Obedience – the Key to the Heart of God
A number of Christians believe that they are demonstrating total obedience to God when they go to church, when they keep the ten commandments, and when they help others. True obedience to God means doing exactly what God says, at the exact time He says, exactly the way he says, for as long as He says, until what He says is accomplished. Regrettably, this concept is often rejected in today’s culture. Our generation is corrupt, stiff-necked, wanting things the easy way and totally blind or un-caring for the in-dept purpose of God’s instruction.
We try to align God’s instruction with our own ambition – trusting that by prayer, night-vigil and fasting, we can satisfy God with partial obedience. My spiritual research work from Genesis to Revelation tells me that partial obedience is equivalent to total disobedience before God – it carries the same penalty. It brings you down before God, your position in his heart becomes relegated, that ambition that is propelling your disobedience may be lost while your spiritual credibility before Him becomes impaired. We often disobey God because we have our own hidden agenda because we feel that God is too slow for us and because of our arrogance or obstinacy. Disobedience is seen by God as a rebellion and a calculated challenge of His divine authority. The penalty is often bitter, severe and long enduring.
Obedience is the key to the heart of God. When you hold the key to your car, you can walk to the car authoritatively, open it and drive it to your desired destination. So also is the key to your house. It will let you in with a right to go into any corner inside the house. If you hold the key to the heart of God, you will ask and it shall be given, you will knock and it shall be opened and you will seek, and you shall find. You will be raised to a lofty pinnacle of authority, honor and grace, fed with the finest of foods and exalted above all powers that can disturb your peace, joy and fullness of age; Psalm 81:13-16 Isaiah 48:18-19. For God is the rock, His work is perfect, all His ways are judgment: God of truth and without iniquity, just and right He is. He is a God that must be obeyed. Obedience should be the priority in the life of anyone who desires to know God and please Him. Even though obedience can be sometimes difficult and painful, it is what God asks of us. Obedience is always the right choice, with no exception. Appreciating the distinction between our way and God’s way can make a tremendous difference in the life of every believer. Can you please ascend the Hill of the Lord with me as we biblically examine the re-action of God to various levels of obedience.
Total Disobedience: Gen 2:17, Gen 3:1. At Eden, God provided a perfect environment, with all that were required for a happy living. He gave only one commandment. “Of every tree of the Garden thou mayest freely ‘eat’. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die”. They were deceived by the snake and they disobeyed this simple instruction consequently earning death sentence for themselves and the entire human race. Except for Jesus Christ blood of atonement, humanity would have remained forever doomed because of a single act of disobedience from Adam and Eve. When you are disobedient you are essentially refusing to acknowledge God’s authority, His right and His power in your life. He created you for nothing else but for His glory Isaiah 43:7. We may say things have changed. There are no talking snakes again. That is true, but one thing has not changed: A choice between obedience and disobedience, which is a choice between good and evil; life and death. If you want to disobey God just stay off His path; Don’t read the bible, don’t go to church, and don’t even listen to doctrines or print gospel messages. If you do, you will find out the truth and you will have to deal with it.
The Prophet from Judah 1 King 13:1-30 A young prophet of Judah was sent by God to Jeroboam, the king of Northern Israel, with a message of impeding doom on all Baal worshippers during the on-coming reign of Josiah. God’s instruction to the prophet was simple and straight forward, saying, “Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.” The young prophet delivered God’s message to Jeroboam with convincing signs and miracles; but like the snake in Eden, he was deceived by another superior prophet to eat and drink in disobedience to the word of God. He did and the sentence on disobedience is often severe. “Because thou hast not kept the commandment of God, thy carcass shall not come into the sepulcher of thy fathers”, said the Lord. Indeed, the young prophet was torn into pieces by a lion on his return Journey. Are you also a victim of lying prophets, priest, pastors, preachers, asking you to circumvent the biblical injunctions? Remember that you will personally bear the full responsibility for this rebellion against God. You can still quickly make a u-turn before it is too late. God means exactly what he says and He says exactly what he means.
