April 17: “Really Knowing Jesus Is An Incentive for Obeying Jesus”

5 Minute Read


Joshua 15:1-63
Luke 18:18-43
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 13:9-10


Psalm 86:11 (CSB): “Teach me your way, LORD, and I will live by your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.”


Psalm 86 is like so many of the other psalms in that it is a cry for God’s protection and intervention. Enemies have set themselves against the psalmist and he is crying to God for help.

When we read through the Old Testament historical books, we realize that David didn’t sit in a corner and place all of the responsibility upon God to act. Instead, he made wise decisions to protect himself from men like Saul, Absalom, and others. But he also realized that God, who ruled over all, was his ultimate ally and protector … and so he prayed for God to intervene.

In this Psalm, we hear David praying and we observe that he is finding comfort in the covenant relationship he has with His God. In it, we realize that our relationship with God is what drives our pursuit of Him and what enables us to be in a place where He can bless us as He so chooses (e.g. bless with protection, as in David’s case).

In verse 11, we observe that David wants to obey God completely.

Psalm 86:11 (CSB): “Teach me your way, LORD, and I will live by your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.”

We observe that David asked God to “teach me your way.”

This is a New Testament concept as well. The Christian realizes that while the Bible was penned by about 40 men, its ultimate author is the Holy Spirit. So, since the Holy Spirit wrote it, we should ask Him to help us understand it as we read it.

However, David didn’t simply want to understand God’s Word. Understanding was not the end. Understanding was the means to the end – obedience. David wanted to “live by your truth.”

Over and over, in the New Testament, Jesus called for obedience. He called for others to follow Him.

This should be our driving passion: to spend time in God’s Word so that we can obey the Lord.

But, there was something else that David asked for – “Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.” Essentially, he was asking God to do a work of grace in his mind so that he saw God rightly. He wanted to come into a greater understanding of God’s infinite power, His holiness, and everything else that would cause Him to stand in awe of God but to also stand in reverence and fear. This would be sufficient motivation to continue obeying the Lord’s Word.

It has been said that for a Christian to engage in willful sin, he or she must temporarily refuse to acknowledge God or His watchful eye. If that is the case, then a wonderful remedy to ward off sin is a growing awareness of and enjoyment of the person of Christ. Ask God, like David did, to “give (you) an undivided mind to fear (His) name.”

Friend, Jesus wants you to follow Him. He wants you to know His instructions for you and He wants you to comply with them. But, even more importantly, He wants you to know Him.

Philippians 3:7-11 (CSB): “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.”

The secret is that if you grow in your experiential knowledge of Him and enjoyment of Him, you will find your heart desiring, craving(!) to obey Him and being appalled at anything that could even remotely be considered sin.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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