There is a subject in today’s world that is not popular among many children, teenagers, and adults alike. Sadly, it’s also unpopular in many Christian circles. That subject is obedience.
It seems you can talk about anything in our society as long as it doesn’t involve adhering to a set of laws, rules, or regulations. Maybe one reason Christians don’t like to talk about obedience is that, in the past, “obedience” sometimes carried a negative connotation. A relationship with Jesus was reduced to a set of rules: “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that.”
In that context, obedience often meant adhering to regulations that were not necessarily in line with the Word of God. They were really the do’s and don’ts of tradition. But when you begin to study the subject, obedience is the underlying theme of the entire Bible. How pertinent this subject is to the Church today!
In the Book of Genesis, we see obedience and disobedience from God’s perspective as Adam’s sons went to worship Him. Abel conformed to God’s laws and brought the proper animal sacrifice according to God’s instructions. But Cain wanted to do things his own way. He wanted God to recognize and approve of him without bringing the sacrifice His way. He wanted to do it his own way and still receive God’s blessings! But God refused his sacrifice. Why? Because He had told man from the beginning how to please Him and, thereby, receive from Him. So Cain’s disobedience made receiving from God absolutely impossible.
God has been specific in His Word to give us a clear-cut path or highway to follow.
You will notice in the Old Testament that no one ever got into trouble with God unless they disobeyed His Word. The same is true in the New Testament. Today, we don’t get into trouble unless we disobey the Word of God. Of course, you realize that God’s Word is His law. Therefore, simply stated, the underlying theme of the Word is obedience with no negotiation.
God is the Creator of all things. He is the only One Who can set into motion the laws of His Word. And we have no right or authority to negotiate with Him when it comes to those laws. He is the final authority.
You see, God has been specific in His Word to give us a clear-cut path or highway to follow. On God’s path, there is no confusion. The road signs in His Word are straightforward. Furthermore, they will always lead us to victory and, eventually, to Heaven. Simply put, those road signs state, “Obey God and His Word!”
Many people in our society think they don’t need to obey anyone or anything. They want to do what they want to do, when and how they want to do it! But obeying natural authority is part of walking in line with God’s Word. Obedience—lining up with God and His Word—is not a popular subject today, but it is vital to the Body of Christ; therefore, it’s something we need to look at more carefully.
Many people in the Church world today are disobeying God and may not realize it. For example, they may be making faith confessions, trying to say all the “right things.” But God cannot bless them because they are failing to submit to His voice in other areas. What He really wants from them is complete obedience.
We can’t live life our own way and then offer God a sacrifice (of prayer, praise, and so forth) and expect Him to bless us. He delights in sacrifices, but not when we haven’t obeyed Him. The Bible tells us, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22). What God delights in above all else is obedience to His Word.
If someone is disobeying God’s Word, His promises cannot come to them in full. It doesn’t matter how much that person confesses the Word, prays, or fasts. If God has told them to do something and they’re refusing to do it, He cannot bless and honor them. Disobedience makes receiving from God impossible!
Obeying God’s Word will give you peace on the inside in the midst of the storm. When you obey God to the fullest, He will take care of you. Whether in the spiritual realm or the natural realm, obeying Him will see you through. It will always bring you victory. Obeying God will let you lie down and sleep at night without any worry. When I’ve fully submitted to Him, why should I fret? Why should I worry? Why should I lose sleep? When I know I’ve obeyed, then I know God has it all under control for me!
That may be why some people are still wringing their hands and having trouble sleeping after they’ve prayed. They may still be crying, “What are we going to do now?” because they know an area where they haven’t yielded to God. They have not completely obeyed, so His promises cannot be fully theirs, and they have a reason to worry and be upset. The only condition to being in God’s blessings is to obey Him!
Many Christians today go to church every time the door is open. They read their Bibles and pray, yet it seems to avail little because they’re short-circuiting God’s power in their lives. Their disobedience in an area nullifies the rest of their efforts. Disobedience cannot bring God’s blessings, and it will eventually bring His judgment.
God is saying specific things to each member of the Body of Christ. Yet many are telling Him what they will do for Him and how they will do it. That’s why we must understand what obedience really is. This knowledge is crucial to the Church in our day.
Are you ready to obey the full counsel of God’s Word? Are you ready and willing to do things His way and not your own? Choose to walk this year according to His perfect will for your life. The blessings that follow your obedience will make you glad you did!
Kenneth W. Hagin
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