Simon Peter has fished all night and come up empty; not a single fish. As he washes the crud out of his nets on the beach, Yeshua climbs up into his boat and asks him to launch it so He can preach from the water. Peter obliges, and afterwards Yeshua tells him to go fishing one more time. Peter has no interest or hope, but obeys for only one reason: Yeshua tells him to. (Lk 5:5) Peter has a submitted, obedient heart, and it turns out quite well.
What am I doing in my life for this sole reason? God says so. Not because of religious tradition, or because my culture, friends or family expect it, not because it’s convenient or makes me feel better … but just because God says so.
I wear tzit tzit only because He says to (De 22:12); I wouldn’t otherwise.
I treat Saturday special only because He says to (Ex 20:8); my culture sets Sunday apart; resting when others do is more convenient.
I don’t eat ham, catfish or shrimp only because He forbids it (Le 11:7); I like the taste (or used to) and don’t think it’s necessarily bad for me, if it’s prepared correctly.
But most of what I do, I think I’d do anyway, whether He said to or not; I can see that most of His commands are good for me, even if they weren’t commanded, so it’s hard to see my motive much of the time.
Perhaps it’s when I’m tempted to disobey Him that I see my heart more clearly. What am I valuing? Is it the pleasure of Man, myself or others, or am I seeking the pleasure of God?
I think the mark of God’s children is that they do what He says … because He says so. (1Jn 3:10)