OBEDIENCE TO GOD
"Now when he [Jesus] had left speaking, he said unto Simon,
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
And Simon answering said unto him,
Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude
of fishes: and their net brake."
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man."
Obedience is the key to God's heart!
One evening an evangelist preached with great zeal on the text, "Thou shall not steal." He impressed upon his listeners the necessity of absolute integrity in everything. The next morning, he boarded a bus and gave the driver a dollar bill for his fare. Counting his change, he found that he had received an extra quarter. Without hesitation, he approached the driver and said, "You accidentally gave me too much change." "It wasn't an accident," the driver replied. "I did it on purpose to see what you would do. Last night I was in your audience and wondered if you practiced what you preached. I made up my mind if you returned the quarter, I'd come and hear you tonight." — Moody, quoted on preachhim.org
Something similar happened to me some time ago. Just before Thanksgiving, my wife and I went to the grocery store to buy extra food because we were expecting company. After we checked out, I found out that the turkey and ham we purchased had been charged at the regular price instead of the sale price. I mentioned that to the manager of the store. He apologized and gave me back what I thought was the money they overcharged us. When I went to the car, I found out that he gave me a lot more money. I went back to the manager to tell him about the mistake he made, and to return the extra money. When I told him, he said,
"I know. I gave you extra money to see if you are an honest man. You can keep the extra money and have a Happy Thanksgiving!" Wow! I never expected anything like that to happen. I told my wife afterward that if I had not tried to give the money back, every time the manager would see me, he would think to himself, "He is a dishonest man."
Obedience to God's commandments is essential for pleasing God and for our Christian growth. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Obedience in Greek is "υπακοή" (hupakoé) noun and "uπακούω" (hupakouo) verb. The Greek word "uπακούω" comes from two words: "hupo," which means "under" and "akouo," which means "to hear." The full word means "to hear under": to submit to any authority, absolute submission, obedience, and compliance.
The first humans to disobey God were Adam and Eve, and the first angel to disobey God was Satan; they all paid a price. Satan continues to disobey God even after his fall. Nevertheless, God is merciful, even after the fall of Adam and Eve, He gives us the opportunity to repent and ask for forgiveness. He is faithful, and through Jesus Christ, He provides forgiveness if we seek Him. Today, mankind can still restore his relationship with God through his obedience to Him. The key to God's heart is obedience.
To enjoy the blessings of God, we must have obedience. Some think love or faith is the key to God's heart. No! The Holy Scriptures teach us that obedience is the most essential principle in our relationship with God. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23).
The apostle Peter obeyed Jesus' command and let down the nets again to catch fish and was blessed with many. When Peter heard the command of God, he took a great step of faith. That is where his journey of faith started. "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net" (Luke 5:5). Real faith is not to say that you believe in God. It costs nothing to say that but obeying God is another thing. It is never easy to do and is always costly. Being a Christian involves walking in a daily life of costly obedience. The apostle Peter did everything as Jesus told him in Luke 5:4 and was blessed by catching a lot of fish. We have to obey and trust the Lord a lot more than we trust the captain of a boat or the pilot of an airplane. This happens only when we come to the point in our spiritual life when we will say as the apostle Thomas "My Lord and my God," or as King David "The Lord is my shepherd."
Biblical obedience is when we seek God with our whole heart without questions. This kind of obedience counts and brings blessings. I remember one summer when I was a boy working with my father and older brother Mike at our farm. We ate under
a big shade tree at noontime. I heard my father say with authority and warning in his voice, "Mike, run to me immediately." Because we were disciplined children, my brother ran into my father's arms. Afterward, my brother and I saw a deadly snake moving close to where my brother was eating. My father was able to kill the snake, but if my brother had questioned my father's command and did not obey, he would have possibly lost his life.
