Obedience to the Lord is key; it is required in the life of a Believer.
If we look at the story of Jesus and the woman at the [Jacob's well] well, found in John 4:7-38, the entire sequence of events and statements is incredibly interesting in how it plays out. Jesus stops by Jacob's well and meets and begins to minister to this woman from the nearby village, while his disciples were away to gather food during their (Jesus and the disciples) Holy Spirit led journey to Galilee. Now, the results are incredible...Jesus ministers to the woman and she is used by the Lord to evangelize to the entire town/village and brings them to see and meet Jesus; the Christ, the Messiah.
In the middle of Jesus ministering to the entirety of the town/village, the disciples return and are prompting Jesus to eat. To stop ministering to the people and to tend to His own needs. Jesus' profound response to His disciples is stated in John 4:31-33 (NASB).
But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
Jesus plainly stated in the Scripture, His secret food was to do His Heavenly Father's will. This shouldn't come as a surprise. The Word of God informs us about Jesus' very mindset towards His Father's will in Psalm 40:6-8 (NASB). Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
When we examine those two Scriptures what stands out, is the Lord Jesus Christ's driving force was to be 100 percent, completely, obedient and pleasing to His [Jesus] Heavenly Father. And Jesus, as our pattern and example, it is the standard for all of us when it comes to obedience. We all must have this same driving force within ourselves.
And, when we look at or examine this mindset in light of the initial Scripture concerning the woman at the well; Jesus' drive was in spite of not having food - or what we typically refer to as the "basic necessities" (e.g. food, clothing, water, shelter, etc.). None of those things mattered. The situation He faced in the natural, or the circumstances going on around Him, was not as important to Jesus as accomplishing everything the Father had told Him (Jesus) to accomplish; which, the Heavenly Father was leading Jesus to do through the Holy Spirit.
I'm sure we've all had these experiences in our lives, although maybe not in a Spiritual sense; where we are involved in something (e.g. A sporting event or some other intense activity) that we find great joy or great pleasure in doing. And as a result, time seems to pass by so quickly, we are unaware of how much time we just spent participating in a particular activity or event. The joy, and the drive, to be involved in this activity or event is so great that it has superseded any feelings of being work or work-related. It is fun and exciting. So much so in fact, we don't even remember to eat or drink or feel the need to go get food and water, during the activity. There's no sense on our part to pause, or even take a break. Again, this is just a natural example; however, hopefully we can better understand what is happening in John chapter four with Jesus and the ministry happening with the entire village - His mindset of being obedient and carrying forth the command the Father had given Him.
While studying the Scriptures we read in John 4 and Psalms 40, there were two words that really stood out: The word food in John; and the word delight in Psalms. It's as though the seriousness, or what it provided to Jesus; the sustainment He received in carrying out the will of the Heavenly Father, was literally like food to Him (Jesus). It's known we need three meals a day, for our mood and temperament, to remain within pleasant boundaries. We need it to have strength, to endure the day and the work we have to go and do. The fact that Jesus stated, doing the will of the Lord is what gave Him that fulfillment, that gave Him that strength to go on, the satisfaction He needed, helped Him keep His mood in alignment, and above all; was His delight or great pleasure (Psalms 40:8), putting a smile on Jesus' face, and was something Jesus looked forward to and longed to do really stood out in its significance. It truly shows how our Lord and Savior feels and consider doing the will of the Father - which is being obedient. That is His sustainment or sustenance; as well as His joy.
The apostle Paul discusses this exact mindset, observed in Jesus, in Hebrews 10:5-10 (NASB); when Paul references what is written in Psalm 40:6-8. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a body You have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’”After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
What Paul is explaining, is concerning the Law - The Law of Moses - what is known as the Torah, the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). And, if you conduct an in-depth study, there are many laws given and repeated throughout each of the books. However, Paul is specifically referring to is obedience...We are sanctified through Jesus's obedience to the Father; and, because of His obedience, He fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17). So, then the Law is about learning obedience...It isn't there as a means of control, or punishment; but, to help us learn obedience. We should know this, as the Lord God continually demonstrated mercy to the children of Israel during their time in the wilderness; time after time, even during acts of disobedience. He (The Heavenly Father) always gave grace and allowed them the opportunity to come back under His good graces, His protection, and everything else that's found in the Father.
