“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26
But I don’t enjoy doing this, I thought to myself. Whine. Whine. I have done this before, and I don’t enjoy it. Whine. Sigh.
The Spirit of God interrupted my thoughts.
“Is this about your enjoyment or about obedience?”
I was speechless. Totally convicted. Of resisting the Lord. Of debating. Of holding back. See, the Lord had made clear over a matter of months – yes, months – that He wanted me to reach out to someone, set up an appointment, and go talk to that person, undoubtedly with a message from Him. I had hemmed. I had hawed. I had hesitated. I had tried to convince myself it wasn’t the Lord who had spoken to me. Maybe it had been my flesh? The devil? Somebody? Just not the Lord, right? But the Spirit of God wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept coming back to me. Reminding me. He had spoken. He had given me an assignment. Just that very morning, He had brought it back to my mind. That I needed to make the phone call. And set up the appointment. And go deliver His message. But this wasn’t something I would enjoy! A number of times before, He had sent me to deliver a message to someone in a similar position. I had never enjoyed it. It had been hard. Scary. Intimidating. Daunting. Not pleasurable. I had faced hatred. Rejection. Disgust. Ugh. Stuff I hated. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy this assignment from God! I just knew it! But how much longer could I put it off? I knew I couldn’t! Not only did I know I couldn’t delay any longer, I knew I should never have delayed in the first place. But why? Why couldn’t I delay? Why couldn’t I procrastinate? Why couldn’t I just say NO? NO WAY?! The truth is I could have, because the Lord gives us a choice. We can hear and obey Him – or not. We can face the consequence of our disobedience – or the reward of our obedience.
Following the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in Jesus Christ as Savior AND AS LORD for the promise of an everlasting relationship with God, truly believing in Him as LORD OF LORDS and KING OF KINGS, as LORD OF ALL, and as LORD OF OUR OWN HEARTS AND LIVES, with the fruit of our lives to prove it, dying to self and living for Him, is NOT about choosing our own personal enjoyment – our own comfort, ease, luxury, pleasures, and temporal peace of mind, satisfying our lusts and living for ourselves and our temporary enjoyment – but IS ABOUT OBEDIENCE to the Lord because He is LORD.
Moses, whom God used to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, could have ENJOYED the pleasure of being adopted into Pharaoh’s family. What an amazing life of luxury and pleasure he might have had – by worldly standards. But he chose obedience to the Lord instead. The scriptures above say he “looked to the reward.”
What is our “reward” when we choose obedience to the Lord instead of the fleeting pleasures of this life, the temporary enjoyment we find when we choose our ways instead of God’s? We may receive endless blessings from the Lord when we choose obedience to Him, but the greatest reward for those who follow Jesus and live for Him is to ENJOY CHRIST’S FELLOWSHIP forever. No pleasure, no treasure, no prosperity, no enjoyment that is earthly and worldly can possibly compare with knowing and being loved by and loving and being in the company of Christ Jesus who is Lord forever! There is, too, an indescribable joy when we say NO to our flesh and YES to the Lord and know that we are bringing Him honor and reverence and satisfaction in our obedience to Him, is there not? Oh, to live for the Lord! Oh, to live for Him! Live for Him, my friend, live for Him alone!