Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Hebrews 5:8 (NLT)
I was at a conference in 2017 and I heard a minister of God say, ‘if you feel like you are not hearing from God, go back and check the last thing He asked you to do and see if you have done it.’ It struck a chord with me as I thought about how we sometimes live out our Christlike walk – we want a word from God, we want God to speak to us, to lead us and to direct us. However, when He does, we do not always obey Him. It is like stacking up a pile of cards (things to do told us by God) and adding to the pile each time, then at will or our convenience we choose which card to obey. You need to know that God values and highly prizes our daily and wholehearted obedience.
1 Samuel was written as the nation of Israel transitioned from being ruled by judges to being ruled by kings. In a similar manner when we come into Christ we must move completely away from our own self-rule where we do whatever we feel or think based on our limited human knowledge to being ruled, led and directed by God and His greater wisdom. In 1 Samuel 15, the Lord instructed Saul to attack one of the enemies of Israel and to utterly destroy all they have. He was instructed to kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. Saul got his men together and he conquered them. However, he spared the king and the best of the animals and all that was good. As a result of this the word of the Lord came to Samuel the prophet saying, “I regret making Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commands.” Samuel went to meet Saul who said to him on arrival, “Blessed are you of the Lord. I have performed what the Lord ordered.” Samuel immediately corrected him as he heard the sound of the animals in the background, at which point Saul said the people (blaming others) had not destroyed the good things so they could offer it as a sacrifice to your God. Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great a 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.”
In our own eyes we can outline reasons, good and bad, to not always obey God, His word and the Holy Spirit. In some cases, you may even think you are helping God by substituting His word for something else that may look good before Him. All these reasons and substitutions can be likened to burnt offerings and sacrifices. Obeying God is an act of trust, complete trust in Him knowing His wisdom is always best even when we don’t understand it, when it does not make sense to us and when it really hurts our flesh and self-pride.
Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac his promised son in Genesis 22 when his faith was tested. It was a very tough call, one he could have reasoned out with God! But he went along with God, trusting His wisdom, and God provided a miraculous turnaround. Till today Abraham’s obedience is likened to God sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the sacrifice for our sins. Because of his obedience, the Bible says, “This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed-all because you have obeyed me – Genesis 22:15-18 NLT.”
All because you have obeyed me! So, we can ask ourselves – what is our daily test? It is obedience, obedience to God, obedience to His word and obedience to the Holy Spirit! You too can learn obedience by practicing obedience every day and trusting God’s wisdom with all your heart. It will lead you to a fulfilled life in God.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the obedience of Jesus that led to my salvation today. I pray for the strength, courage and boldness to always obey you. To obey your word, to obey your voice and to walk in the path you have for me. And as I walk in obedience to you, may much fruit and blessings abound in my life and in your kingdom in Jesus Name.
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