that it may ALWAYS go well with you and your children after you….

Isn’t that worth it?

‘Nuff Said

“What does the Lord your God ask of you but to…

  • revere Him,
  • walk in obedience in all His ways,
  • love Him,
  • serve Him with all your heart and soul, and
  • observe His commands…

for your own good!” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

‘Nuff said!


I see this pattern of instruction repeated throughout the Bible, but especially as the Israelites are getting ready to enter the Promised Land:

  • Obey God’s commands
  • Remember what He has done for you
  • Teach His commands to your children

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, He quoted a passage from Deuteronomy, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” And He added, “And love your neighbor as yourself.” These, Jesus said, were the fulfillment of all the law.

  • Love God
  • Love yourself
  • Love your neighbor

This Great Commandment corresponds with this pattern of obey-remember-teach.

  • I obey God because I love Him.
  • When I remember what He has done for me, I can fully appreciate my own value in His eyes.
  • I teach others because I love them and want them to experience the same blessings from God that I have experienced.

This is what I need to be constantly evaluating:

  • Am I obeying God out of fear of what may happen, or out of love for Him?
  • Am I finding ways to continually be reminded of His blessings? Do I realize how valuable I am to Him?
  • Am I expressing true love to others by passing on what I am learning?

Obey [love God] … Remember [love myself] … Teach [love others].

What a great way to live!

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