Another example of obedience comes from Evangelist Paul Rader, who had many a talk with a banker in New York. The banker would reply that he was too busy for religion. Time passed and the banker, seriously overworked, was sent to a sanatorium for complete rest. One day God spoke to Paul Rader; the message was clear: "Go and speak to the banker." Rader obeyed, catching a train and going with all speed to the sumptuous sanatorium. Arriving at the facility, Rader saw the banker standing in the doorway. "Oh, Rader," said the banker, "I am so glad to see you." "I received your telegram," said Rader. "That's impossible," said the banker. "I wrote a telegram begging you to come, but I tore it up. I didn't send it." "That may be," said Rader, "but your message came by way of Heaven." Paul Rader found his friend under deep conviction of sin, and he pointed him to Christ as a perfect Saviour. That man accepted Christ, and his heart was filled with joy. "Rader," he said, "did you ever see the sky so blue or the grass so green?" Rader replied, "Sometimes we sing" 'Heaven above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green; Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen.'" Suddenly the banker leaned against Paul Rader and fell into his arms, dead. — Morning Glory, July 13, 1993
When God is calling you to follow Him in faith, do not let fear keep you from obeying His orders. Go forward in faith. Obedience is all God requires. When the Lord is calling you to obey, make sure you respond quickly. You might not understand at that time but act in faith without questioning His wisdom.
In His Holy Scriptures, God gave us commandments and not suggestions. A Christian is only free when he does the will of God and obeys God's commandments. In the kingdom of God, this is as natural for God's child as the water is for the fish or the air for the bird. He must be obedient to His commandments! Obedience to God's commandments produces freedom while disobedience produces slavery. If he compares the cost of obedience, it is nothing to the cost of disobedience. Faith and obedience are unable to separate because obedience is evidence of true faith. The will of God never has been and never will be accomplished by those who are not entirely obedient to Him. If he is going to serve in an army, he must wear its uniform. If he is going to march in the parade, he must keep in step. The choice is his. Will he be obedient to God or to the devil.
Fear the Lord and do what He commands. It could be a matter of life or death! The evidence of knowing God is obeying God. "Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3). If God asks you to speak to someone about Him, obey the Spirit's direction. God's timing is perfect, so do not put it off. Someone's spiritual future may be at stake. Go and speak. Maybe it is your wife, your child, your parent, your sister, your brother, your friend, your relative, your co-worker, or your neighbor. If you do not speak to that person, and you learn that the person died and went to hell, you will regret it forever because you did not obey God's will. During the summer of 2018, my sister-in-law traveled from the state of Florida to the state of Wisconsin to visit a girlfriend who was dying from cancer. During the visit, she led her to the Lord. I am glad she did because a short time later, her girlfriend died, but not in her sins. She died in the Lord because she was saved (John 8:21) (Revelation 14:13). Praise the Lord!
TRUST AND OBEY
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
— Hymn by John H. Sammis, 1887
by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
Obedience to God is an expression of our Love for God.
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29),
Read (Acts 5:17-32)
"To obey is better than sacrifice..." (1 Samuel 15:22)
"Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him." (Deuteronomy 13:4)
"As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me." (Psalms 18:44)
"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." (Isaiah 1:19)
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide
in His love." (John 15:10)
"If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." (John 13:17)
"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:25)
"For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." (Romans 2:13)
"Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight."
(1 John 3:22)
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:24)
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Matthew 7:21)
"And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation." (Hebrews 5:9)
"Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see [spiritual] death." (John 8:51)
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16)
"But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." (Romans 16:26)
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
"And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." (2 Corinthians 10:6)
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:17)
"Fear God and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Obedience is the evidence of true faith.
Faith begins when you trust God's promise enough to obey His Commandments.
Obedience of God's Commandments produces freedom;
disobedience produces slavery.
"Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace." — Author, Thomas a Kempis
"We cannot hear the voice of Jehovah merely by reading the Bible. Many think they can get God's mind and direction by reading the Bible, but they will only get it by being spiritual. If I think I can hear what the Spirit says without regard to my spiritual condition, I deceive myself. I must have an ear first: that is the spirit of obedience. The Scriptures will not do me any good without the spirit of obedience." — Author, C.A. Coates
"Wherever you find that the Word of God commands your obedience, and you turn to human support, the seed of weakness has been introduced and it will develop into more manifest failure." —Author, Samuel Ridout
"People have a tendency to obey the Lord only as long as it suits them. We often hear it said that certain commandments in the Bible were based on the culture of that day and do not apply to us today. Of course, when we once admit that principle, we can get rid of almost anything in the Bible. God wants us to obey His Word whether it suits us or not. That is the pathway to blessing." — Minister and Author, William MacDonald
"It is the obedient soul who can lay hold of the precious promises of Scripture. The willful and lawless have no such opportunity." — Pastor and Bible Teacher, Dr. H.A. Ironside
"The cost of obedience is nothing compared with the cost of disobedience"— Anon
"It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it."— Dr. B. J. Miller
The will of God never has been and never will be accomplished by those
who are not entirely obedient to Him.