The Law wasn't given to Moses as a means to control the people. Some may feel that as an argument toward God, that He desires to control them or make them into a robot. God never had any intentions on that. Also, the Law isn't a means to punish them (the children of Israel). On the contrary. The pattern that God showed, continually, is that mercy is what He desired. Jesus even told them that; especially to the Pharisees when they questioned Him about various things. He (Jesus) would reply, that if they understood, then they would know the Father desired mercy (Matthew 9:13; Hosea 6:6).
Now, this aspect of teaching obedience still applies to us today. The first example concerns children...Whether it is discussing our/your own children; or if we have to think back to when we were a child ourselves. When we were obedient to our parents, it showed our love for them and our trust, or faith, in them. But, when we were disobedient there was something lacking...typically, an amount of love or trust towards them; especially, in light of self or our own selfish desires. Which, showed a disregard and disrespect for/toward our parents. There was, of course, discipline that came as a result...with the why, or motivation behind the discipline, being to teach obedience.
The second example we'll use is the military. Every service member, or member of a nation's Armed Forces, has a free will...which the Lord has also given us. However, they can not just go wherever they want to go when they want to go, they can not say whatever they want to say when they want to say it, and they can't just do whatever they want to do when they want to do it. There are detailed and delineated instructions or orders, which must be followed to keep order and discipline. And, these are adults. This is the exact same thing, obedience, that the Lord is teaching us. It is not so much about control as it is about obedience. This obedience must be maintained in order for the Body of Christ, or in this example the Armed Forces, to function and be effective in what they are doing. There can't be 20 different standards for a unit. There's no consistency in that type of environment.
God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34); so, what He requires from One, He requires from all. Just like Jesus kept all of the law, that is obedience to the Father in everything, and He also kept the Spiritual laws of God - He was obedient in everything; every jot and tittle of the law. God gave us a free will because He wants us to choose. He created us in His image and gave us the ability to choose - Because He wants us to choose Him. He wants to be our choice. He wants Himself (God) to be our delight; to take pleasure in Him, just like He takes pleasure in us.
At the core of that is what it's truly about: obedience. And, learning obedience so that we would be able to walk with the Lord, just like Jesus, Just like Enoch (Genesis 5:22; Genesis 5:24), Adam in the Garden who walked with the Lord in the cool of the day. Now if we get back to the purpose of the law; which was to learn obedience to the Lord. This can be traced back all the way to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam was given a task, you or I might call it a law or commandment, and the task was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Now if Adam and woman, his wife later to be renamed Eve under the curse, remained in obedience to the Lord, they would have remained in fellowship with God for eternity. However, their disobedience led to their eternal separation from the Lord.
When it comes to Obedience vs. Disobedience society tends to downplay the significance of disobedience. Where excuses or leeway is given for not following the instructions in their entirety, or down to the letter. Now, we don't mean the letter of the law, but following instructions as they were given and meant for us to accomplish. Disobedience tends to get downplayed; but, to the Lord, it makes all the difference in the world. We need to come into His perspective; view disobedience through His mindset so we can have a better understanding of His nature and His character. Why obedience is so important to the Lord; and should be to us.
If we again look at the Garden of Eden, it's easy to see why Adam and Eve thought; If we eat this fruit... It won't be that big a deal to God. Rationalizing with themselves; it's just a small thing...just a piece of fruit. That's the extent of it. What's the big deal? but, as we read in Scripture concerning how that event played out; it made all the difference to the Lord. We need to begin to see disobedience through His perspective; as doing so provides insight into His nature and His character. There are many other examples for us to learn from.