King Saul: 1 Sam 10 & 1 Sam 13 – Partial Obedience. Saul, the first king of united Israel received God’s instruction to go to Gilgal and to wait seven days for prophet Samuel to join him. The two would then make a burnt offering together. Saul started well but as the seventh day approached, he became restless and frustrated, and he finally decided to offer the sacrifice without Samuel. But the bible tells us that as soon as he finished offering the burnt sacrifice. Samuel came. Truly Saul waited almost long enough but partial obedience is not obedience. Disobedience is rebellion and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft 1Sam 15:23. God’s pronouncement on Saul was swift. Samuel said unto Saul, “You have acted foolishly, you have not kept the commandment of God which he commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure.” This means that many times we would have to wait, but when we do so in obedience God will bless the outcome. Isaiah 30:15-18.
Lot and his wife: Genesis 19:17-26. God’s instruction to Lot and his family was sufficiently simple and straight forward; “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain, escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed”. The wife disobeyed by looking back and she instantly became a pillar of salt. Because of disobedience a whole generation of Israelites was destroyed in the wilderness while a journey of forty days to the promised land was turned to forty years. Believe me the Lord has not changed. He is still the same God and His way of judgment remains the same.
Noah: Genesis 6-9. – Total Obedience The book of Genesis provides us with the story of a man who was totally obedient to God. Noah, the last of the pre-flood patriarchs was commanded by God when he was 550 years old to build an ark of a gross tonnage of 13,960. The Lord pronounced a sentence of mass execution over all living things through 40 days ceaseless rain upon the earth. Such had never happened before. It required a spirit of total obedience and faith to believe such a pronouncement that seemed both strange, impossible and illogical. Despite all humiliation, abuses, and ridicule suffered from the despising generation of vipers who saw Noah’s 50 years ark construction ordeal as a psychiatric disposition. Noah complied without any question, he waited on the Lord and saw the salvation of the ever faithful King. By his total disobedience, he saved his household and achieved a lasting covenant for mankind’s source of food.
Abraham, the father of faith and total obedience: Genesis 12:1-4 & Gen. 22. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee”. In total obedience without any question, Abram took his wife Sarai and departed the comfort of his home, the joy of his parent’s environment, the serenity and security of his homeland and country and headed for the unknown, the uncertainty; embarking on the great trek through the hostile wilderness of life and violent kingdoms of idol worshippers. Not only that, after Abraham had waited for 25 years to have his promised son Isaac, God Almighty requested that the child be offered unto Him as sacrifice. To you and me, such a request would appear not only wicked but simply unthinkable but Abraham obeyed without any question asked. He knew that God would never do anything evil. Job 34: 10-12. For his total obedience God did not only preserve the life of the son Isaac but mightily blessed Abraham above all human beings and made with him an everlasting covenant.
Peter the fisherman: Luke 5:1-11 Despite the frustrating failure of over 12 hours fishing expedition, Peter complied without any question to Christ request for his boat to be used as a platform for Him to stand to preach the gospel. Furthermore, after the Lord finished preaching He said unto Peter “Launch into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.” Peter could have said NO in view of the fact that he had fished all night at the same spot without any catch feeling now tired and frustrated. But he complied without any question. This simple obedience not only resulted in multitude catch but totally transformed his life and opened unto him the wonderful gate of eternal glory.
Obeying God may require doing something that appears illogical, unreasonable or unattainable but remember that as unreasonable as it seemed for any mortal to think of walking on the Sea He made it possible. As illogical as it seemed for a woman to become pregnant at menopause He made it possible for Sarah at 90. He made the three Hebrews to walk up and down in a burning furnace without getting burnt and biblical Daniel to carouse with the wild lions in their den without getting hurt because God is Almighty and with Him nothing is impossible. If you start to obey Him totally from today your life will start to experience complete transformation into peace, joy, abundant blessing and assured security. You will never be truly fulfilled as a Christian until you obey Him.
As you read this message, search your heart to see whether there is any particular area of your life in which you struggle to be obedient to His word. As you pray, read the scripture or meditate, does He continually bring a specific sin to your attention? This may probably be responsible for the barrier between your prayer and the answer from above. Today, I plead with you passionately to submit yourself to total obedience before the Lord. There is no other choice except that of penury, tribulation, sorrow or even death. Disobedience is a rebellion against God and God is a consuming fire in His judgment. Heb. 12:29. Gen. 10:17. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”. “For rebellion to God’s commandment is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry”. 1Sam: 15:22-23.
ASE Joseph O Olorunnisola Voice of Grace – VOG Ewing/Trenton NJ.
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