My Reward for Obedience = A Harder Life?


So you’ve made a decision to obey God in a certain area of your life?  That’s great.  It really is.  But I have to tell you something you probably don’t want to hear.

Are you ready?

Chances are very good that your life (at least in that area, and quite possibly others) is about to get HARDER!

Wait, what?

Are you telling me that because I’ve listened to the voice of God and taken a step of obedient faith that my life is going to be harder than it was before?


I have experienced this lesson many times in my own life and I saw it again in Scripture just last week in my daily quiet time.  Here’s the story:

  • The nation of Israel had been forced into slave labor for over 400 years in Egypt.
  • God had heard their cries for help and deliverance.
  • God raised up a timid leader with a speech impediment named Moses to play a critical role in delivering Israel from slavery.
  • God stepped into Moses’ life through a burning bush and called him to go before Pharaoh (arguably the most powerful man in the world) and demand that he release over 2 million slaves.
  • Although Moses initially protested and argued with God’s plan, he ultimately made the decision to act.  To obey. To push past the fear and do what God had called him to do.
  • Moses went before Pharaoh and relayed God’s message, “Let my people go!”  To which Pharaoh replied, “Absolutely!  Can I help you all in any way as you’re exiting Egypt?  Horses?  Chariots? Food?”  OK, I just made that last part up.  Here is what Scripture records was Moses’ reward for his obedience:

Exodus 5:4-9 But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!”  Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.” That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people:  “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.  But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’  Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

Did you catch that?

Immediately following Moses’ obedience life got harder…not easier.  To which the people of Israel replied, “Hey no problem.  We clearly recognize God’s hand at work in this situation and trust that since He called us to this that He actually has our best interest in mind and will be faithful to keep every promise He has made for our deliverance.”  OK, I just made that last part up too!

In reality, the people of Israel responded to their increased workload and harder lives with bitterness and complaining…which in turn caused Moses to respond to the Lord with complaining as well.  But God reassured Moses that He was in control and that in His way, in His time, and by His hand he would indeed deliver Israel from the iron grip of Egypt and bring Egypt to their knees in the process.  All Moses needed to do was to continue to take one obedient step after another and wait for God’s faithfulness to go on display for all to see.

Is there an area of your life that God is calling you to take a step of obedient faith?

I want to encourage you to take that step.

Just know that testing and hardship will likely be the immediate result of that decision.

But also know that in the end God ALWAYS shows up…He ALWAYS comes through…He ALWAYS rewards obedience…and the price is ALWAYS worth it!

I encourage you to endure the immediate season of hardship that almost always follows obedience to the Lord, trusting that His freedom, peace and blessing will soon be at hand.

About Jon Sanders

Follower of Jesus; Husband to an amazing woman; Father of 3 great kids; Pastor of a multi-site church with a vision to reach rural America for Christ!
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