God has made all of us some wonderful promises, but often we miss out on seeing them come to pass because of our unwillingness to do our part. When we quote biblical promises, we often miss the portion of the promise requiring us to do something. In Deuteronomy, God pronounces a simple theme determining the destiny of the Israelites—obedience or disobedience. If they obeyed God, God would bless them. If they disobeyed God, God would curse them. Being obedient is a difficult thing for many of us to do. Children find it difficult to obey their parents. Some learn the benefits easily, and others must learn the hard way. Some employees do not want to obey their superiors and believe that they should be in charge. They disregard the orders of their supervisors, and end up losing good jobs.
All of us have disobeyed God. Our will often struggles with God’s will for our lives. This is why we need God’s grace. God’s grace is revealed in the wonderful blessing in store for those who choose to obey. For example in Deuteronomy 28:13, God made this promise to the Israelites, and it still holds true for us today: “And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.” We need to know from this prophetic word that we are the head, and not the tail. We are not the backsides of anything; we are God’s people, we are the head. We are thinkers, leaders, movers and shakers, and social changers. However, we cannot walk in who we are and how God has made us if we do not obey his commandments over our lives.
Many of us are living like the ‘tail.’ We permit others to think for us; we have put our destinies in the hands of other people; and we have settled for mediocrity. Rather than making change, we conform to the world. Tails live in fear. Tails obey their flesh. Tails are all talk and no action. Tails disrespect authority. Tails want their way or no way at all. Just because someone is in a leadership position or considers him/herself the ‘head’ of something, it does not mean that they are not a ‘tail.’ The head is the person who submits to the will of God and lives life serving the Lord. You are the head, and not the tail.
We must observe the commands of God. We must live right. We must live holy lives. This means loving our neighbors, forgiving our enemies, obeying our parents and being faithful to our spouses and families. Observing God’s commands also requires us to have faith and act upon that faith. We cannot observe these commandments with the help of the Holy Spirit. When we are willing to listen to the voice of God, God will give us the strength to resist temptation and do his divine will. When we act in this way, our obedience will reveal the truth about you and me—we are the head, not the tail.