Draw Close to God
What Does Jehovah Ask of Us?
TO OBEY or not to obey—the decision is not always an easy one. A superior who is harsh or overly demanding may win only grudging compliance from those under him. Jehovah God, however, wins willing obedience from his worshippers. Why? To answer that, let us examine the words of Moses found at Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.*
When summing up God’s requirements, Moses raised an intriguing question: “What is Jehovah your God asking of you?” (Verse 12) God has the right to ask whatever he wants of us. After all, he is the Sovereign Lord and the Source and Sustainer of life. (Psalm 36:9; Isaiah 33:22) Jehovah could not have a stronger claim on our obedience. Yet, he does not want forced obedience. What does he ask of us? That we be “obedient from the heart.”—Romans 6:17.
What could motivate us to obey God willingly? Moses mentions one factor, saying: “Fear Jehovah your God.”* (Verse 12) This is not a morbid dread of bad consequences but, rather, a healthy, reverential regard for God and his ways. If we are filled with a profound awe of God, we will want to avoid displeasing him.
What, though, should be our primary motive for obeying God? Moses states: “Love him [Jehovah] and . . . serve Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul.” (Verse 12) Love of God involves more than feelings. One reference work explains: “Hebrew verbs for feelings sometimes refer as well to the actions that result from them.” This same work says that to love God means “to act lovingly” toward him. In other words, if we truly love God, we will act in ways that we know are pleasing to him.—Proverbs 27:11.
How far should we go in obeying God? Moses says: “Walk in all his [God’s] ways.” (Verse 12) Jehovah wants us to do everything that he asks of us. Might such complete obedience work against our best interests? That would be impossible.
Our willing obedience will bring blessings. Moses writes: “Keep the commandments . . . that I am commanding you today, for your good.” (Verse 13) Yes, every commandment of Jehovah—everything that he asks of us—is for our good. How could it be otherwise? “God is love,” the Bible says. (1 John 4:8) Hence, he has given only such commands as would further our lasting welfare. (Isaiah 48:17) Doing all that Jehovah asks of us will spare us many frustrations now and lead to endless future blessings under his Kingdom rule.*
To obey or not to obey—when it comes to what Jehovah asks of us, there is but one wise choice. Complete and willing obedience is always best. Such a faithful course draws us ever closer to Jehovah, the loving God who always has our best interests at heart.
Although Moses’ words applied to Israel of old, in principle they apply to all who want to please God today.—Romans 15:4.
For more information, see chapter 3, “What Is God’s Purpose for the Earth?,” in the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.