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Whole-Hearted Obedience (Psalm 119:34)

Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.
Psalm 119:34

Have you ever asked your kids to do their chores, only to have them respond with a less-than-enthusiastic obedience? It is not an obedience that is honoring. It is more of a forced obedience that also communicates the fact that their life and schedule have been interrupted because of your request. Maybe you don’t have kids, but you can remember times when this is how you behaved toward your parents.

On the other hand, consider the times that your child took the initiative to do work without being asked. Maybe they decided to clean and organize the garage! They were so excited to show you the work they accomplished and they wanted you to be pleased!

No doubt you would be pleased with their effort, even though the garage was not entirely clean and they did not really get the tools where you would prefer. The fact that they were trying to do what would please you was a great blessing.

For many who claim Christ, it seems that their obedience is not a whole-hearted obedience. It is more of a forced obedience. It is an obedience of necessity. Not the psalmist. His objective is to observe the way of God’s statutes to the end of his life – and – to accomplish this with a whole heart!

The Christian’s attitude and obedience to God is a reflection of his or her love for God.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.”
Matthew 22:36–38

The psalmist’s prayer reveals his genuine desire to please the Lord by walking in whole-hearted obedience to the word of God. This is not a compulsory prayer, it is the prayer of a man who loves God.

The apostle John beautifully captures the relationship between love and obedience. Consider your heart in relation to these biblical truths.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
John 14:15

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
John 14:21

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3

Rocky Wyatt

Rocky Wyatt came to know the Lord as a young teenager and began working in youth ministry when in college. After serving in churches in Utah, California and Colorado, Rocky moved to Texas to serve as Youth Pastor at Countryside Bible Church. He served there for 26 years where he eventually moved from youth ministry to serve as an Associate Pastor.

Over the course of his ministry, Rocky has always had a desire to train men for pastoral ministry in the context of the local church. In 1992 he started XL Ministries, an organization that is committed to helping churches establish intensive internships for pastoral training. In 2020 he left his position at Countryside Bible Church to become the Executive Director of XL Ministries and now works full time assisting churches in training men for ministry.

He is co-author of The Youth Ministry Training Manual, a textbook for training youth pastors, and has also written multiple other resources for use in various local church ministries. He is currently working on a book to encourage churches to take the primary responsibility to train pastors.

Rocky is married to Pamela, has two sons and daughters-in-law, and ten grandchildren. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:58