“Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart.” –Ephesians 6:6 As I was meditating about this verse and being a slave to Yeshua, and how it is our duty (Luke 17:10) to obey His commands, (Good-for-Nothing-Slaves), the second part jumped out at me. “Do God’s will from your heart.”
It’s one thing to obey out of obligation and duty. After all, what else should we do in light of all that Yeshua has done for us. It’s another thing entirely to obey from the heart. Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.”
I’ve seen this transformation, obeying because it’s my duty to obeying from the heart, take place in my own life. While I have always been grateful for Yeshua’s sacrifice for me…His atoning blood…my salvation…I have not always done things for Him from the heart. For the longest time, I didn’t even realize there was anything to do. But once my eyes were opened to all of Yahweh’s word, and I began to see that we should be obeying His commandments, I started walking them out. I’d like to say that it was all just perfect and my attitude and motivations were pure…but I can’t say that.
Yahweh would reveal something to me and I would begin walking it out one faltering step at a time. Let’s take Sabbath as an example. So my eyes were opened to the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” I jumped right on that train and lived happily ever after….NOT!!! I questioned, “Well, how do we know Sunday’s not the seventh day?” “Why can’t it be any day I choose?” “What?!! No work on Sabbath?” “What?!! No buying and selling on Sabbath?” You see, I came from the mindset that going to church for two hours on Sunday was setting the day apart. After church you would most often find me grocery shopping and then doing lesson plans for the upcoming week.
As I questioned and researched, read the Word and prayed, I took a step, and then another, and another…My pastor and his wife had seen Sabbath and began to offer services on Saturday and Sunday. I chose Saturday. (As a side note, so did the rest of the congregation so it wasn’t long before it was just Saturday service.) I chose to stop shopping and doing my lesson plans on Saturday. At first, these were choices because I saw it in the Word and felt it was my duty to obey. Gradually my sense of duty turned to a sense of longing and joy. How refreshing it is to have a day totally set aside to rest…but not just rest, rest in Yahweh! Isaiah 58:13-14 really came alive for me, “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath, from doing whatever you want on My holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure, or talking too much; then you will delight yourself in the LORD, and I will make you ride over the heights of the land, and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”
As Yahweh circumcises my heart (Deuteronomy 30:6), and changes me from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), my attitude about following Him and His ways is transforming from following His ways out of a sense of duty to following them from the heart. May we all bring glory to Yahweh as we serve him with the right heart attitude.
A couple of other verses about the heart to meditate on:
“The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God.”—Matthew 5:8
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”—Psalm 24:3-5