READINGS: GENESIS 12:1-9; PSALM 119:17-32; ROMANS 12:1-8; LUKE 15:11-32
Happy Sunday to all of us and thank you for not skipping or glossing over this part of the Bulletin. We have a beautiful topic for meditation today. Kindly read to the end. In simple terms, obedience to God means hearing the word of God and acting on it. It implies aligning our will to God’s will; doing what God asks us to do. It is super important we completely surrender to His authority and base our decisions and our actions on His Word. No one can truly walk with God here on earth without obedience and no one can get to Heaven who is disobedient to God.
- OBEDIENCE; THE CRUX OF GOD-MAN
God commands and everything obeys. That’s how it works. Obedience, being the expected response to a command proves the acceptance of the higher authority by the subject. Obedience shows the faith of a follower in the reasoning of the superior. Obedience depicts trust in leadership. Obedience removes ambiguity from leader-subject command structure. Obedience to God encapsulates our acceptance of his sovereignty and essence. There is something magical and transformational about saying “yes” to God. In Genesis 12:1-7 where we read in the service today, Abraham’s response to God showed unprecedented trust in the one directing him. Abraham didn’t know God. No prior knowledge of his ways, yet he obeyed, leaving behind his country, his people and his father’s house.
God is the object of our worship. Obedience to him is our act of worship as it demonstrates our love for him. John 14: 23-24 says anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. If we call ourselves that we are children of God and claim to love God, do we demonstrate that love by obeying His commands. Can God truly count you as one as one of His Children? Do we align our daily actions with God’s word as an act of worship?
- LOVING GOD MEANS LOVING HIS COMMANDS
It is impossible to have a genuine affection for God, who is holy, and not strive to be holy like him. To desire God is to desire holiness; to love God is to love his perfect goodness. And if we truly love his goodness, then we will seek to be good ourselves: “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). John is forcing each of us to consider the implications of professing to be a Christian. We cannot love God, who is good, and still wholeheartedly embrace the sin that God hates. Genuine love for God means loving his commandments, which are a reflection of his character. As John writes in his second epistle: “this is love, that we walk according to his commandments” (2 John 6). True obedience, he would have us know, is much more than an outward observation of certain rules; true obedience is embracing the “rightness” of what God has commanded and therefore loving his commands.
- BENEFITS OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD
- Pleasurable to God: Samuel told Saul in 1Sam 15:22, after his flagrant disobedience to God. “Has 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 heed than the fat of rams. Obedience is a big act of worship. In fact, the word ‘obeisance’ which is a gesture of homage, respect and worship means obedience. To pay obeisance means to obey. It was first used in the 14th century. Obedience delights God. Samuel reminded Saul that God delights in obedience. How are you going to delight God going forward?
- Protection: An obedient child of God is safe from all harms and assault of the enemy because he stays where God asks him to stay. Psalm 1:1-2 says he does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. When you live in obedience, the covering of God on you remains intact. Obeying God means you are on the side of God. God’s side only wins. When we obey the laws of God, no adversary can rise against us. As soon as Solomon began to deviate, he was opened up to the enemy, I Kings 11:14. We saw how God kept protecting Abraham from dangers. A man living in disobedience to God is unduly exposed to satanic embarrassment.
- Intimacy with God: Exodus 33:11 says the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend…… Obedience naturally attracts intimacy or closeness. Obedience in this context can be viewed as loyalty. When you are loyal or obedient to your boss, he draws you closer. If you are interested in intimacy with God, obey him.
- Success: The path to success is the path of obedience. If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land Isaiah 1:19. In Joshua 1:8, God told Joshua, do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that may be careful to do (obey) everything written in it. Then, you will be prosperous and successful.”
- Progress/Promotion/Speed: The three Hebrew men in the book of Daniel who disobeyed the king to obey the King of kings were summarily promoted. Ditto, Daniel. The Psalmist said in Psalm 75:6-7 that, promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, but God is the judge; he puts down one, and sets up another”. If you genuinely desire progress in any area of your life, please stay obedient. You can’t remain rebellious to God and expect him to promote you. God is just.
- Material Prosperity: Abraham in Genesis 12 obeyed God. In Chapter 13:2, the Bible says Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. The Dean cited Genesis 24:35 during last Sunday sermon about Abraham’s servant testimony of God’s goodness to his master. He said, the Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and he has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants, and maids and camels and donkeys. Isaac, his son who trusted his father for God to provide a lamb for sacrifice was also extremely rich. He towed the path of obedience. Gen 26:12-14, Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.
- Health: Exodus 23:25-26. “Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.” Deuteronomy 7:12-15. “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you ……. The LORD will keep you free from every disease.” Fathers and Mothers, there is no wisdom in disobeying God as disobedience brings sufferings.
Delayed obedience usually becomes disobedience. Once you receive an instruction from God, the best thing to do is to obey God immediately, or take steps that commit you to obey. The root of problems between God and his people is instruction. Disobeyed instruction was what caused Adam and Eve to lose their place in the Garden of Eden. Most of the problems we have today came as a result of one instruction or the other that we disobeyed, ignored or misunderstood. As we set our mind to wholly obey God in our walk with him, we shall enjoy the blessings thereof. Till we meet again, stay blessed.