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Obedience is a Heart Issue

By Pst. Dr. Shana Wise


Mark 10:17-31 NIV


17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.


Why would Jesus respond to the man in this way? I believe it’s because he saw the man had false humility in his approach to Jesus.

Jesus can see our intentions (heart). The man was trying to impress Jesus, but Jesus saw his motives.


19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”


20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”


21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”


22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.


Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This man was going through the motions of the law, but the law did not have any effect on his heart. He was keeping the law out of obligation, not because he loved God.

Money had more control of this man than God. Money was his god. Jesus saw that this was the thing separating him from The True and Living God.

When Jesus told the young man to let go of the “god” that was ruling him, the man chose not to obey.

I believe he did this because he was used to people telling him what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear.

Money had caused him to deceive himself. Galatians 6:7, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

It will be difficult to serve and obey God when something else is ruling your heart. Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.


23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”


Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus used this encounter with the rich young ruler to teach his disciples about The Kingdom of God.  This man came looking for eternal life, but he did not want to give up the world. His riches had depleted his soul and because he didn’t want to give up his “god” he would never be able to experience the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God cannot be brought. The Kingdom of God requires a response from our souls, not our “status”. The Kingdom of God is spiritual, and it can only be obtained through The King, Jesus Christ.

Being poor in spirit means to be humble. When money is our “god, " pride will rule our spirit and blind us to the truth.


26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”


Jesus’ response to the disciples was spiritual. He was confirming that God is the one that saves (Jesus), not man. The Kingdom belongs to God, and to enter it, you must go through His Son. It is impossible to obtain the Kingdom in the natural, but in the Spirit, we have access.




28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”


Continue to follow and obey God, in Spirit and Truth (John 4:4).

About the Author

Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor who founded and oversees Wise Choice Ministries with her husband Pastor Ron Wise. She is also the CEO and founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network. Dr. Wise is the author of Women’s Devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and the Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives and demonstrate it through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist who appears on social media outlets. Shana is married and has four children.


For speaking engagements email:


Books available on Amazon:


Acts of Intercession


The Impact of Your Election


Basic Ministry Training Manual


Chief Women Arise



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