The Bible promises, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the fat of the land.” (Isaiah 1:19) I don’t think this verse is offering you a meal out. For us today, I believe that the “fat of the land” refers to God’s best for our lives.
Scripture is explaining how we can access God’s greatest blessings. We need to be willing and obedient. So what’s the difference?
When we are willing, our hearts are involved in our actions. The Hebrew word for willing is aba which can also be translated content. When we are content, we are happy. God is just as interested in how we do what we do as He is in what we do.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” This verse is about our attitude. What’s my heart saying when I submit to my husband? Is it whispering, “Of course my love!” Or is it muttering, “Why can’t you do that yourself?!”
Obedience is about action. The word in the Hebrew is sama which essentially means to listen with attention and intent. Like a soldier carefully following commands, the Lord wants us to obey instructions.
It is almost always easier to obey the leading of the Lord than the instructions of a spouse or difficult boss. Scripture is clear. God wants us to do what we are told by the people He has placed in our lives. It teaches us servant-hearted humility.
I learned this lesson through my husband! I might have been in the middle of writing a new chapter for a book – the words would be flowing freely – then my husband call, “Can you come here please, there is something I need you to look at.” I would get up eventually and reluctantly!
Or, after a long day, we may have had dinner on trays while watching a movie. Then my husband would pipe up: “Jo, can you take the trays out please.” What I wanted to say was, “No!”, or, “Why can’t someone else do that?” I would do what I was told, but with attitude! I would clutter and clank, muttering in my heart about my frustrations.
CONSENT WITH CONTENT
I think God must have had enough! The Holy Spirit shone His light on my wrong attitude and showed me that He wanted me to become willing and obedient. He wanted me to get my heart right. Put simply, being willing and obedient is consent with content. When we put our weapons down and stop fighting inside, life is so much sweeter.
For you, being willing might mean serving your trickiest “clients” with a genuine smile. It could mean keeping your heart happy even when your boss is being unreasonable. Whatever it means for you, doing the right thing with the right attitude will open up heaven’s blessings over your life.