Let's look over 1 Samuel 15. King Saul was sent on a mission to battle and defeat the Amalekites, by the Lord. A mission, to free the people; and, one could argue, was a test of his (King Saul's) obedience. Saul initially received these instructions from the Lord, through the prophet Samuel. As we read over this section of Scripture, particularly verses 17 through 26, concerning King Saul's actions; observe the grace given by the Lord in sending Samuel to provide correction for disobedience, and attempt to bring Saul back into alignment with the Lord. Saul attempts to defend himself stating that he was obedient and blames what happened on the people. But the Lord addresses that, through Samuel, and as a result, Saul is able to acknowledge his disobedience before the Lord. And the point of bringing up this example isn't to point out another person's flaws. No, not at all! It's to reflect on our own life and walk with the Lord.
We should ask ourselves; how many times have we not done something the Lord told us? Whether He told us face to face, we sensed it, we felt it in our hearts, through a dream, or in a vision, or however else the Lord communicated with you; how many times has that happened and we haven't been obedient because of fear? Because, ultimately, at the core of the reason(s) or excuses we try to reason away our inaction with; culture, peer pressure, or any other reason...it's fear.
Also, in this section of Scripture (1 Samuel 15:23), the Father's perspective on disobedience is made very clear:
Rebellion is equal to the sin of divination (also known as witchcraft).
Insubordination is equal to the sin of idolatry (serving anything other than the Lord God).
The Lord's perspective on the sin of disobedience (James 4:17), is viewed the same as rebellion, insubordination, witchcraft, and idolatry. The Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul informs us; Whomever, you yield yourself or your members to is who you serve, or who you live for...That's who your god is (see Romans 6:12-13 for greater explanation). God wants us to be a servant to Him only.
A key truth that we may tend to overlook is: Partial obedience is disobedience. If we reexamine the actions of Saul, in 1 Samuel 15, that [partial obedience] is exactly what he did. Partial obedience is disobedience. We must be completely obedient to everything the Lord tells us. All that He requires, all He's asked of you; because there is a reason He gave those specific instructions. They are important and they matter; whether we can understand or perceive the reason at the moment or not...He knows the reason(s) why it matters, and all it will accomplish.
Which, brings us right back around to the example concerning children; when either we were disciplined as children, or we have to discipline our own children. Based on our age, maturity, level of understanding, or manner in which we comprehended the instructions; we may not have possessed a complete comprehension of why things needed to be completed in a particular way, given to us by our parents or the person in authority described the directions to us. Ultimately, it didn't matter. They [Our parents or person in authority] was looking for us to follow them, exactly as the command(s) were given. And, to ensure it was done.
As a child, my siblings and I, were told by my dad to go wash the car. And, the work was to be completed in excellence. Well, when we got out there we began washing the car; but, then we decided we were going to wash the other car also. And then, we got tired while we were in the middle of washing the other car. So, we ended up doing a less than spectacular job on both vehicles. I'll never forget my dad's face when he saw the vehicle...he looked so disappointed. All he asked was something simple, because he had something in mind and wanted to see the goal carried out. But, I thought I was helping him with a better idea (washing both cars); however, we ran out of steam. This entire event left a very distinct impression in my mind; the task the thought process, the fatigue, and ultimately my father's disappointment as a result of my disobedience. Now I'm sure we've all had similar events in our lives, whether one or many, which has resulted in sadness and disappointment from our parents. And this is just a natural example, with our natural parents; of how much more a matter is this concerning our Heavenly Father? All I had to do was exactly what he asked, and he [my father] would've been pleased.
Now, there's more to this than understanding disobedience is sin. Yes, Scripture tells us this very plainly in James 4:17 (NASB); Therefore, (A)to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. This is a reiteration of the Lord's perspective on sin which we observed in 1 Samuel 15:23, concerning King Saul. Let's look at the example for us given through God's servant Moses; whom the Book of the Law was given through, to teach us obedience. This is important because the Lord's perspective on disobedience never changes...for anyone.
