Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” -2 Chronicles 24:20
Scripture reveals a direct link between obedience and blessing. In the Old Testament, God promised certain earthly blessings to the people of Israel when they obeyed and curses for when they disobeyed. While Christians are never promised physical, earthly blessings in the form of money or possessions, we are still promised eternal rewards for our obedience to the Lord’s ways. This distinction is important and often misunderstood.
Many today preach a message that obedience to God will result in increased finances or improved health. Yet a close look at Jesus and his followers reveals the opposite. Jesus slept outside and ultimately faced murder for faithfully completing the will of the Father. All but one of the original eleven apostles were killed for their faith; only John served as an exception, and tradition tells us he was exiled to an island called Patmos. The apostle Paul was regularly arrested, jailed, and beaten for his missionary service. None of these followers lived in luxury or received their rewards in this life.
We do not work for treasures that fade, but for eternal treasures. This is our goal. We are called to follow the Lord, whether we are blessed in this life or not with prosperity. Our hearts will grow in faith and our eternity will be blessed with many treasures, including the ultimate blessing–eternity in the presence of our Lord.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.