2013 is here! We have walked in it now for several days. There is an expectancy I sense within myself, and so many people I have met. 2013 will be a powerful, abundant year of blessings and breakthroughs. Do you believe it? I sure do.
What are you believing for this year? Allow your faith to arise in your spirit that God will do great things. He is for you! He is on your side!
Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”
Ephesians 3:20 (Message)
“God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
There are no exceptions to this promise. God can and WILL do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think. Think BIG for this new year. When the dream is bigger then you are, or what you can accomplish, it makes you rely on God and follow His leading.
Let’s be those who dream for the glory of God! I love the Lord so much, and I have seen Him do impossible things that were bigger then my wildest dreams. You see it gives God all the glory when we dream bigger then ourselves. If we only dreamt what we could accomplish on our own, we get the glory because we have fulfilled it with our own strength. When we dream bigger then our abilities, power, or strength God is the only One who can make it happen and therefore He receives the glory when the dream is fulfilled, especially beyond our biggest dreams we have dreamt.
Obedience Brings Blessing
We are successful not because of anything we can do, but because of God’s ability. On our own, we will fail. Everyone of us have weaknesses but when you put God into the equation it always adds up to more! God wants us to succeed. He is for us.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
“This Book of the Law shall not depart form your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
This verse shows that we will be successful when you do what the Bible says and obey what it teaches. It’s pretty simple. Actually is not a hardship. God has such basic things we need to follow in His Word for our safety and success.
Obedience use to be a hardship, a dread in my life. I remember when I was a little girl, when my Mom told me to clean my room, I did it with drudgery. I would always say to her; “It’s too hard of work!” I would put a hardship on my Mom just because of my attitude. I found a joy in making my Mom happy when I obeyed her quickly when she told me to do something. This is true with our relationship with God. Often we think it is “too hard of work” to obey the Word of God. Maybe we get rebellious and decide to do our own thing thinking; “Who can tell me what to do?” “I am my own person and I can do what I feel like doing!” Have you ever said or thought those words?
To obey is hard, but we have to obey so many people in our lives. We obey our bosses when they ask us to do something at work. We obey our spouse when they ask us to do something for them. We obey our parents, which there are many promised blessings in God’s Word when we do.
Obedience. Most of the time it is not fun. But I am here to tell you there is a joy in obedience we can have. This joy compels me to obey God all the time, not just when it is convenient, or when it feels good or doesn’t cost me anything. There is joy in obedience and God’s favor follows.
I had a dream the night before I was to write this message. In the dream I was in charge of a group of children. All the children obeyed me except one. He seemed to be disobedient to everything I asked the class to do. I would try everything I knew to get the child to obey and be a part of the class. Still, this child had it in his mind to ignore, or blatantly disregard the rules and choose to be stubborn and self-willed. It caused havoc in the class. Chaos would erupt just because of one child’s disobedience. I was at my wits end when I asked someone from his family for help and insight. They told me to just say, “Do I have to get your Daddy?” When this family member said this, the entire room I was in transformed into a beautiful room, kind of like a living room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was peace, all chaos was gone. I couldn’t wait to use this new secret on this challenging child. It worked! As soon as he started to act up, I said, “Do I have to get your Daddy?” and immediately he quieted down and listened and obeyed me. From then on the class was productive and in harmony.
This reminds me of our walk with Father God. There is a love that He gives which no one else can ever give, and in turn there is a respect we give Him because He is the ultimate authority and power in our life. Often we live our lives not believing or even ignoring our Father. It is easy because in today’s society there is so much disrespect for parents and for leaders, or presidents, or anyone who has authority over us. Let’s be a people who obey quickly. Let’s be people who realize how Holy God is. If you choose disobedience, it shows you do not have a close relationship with God. Obedience to God shows your love for Him. It shows humility. It speaks clearly that you are not your own, but God’s.
Truth about obedience:
- God loves you unconditionally.
We all make mistakes. Truly the mistake you made is not the issue, as much as, your actions and steps before and after the mistake. God sees you. He sees what you are doing right now. He knows if you will obey Him or not. Still, He loves you with an everlasting love. There is nothing you can or can’t do that will take His love away from you. All that said, remember God will not destroy you if you disobey. He gives us chance after chance to start over.
Romans 8:38 – 39 (NKJV)
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The closer you get to God, the quicker you will obey. God will love us back to Himself. When we realize this, It makes for an easier comeback.
2. When we obey we are blessed
First, and foremost, we make good decisions when we choose to follow God’s Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Psalms 119:105 (NKJV)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Obeying God’s word will help shine light on the next step you should take. We can look to God’s Word for any situation we may be facing in life. God has the answers for us. Are you willing to look?
Second, when we obey God, our life has less trials then one who disobeys and continues to make poor decisions for their life.
Proverbs 4:18 – 19 (The Message)
“The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of the wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.”