Moses was a servant of the Lord. The Lord's report of Moses was that he was faithful in all His [The Lord's] house (Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:5). Now, Moses, also being a man wasn't perfect...not that being a not perfect man is an acceptable excuse. The Lord addresses disobedience, even in Moses' life, and Aaron, as given for us in Numbers 20:12 (NASB). But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” The Lord's perspective on disobedience remains the same; regardless of the individual, their title, or position in life. What God stated to King Saul is also stated to Moses (Numbers 20:22), when He informs Moses that they rebelled against His command. Now there were still years of great exploits for the Lord in leading Israel through the wilderness and overlooking the promised land. At the end of Moses's life, God again reminds Moses why He isn't going to lead Israel into the promised land in Deuteronomy 32:51 (NASB)... because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the (CW)wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. Now, there's more to this than understanding disobedience is sin. When we look at obedience; it is simply this...
Obedience to the Lord is Faith in Action!
The Lord makes it easy to understand, obedience is faith in action, and obedience is what's required of us. If we look at Moses, Moses was an individual that clearly the Lord cared very much about, as He [The Lord] does with all of us. But, the Lord very plainly said to Moses, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among the people (Deuteronomy 18:18)." So clearly, there was something about Moses; and, about his walk and relationship with the Lord. Yes, he was human, not that the statement qualifies as an excuse. The standard for us is total obedience in every area and aspect of our life, to whatever the Lord asks us to do.
Jesus is our pattern example, but let's also look at the legacy our Lord and Savior left behind; or, what He taught His disciples and how they conducted themselves. If we look at Acts 5:17-42, we can see that the disciples are standing before the High Council; and the obedience they demonstrated to Lord is incredible.
The Apostles are imprisoned. The Lord works a miracle and has them released. The Apostles continue preaching and teaching, just as they were previously arrested for. Are arrested for a second time; and now they're standing before the High Council for questioning. The exchange says. " We gave you strict orders. Not to continue teaching in his name, in this name, and yet you have filled your Islam with your teaching and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. But Peter and the apostles answered, we must obeying God, rather than the God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand, as a prince and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit. God has given to those who obey Him" Acts 5:27-32 (NASB).
Even in the midst of trials, persecution, imprisonment the Apostles had just experienced for the kingdom of heaven, they pressed on; and continued to fulfill the instructions that they had received from the Lord. Doing exactly what they had been commanded; or, what the Lord had put on their heart to do. Throughout the Word there are countless examples of people whom made the decision to be obedient to the Lord, regardless of the situation.
Examine the parable of the woman and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). Now, at first glance, this is a parable about pressing on prayer. And, most Bibles are going to be titled something along those lines. That is good. Pressing on in prayer is a must in the life of a Christian or unbeliever. But, there is more to the parable of the woman and the unjust judge...she was continually going to him looking for justice. And, at the end of the parable, the Lord makes us the statement starting in verse seven. He says, now will not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night? And will he delay long over them? I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7-8 (NASB)
When Jesus ends the parable He plainly states He will bring about justice for them quickly. Yes, His bringing justice is a given. If we read Scripture, we know that this was already set in motion since the beginning; because He called the end from the beginning. But, it's almost like he changes the topic at the very end of the very last sentence... However, when the Son of Man comes or returns will He find faith upon the earth? In order to answer that question, there are two questions we must ask ourself. The first question is; what is obedience? Obedience is Faith in Action. So, the second question is; what is faith? Faith is a total trust and dependence upon the Lord in every area and aspect of life.
Obedience demonstrates that we have faith and love in Him, in His Word; and, what he has told us that he will do. Which means we also have corresponding actions, which is our obedience. James calls it faith without works. Faith without works is dead, right? So that means you believe in your heart but you also have the corresponding actions. We believe God is who He says He is, therefore we obey what He asks us to do. That's our corresponding action - our obedience.
It's not just about reading the Scripture and saying oh, well, Scripture says, We got to do this and this and this; because then that returns it to a bunch of laws and rules and bondage. Again, the law was meant to teach us obedience; how to walk with exactly how to walk with the Lord. Everything we say and do; and, even where we go, should be directed by the Lord.
