OBEDIENCE (Lesson 7)
As we continue on, we look to the promise God promised to Abraham, because Abraham was obedient to God:
The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time And said, I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld [from Me] or begrudged [giving Me] your son, your only son, In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies, And in your Seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.
(Gen 22:15-18 Amplified Bible)
The Hebrew meaning for the word "SEED", is FRUITFUL, and from the Greek, OFFSPRING. Also, as follows, is: descendents, of moral quality, practitioner of righteousness.
As I consider the promise God had given to Abraham, not only for himself, not only for his immediate family, but, for the nations of the earth, I must ask myself, "What about my own life of obedience, and what about my offspring?" Am I willing to be completely obedient to God, to trust Him, in all that He might ask of me? Let's look at Acts 16:31:
And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. (Acts 16:31 Amplified Bibile)
Wow, there it is! The same promise God had given to Abraham. Here God asks me to believe ... to believe in Jesus Christ. Of course, we see here, it is not simply a form of head knowledge, but of complete spiritual surrender to Him. How great Jesus is, in that the promise made in this verse is, the same applies to my household, as well. If they too, will believe .. if they too will surrender their lives to Christ, they also shall be saved. This offer of salvation is to both myself, and to my family (offspring). And, I simply need only to entrust my life to Jesus Christ. But wait! Where does obedience fit into this? Obey Him, in believing? Yes, but there's more to this, than simple belief. To believe on Jesus, is to belong to Him. To belong to Him, is to obey Him, even as Abraham did.
And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God's will in thought and deed), and he was called God's friend. James 2:23 (Amplified Bible)
Here, it is revealed how greatly important it is to "obey" God. Through such obedience to His will for our lives, we truly do surrender all, in that we adhere to, trust in, and rely upon God. Such trust, and obedience is counted as righteousness.
It takes faith to obey God. Abraham was obedient to the point of not even troubling his mind, as to where God was to send him, nor in what God had planned for his future:
[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. (Heb 11:8 Amplified Bible).
Obedience also purifies the soul. Let's look at what it says in God's Word:
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Pe 1:22-23 KJV)
Ok, so I can handle obedience by trusting Jesus, but placing my life in His hands. But, what if, in so doing, I must suffer? What if I experience great sorrow? What if there is physical pain involved? I mean, I consider how some of the Prophets of old, did quite a bit of mountain climbing. If, at my age, I had to mountain climb, as did they, my joints and muscles would be screaming! Consider a very painful time, during Abrahams life. Not only pain to him, but to many others, as well. Please read Gen 17:9-27 (for the sake of this reading being quite lengthy, I'll not include it here, but rather ask that you please read it at your leisure).
Then, the Lord reminds me, no matter what I go through ... no matter how difficult, His promise to me is, if I'll boey Him, He'll not fail me:
But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life. When you are in tribulation and all these things come upon you, in the latter days you will turn to the Lord your God and be obedient to His voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not fail you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them. (Deut 4:29-31 Amplified Bible)
So, do I want Gods blessings in my life? Do you? If the answer is "yes", there is a condition. Obedience! It's up to us. It's our choice. That is the freedom God has given us. He'll not force us. Let's look at Deut 11:27-28:
The blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day; And the curse if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day to go after other gods, which you have not known. (Deut 11:27-28 Amplified Bible)
Again, scriptures reveal the importance of obedience to God. Again, for sake of a lengthy Bible chapter, please read Deut, chpt 30, at your leisure. This is a very important read, as it gives you Gods promises, should we choose to obey Him.
We might ask ourselves ... "Do I really have to obey the Law? Aren't I free to do as I please?" Let's remind ourselve what it is Jesus taught us:
So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. Romans 8:4 Amplified Bible).
Notice it is taught that Jesus didn't come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it "in" us? If we truly do love Him, we will!
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (John 14:15 Amplified Bible)
Reference Scriptures regarding our loving the Lord, and, keeping His commandments:
Joshua 22:5; Mark 12:30,33; John 14:15, 21, 23-24 (consider this whole chapter); John 15:10,14 (this whole chapter, as well.
So, we can choose to be obedient to God, which is to "hear" and "listen" attentively to Him, and to accept His dealings with us. It is to accept as "true" His teachings to be content with them, to be content with His call on our lives, and, to follow Him (His commands and leadings) ..... all to be accomplished by the power fo the Holy Spirit within me, within you ... within each of us! If we are to be Jesus disciples, just as God the Father required obedience of Him, the same will He require of us, and, nothing less!
A dedication prayer:
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people; and they said, All that the Lord has said we will do, and we will be obedient. (Ex 24:7 Amplified Bible)