It's Not Always Easy
It's not always easy to smile and be nice,
When we are called to sacrifice.
It's not always easy to put others first,
Especially when tired and feeling our worst.
It's not always easy to do the Father's will.
It wasn't so easy to climb Calvary's hill.
But we as His children, should learn to obey;
Not seeking our own but seeking His way.
It's not always easy to fight the good fight.
But it is always good and it is always right!
— Glenda Fulton Davis
Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care
Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.
If life be long I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short--yet why should I be sad
To soar to endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than he went through before;
He that to God's Kingdom comes,
Must enter by this door.
— Richard Baxter
The most significant visible evidence of the fear of God
is obedience to God.
Several years ago I heard a missionary's testimony.
He got saved before he was ten years old and felt called to serve the Lord as a missionary.
He told the Lord that he would go anywhere, but not to Africa.
For years he waited for an answer from the Lord showing him where to go as a missionary, but he never received an answer. Finally, the young man gave up and told the Lord that he would be committed to go anywhere the Lord wanted, even to Africa. A short time afterwards, the Lord opened the door for him to go as a missionary to Japan.
Dear Friend, never bargain with the Lord. He knows what is best for you.
Always be open to the Lord's leading!
How great is the contrast between the good that stretched out before Adam in Eden, and the evil that lay before Christ in Gethsemane. The garden of Eden was a place of delight, but Gethsemane was a garden of suffering and distress. The first Adam sinned through disobedience in Eden; the Last Adam triumphed through obedience in Gethsemane. In Adam's fall all men are lost. In Christ's victory there is provision for all men to be saved.
The garden of Eden had the tree of life. The garden of Gethsemane was a step toward the tree of death, for the cross is called a tree (Acts 5:30; 1 Peter 2:24). By Adam's transgression--eating of the forbidden tree of the "knowledge of good and evil"--he forfeited his right to the tree of life, and brought death to all men. He who hung on the tree of Calvary conquered death, and restored the tree of life to all who trust Him as personal Saviour.
Adam and Eve spent time talking with Satan in Eden, while Jesus spent time talking with God in Gethsemane. Adam received fruit from Eve's hand in disobedience to God's will in Eden, but in Gethsemane Jesus accepted the cup from God's hand in obedience to God's will. Adam faced his own guilt and its consequences in Eden, but Jesus faced the sin and guilt of others, and its consequences, in Gethsemane. Thus, Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden, but the Lord was led away from Gethsemane to go to Calvary's cross.— By MWTB
Clearing the Church
The 2000 member church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered through the rear of the church.
One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons.
The one in the middle announced, "EVERYONE WILLING TO TAKE A BULLET FOR JESUS STAY IN YOUR SEAT!"
Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor.
After a few moments, there were about 20 people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit. The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, "All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service."
Obedience or Performance?
Obedience is seeking God with your whole heart.
Performance is having a quiet time because you'll feel guilty if you don't.
Obedience is finding ways to let the word of God dwell in you richly.
Performance is quickly scanning a passage so you can check it off your Bible reading plan.
Obedience is inviting guests to your home for dinner.
Performance is feeling anxious about whether every detail of the meal will be perfect.
Obedience is following God's prompting to start a small group, Bible study or relationship.
Performance is reluctance to let anyone else lead the group because they might not do it as well as you would.
Obedience is doing your best.
Performance is wanting to be the best.
Obedience is saying yes to whatever God asks of you.
Performance is saying yes to whatever people ask of you.
Obedience is following the promptings of God's spirit.
Performance is following a list of man-made requirements.
Obedience springs from a fear of God.
Performance springs from a fear of failure.
We Must Obey God
When we understand that victory and blessing come from God,
we should do everything to follow him. If NOT, there is a RISK!