And The Lord directs or leads us by His Holy Spirit. Notice back when the disciples were standing before the High Priest, the very end of those section of scriptures the Holy Spirit who was given to them out of that relationship out of coming into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, they received the infilling and or the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and He then guided them on what to say what to do where to go. etc, etc, throughout the affairs of life. And so that's what the Lord is saying, when his Holy Spirit comes. When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, listen to Him; because he's telling you what the Lord wants done in the moment. He's telling you where to go, what to do, what to say. Not only do we obey the written word of God, we have obey the spoken word, the Holy Spirit.
What he is saying to you, whether it's face to face, spoken, Moses, whether it's in a dream, whether it's in a vision, whether it's something you sent in your heart, or any other way that the Lord chooses to connect and tell you or minister to you - That is what we are, to be obedient to.
I'll give you three examples, if you will. Three people. Three beings that are examples for the life that we are to live out, as an example. The first example, of course, being Jesus - our Lord and Savior. John 8:42 (NASB) says, "Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God. For I have not even come on My own initiative. But he is the Father sent me." And, John 12:49-50 (NASB) Jesus says, "I did not speak on my own initiative. But the Father Himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to say, and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me." How did the Father tell Jesus? The Father told Jesus through His Holy Spirit.
Smith Wigglesworth used to exhort people on our need to minister the Holy Spirit; because, if we ministered the Spirit, we are ministering life. If we are not ministering the Spirit, if it's coming out of our flesh, even though we may say the right things, or what sounds good, even though it's scripture. If what we are saying or doing is coming out of our flesh, then we are administering death.
The second example, is the Holy Spirit. John 16:13-14 (NASB) states," But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you."
Retouching on what Smith Wigglesworth stated, with this Scripture about the Holy Spirit in mind; we should clearly see how or why ministering the Holy Spirit (Or Holy Ghost as Wigglesworth would say) is giving life. So, when you take a scripture out of context, even using a scripture wrongly, is ministering death to someone. Yes, Scripture is the written word of God. But, it's twisted, when it's not the right word that applies to that situation - coming from the Holy Spirit - that now becomes something that's not the appropriate tool for that person at the time. So even if I give you a scripture, but it's not what God is saying to you right now; I'm still not blessing you. Because, that's not the right tool for the job. That's not the right word for where you are, or for what you need to solve the problem, when the Holy Spirit knows. Notice here in John 16, the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. He doesn't miss direct us or miss guide us. When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness. Satan came with the Scripture. He came with a couple of scriptures, but they were wrong. Yes, their word says that; however, Satan was misusing, and manipulating, and twisting the way that he was trying to serve them to Jesus to get him to act in a way that was unbecoming. That was in violation of the Word of God, the written word of God. That's again, why Jesus responded with the truth, the accurate usage of the Scriptures for the situation.
Also, in John 16: 14, says this about the Holy Spirit, He will glorify Me because He takes what is from the Father, and discloses it to us. We are told to give a word, to be ready to give a word in season. Giving a Word in season is not just telling you something to "make you feel good." Because again, that's ministering out of the flesh, which is death. And that takes us back to what Saul did... which is what seemed like a good idea to him. Not actually doing what God said or what the Holy Spirit's saying at the moment for you, and the time and season.
Everything Jesus did was to glorify His Father. Again, His driving force was to be pleasing to the Father. Now these couple examples that we've just given you, it's easy to say, well, that was That's God. That's Jesus. That's the Holy Spirit. It's different for them than it is for us. But no, it is not. What does John 7:16-18 (NASB) say? So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is of God, or I am speaking from Myself. The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. We can see clearly that it is a pattern and example for us. Jesus, we know it was the pattern and example for us. It's also our Heavenly Father's expectation for each of us to apply this pattern to our lives; saying what the father says to say, doing what the father says to do, how he says to do it. That was exactly how Jesus lived out his life. We are exhorted to have the mindset which was in Christ Jesus.
