Prompt Obedience - Tuesday March 31, 2015
Memorise: And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. - Matthew 8:21-22
Read: 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (KJV)
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Bible in One year: Nahum 1-3, Matthew 12:9-32
In the service of God, sacrifice is good. God expects all His children to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. He also expects our sacrifice to be holy and acceptable (Romans 12:1). However, He makes it clear that He prefers obedience to sacrifice. Jeremiah 7:23 says,
"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
Obedience is the act of doing what one is told to do. In the spiritual sense, obedience is total submission to the written and spoken word of God. It is an express but conditional commandment of God. In Exodus 19:5, God instructed the Israelites to obey His voice:
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"
One distinguishing characteristic of those who are great in the things of God is prompt obedience. The Bible contains so many stories of men and women who became great for God as a result of their obedience to His word. A classical example of a person whose lifestyle was defined by prompt obedience was Abraham. Other heroes of obedience include Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, Elijah, Elisha and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obedience entails learning (Hebrews 5:8). It involves God taking you to His own school of theology. Here you are stripped of all knowledge and pomposity in order to obey God in simple holiness and truth. Obedience requires sincerity, genuineness and love. True obedience comes from a heart of love. It is real and not mere eye service. Obedience requires boldness. It takes boldness for a child of God to obey Him in this world of perversion and outright corruption. It takes moral courage to live holy and move against the tide of sin. Don't be a moral coward. Be bold enough to say "no" to all acts of unrighteousness. Speak out against sin anywhere you find yourself.
A true Christian is one who is neither ashamed of the gospel nor a shame to the gospel. You can overcome the fear of man through reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. Obedience requires humility. It takes the grace of God to obey God all the way to the end. Are you facing persecution because of your obedience to Christ? Don't give up! Don't compromise your stand. Don't allow yourself to be distracted from the path of obedience. Obedience must not be done haphazardly. Disobedience is rebellion, which is likened to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).
Action Point: Obey God, obey those who share the truth with you, obey your leader and obey your body when it needs rest.