The Bible calls our Lord Jesus, the firstborn among many brethren. Meaning that Jesus is the eldest sibling or the oldest child. If you grew up in a family with multiple children, or you had multiple children, you know the oldest is the example for the younger ones. We see that nature, carrying out that very sentiment that the oldest is the example. So Jesus, to whom we are joined heirs with Him, He is our example. That means we are to strive to be like Him, we are his body. My body doesn't look like someone else. It looks like my body. So we are to be just as He patterned us; just as the example is, we are to make ourselves look like Him. This applies to us; and, we can also see that in Scripture. We'll see it in the example of Moses.
If you turn to Exodus 34. We see in the first half of that chapter Moses is allowed to see the Lord's glory. In the second half of that chapter, Moses is going in and out of the Tent of Meeting; speaking with the Lord and speaking with the people. Moses has to put on the veil when he comes out of the presence of the Lord, and speak to the people, because they were afraid His face shone. But in Exodus 34:34 (NASB), something very interesting is stated; which also goes to this pattern example for us and how it applies to our lives.
But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded (Exodus 34:34 NASB). Moses did not paraphrase, he didn't put his own spin on things; he spoke exactly what the Lord told him to give them for their life and for their well being. In order to teach them [The Children of Israel], to guide them, to equip them, and train them in the way they should go - into a full, complete relationship with the Lord; which is what the Lord wants for every one of us. This was obedience.
This level of obedience to the Lord, which we also see in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, only comes as a result of love. Pertaining to our ability to stand in the Lord; it really comes down to growing our love and how much we actually love the Lord. Because, how much we love Him will be demonstrated by our reciprocation of His love, through our obedience to the Lord. And, this is exactly what Jesus prayed for in High Priestly Prayer (John 17:13 NASB), But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. When Jesus was asked about the food to eat, the disciples later to be apostles did not know or understand what He meant when Jesus very plainly states, " My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me in accomplish His work" (John 4:34 NASB). That was his, as we stated, His driving force, His joy; and, He says to have that joy made full in themselves...In his disciples. Which is ultimately us, as Christians, as believers, and as followers of Christ. It's not about sacrifices, not about the law; It's about obedience.
Jesus also speaks to the love aspect in John 17:25-26 (NASB) saying, “Righteous Father, [i]although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” As we mentioned in our post about standing, about growing our love for Christ, we can only stand if we are reciprocating God's love towards us. God is love. He's given it to us. Love must be reciprocated, as shown by our obedience. Jesus said, If you love me, you'll keep my commandments.
First John (1 John 5:3) repeats that, and adds to it that His commandments are not burdensome. Jesus told us that himself, when He invited us to go to Him...“Come to Me, all [v]who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find[w]rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light" Mattew 11:28-30 (NASB). So the commandment is the same as being obedient. If you love God, you'll show him that by keeping the words that he speaks to you. And you know, it's something that's not labor intensive. You have to control yourself. Sure, but, it's easier than suffering from the weight and the penalties of sin for sure. The more you grow and develop your love for him, the easier it is for you to keep His commandments, because you'll desire to do it. Jesus is telling us in these last scriptures, that He wants to take away what looks like a natural version of joy, and fill us up with that desire to do the will of the heavenly Father; which Jesus desires to do. The will of the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. We become unified with them in that one direction and one goal.
There's a lot of talk of unity. Many people are talking about unifying on their own goals in the earth. We were designed to unify with the Heavenly Father, unify with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, to do the will of the Father; so His way, His plan, His kingdom can come in the year of His Will. His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven; and we carry out those things that are pleasing to Him. Ultimately that will lead us and guide us back to our heavenly abode, and our place with him in eternity.
It's easy to be obedient to the Lord, if we trust him. And, we can't trust him unless we truly, genuinely, love him. When we love Him, we can trust Him, and then it's easy to be obedient to Him. Now, honestly, we have to get to this place. It is imperative for the body of Christ to live our life in this way, in this time and season. So, if that's not how we have been conducting our our lives up to this point; we must first repent. Our Heavenly Father is loving, gracious, merciful, and forgiving. He will forgive us for our disobedience. He's faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins, of all unrighteousness, and cleanse us so we will be white as snow. We must first come with a repentant heart; and after that, begin this walking in this way.
I want to encourage, and challenge, you to start asking the Lord for His input in everything. No matter how big or small you think it is; ask Him. Lord, which way should I take on the drive to work? What should I eat this morning? What should I buy? Whatever it is give him a say. Invite Him to offer his opinion, and welcome Him in to have a say in every aspect of your life. He's a gentleman. What does scripture say? I stand at the door and knock. The Lord is not just going to come barging in. He's waiting for you to allow Him to have the say in your life and be your God; with you being His son or daughter. His people through Christ.
Now, if our life is currently set up in such a way that we don't allow Him or He can't talk to us about things in our life, because we've already formulated a plan; then He probably isn't or won't talk to you about those things anymore. He may have stopped talking to you about an area or aspect of your life. We're gonna go back to our Lord and Savior being a gentleman. If we don't want His input in our lives, He's not obligated to give it. And, He won't override your will if you've already decided and determined that He's not welcome on that particular topic. Even if you don't mean it maliciously; it's still a choice that you are allowed to make, and God won't override that. But, He does ask and wait for you to welcome him in. If you've hardened your heart for so long that you are unable to remember the last thing He spoke to you about - Go back to the first thing...Repent.
When we make that correction with Him, the Holy Spirit will begin to speak to us again. And for some some it's the case that they have not obeyed the first thing that God said to them and it feels like I'm not hearing God's not talking to me anymore. The Holy Spirit is always speaking, but you have positioned yourself outside of his voice and not being obedient. So my my pastor who's gone on to be with the Lord now you saw always say God is not obligated to repeat himself. Meaning he does because he loves you and he's kind and gracious. But when he's already given you instructions or command, for example, go to this job and you go, No, I don't want to go over there. Then he's not going to continue to talk to you about that. He will for a while. But, once you harden yourself and set yourself against being obedient to Him, He's not going to override your will; and, you you might find yourself feeling like God's not talking to me anymore. Well, what's happened is that you've made it into such a case that you don't want to hear His voice on certain things, because you didn't obey Him. If you love him, keep His commandments. You know He's trustworthy. You'll be safe in His hands. On your own, you'll have to deal with the repercussions. In Him and when we are obedient to His commandments, you're safe. Be obedient. So, how do you fix disobedience to the Lord? Repent. Repent, come back into alignment with Him and His leading. He wants to lead your life for your good, and for His glory.
The last thing we want to encourage you in is to obey Him. Even in the "little things" that we don't think matters. Trust the Lord. His trust in us must be developed. We must be found faithful. Many times we tend to approach our faithfulness with a well, I'll be faithful in the big things. You can trust me in the big things Lord. Well, how is that possible? How is the Lord supposed to get to the place where He can trust us in the big things, if we can't be found faithful or obedient in the little things? So, don't sit and wait for the big things to come along. Begin in the little things and be found faithful with few, so that we can trusted with much. That is the start of how to begin walking in complete and total obedience to God in everything He says; and eventually we will be if we continue in this kind of formation to the image of Christ. Living out our life by having the same mindset there was in Christ, complete and total obedience, and submission, to our Lord and our Father.
We'll begin to find that our ears are fine tuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit; and the more we obey Him, the easier it becomes the quicker we are to respond. The more we hear Him, the greater the clarity with which we will hear all the directions and instructions He is speaking to us. Jesus was given the Spirit, the Holy Spirit without measure, because he had learned obedience and was found faithful in all things. He [Jesus] could be trusted with everything. He didn't have his own agendas. He did not disobey the Lord. He never hardened his heart. He didn't even when he had a choice, and His emotions were speaking very loudly. He still said, "Nevertheless. Not my will, but Your will be done."
We see Jesus' obedience to the Father, by His Faith in action. Will we become conformed to the image of Jesus, the Christ, so people will see Him in us?
***This post is adapted from the teachings: Obedience is Faith in Action Pt. I and Obedience is Faith in Action Pt. II; to bring the Word to all the nations, in each individual's preferred language.***