I almost titled this message: “Right living = Right Results!” If we choose to live right, and follow God’s word, we will achieve right results in our life. Isn’t it awesome that God gave us His word to help bring right results and success in our lives? This makes me want to obey God even more. It shows His love for us.
Proverbs 3:35 (The Message)
“Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize.”
I don’t want anything except the very best from God. If my choices of obeying God brings good results, I will all the more obey Him.
3. When we obey God’s word we choose life!
Deuteronomy 30:19 – 20 (NKJV)
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may life; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
We choose good health when we choose to obey God and His word. He is for us and His word has life. God will not lead us astray. No! God’s direction is always the right direction to take. We can trust God with our life. He created us in the first place. Surely the Creator knows what is best for His creation. He has given us a blueprint, a roadmap for our lives with His word if we choose to follow and obey it. We will live a prosperous, productive, successful life when we do.
4. When we obey it shows we trust God.
What ever happens, whatever you face in 2013 say to yourself: “I trust You, Jesus!” Remind yourself of His power, glory, and love He has for you. This helps trust to build in your heart so you can stand on His principles and His word.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (The Message)
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
Our own understanding can deceive us at times. God sees all. Trusting our own understanding is like the blind leading the blind. We can’t see beyond where we are at, but God sees the past, present, and future. When we are trusting in our own intellect and knowledge there is no room for faith.
5. To obey is better then sacrifice.
There is a story of obedience in the Bible that is so true today (Read 1 Samuel 15). Saul was anointed as King over Israel by Samuel. He was given a command to go and attack Amalek and utterly destroy all that they had. They were not to spare anyone or anything (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul went and attacked the Amalekites. He took their king, Agag, but destroyed all the people. Saul and the people also spared the best sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless was destroyed (1 Samuel 15:9). Then God spoke to Samuel that He regretted setting up Saul as king because he turned his back from following and obeying Him. Samuel grieved all night over this. He left in the morning to meet Saul and it was told him that “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed he set up a monument for himself” (1 Samuel 15:12). Saul sweet talked Samuel saying “Blessed are you of the LORD!” and lied and said he “performed the commandment of the LORD” (1 Samuel 15:13). Samuel asked what was this bleating of the sheep and lowing of the oxen he heard? Saul passed the blame onto the people and said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD you God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:15). Samuel told Saul to be quiet and told him what the LORD told him that when Saul was “little in his own eyes” or thought low of himself, God anointed him as king and was the head of Israel. Then the Lord sent him on a mission to go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they were consumed or exterminated. Why did you disobey and take the spoil and do evil in the sight of God (vs. 17)? Saul proceeded to change the command of the Lord and said He did obey God and brought back the king of the Amalekites, Agag, but utterly destroyed the people. Then he passed the blame onto the Israelites, who He was king over, and said they took the plunder the sheep, the oxen and the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal. Then Samuel replied:
1 Samuel 15:22 – 23 (NKJV)
“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. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Saul confessed he did sin and disobeyed the commandments of the LORD, and that he feared the people and obeyed them instead. But wanted Samuel to make it all right and sacrifice and worship together. Samuel refused because the LORD rejected him as king and walked away. Saul grabbed and ripped his robe and Samuel said, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28). Even after all this Saul still wanted Samuel to honor him in front of the people. This shows Saul was afraid of man more than God. He wanted man’s approval constantly and at a huge price – losing the kingdom and being king of Israel.
We can learn so much from this story. God wants to see obedience. There is a reason He asks, commands, and states what He wants us to do and how we are to live. God sees everything, we only see what is in front of our eyes.
We can do all these good works, but if we don’t obey God, we are wasting our time and energy. Obedience trumps works. You may say, “Isn’t that the same thing?” No, Works, or trying to be good, is not the same thing as obeying God’s word and following Him. We can still have our own agenda, or our own motives, which very possibly may be selfish. Works will not please God, and will not get you into heaven. Believing in Jesus and receiving Him into your heart is the only way to heaven. When we do this, we start to change from the inside out. Our heart learns and wants to please Him and then our actions will follow. It is not the other way around.
6. Obey even when you are afraid.
Fear wants you to run and hide. It wants you to please man, or your flesh. God wants you to finish what you started. Our very obedience could be the catalyst to launch us into something new. It could be the very thing that is needed to obtain our promise land!
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
As we read about Saul and his fear of man and how he was seen by them, do you fall into that category? Saul was insecure with who he was. We know this because 1 Samuel 15:17 states: “So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?”
In Saul’s promotion, even when he saw himself as “less-then,” God promoted him to be king. Saul didn’t overcome his insecurities. They actually grew bigger because he was a people pleaser.
Fear of man will paralyze you from being who God created you to be. Fear of man brings bondage. You will never measure up to the expectations of others. It is a never ending battle. I know, as I was trapped in this snare for much of my earlier years. I always wanted people to approve of me. I would do anything to win the favor of others, when I should have been more concerned with God’s favor and walking in obedience to Him.
Fear of any kind is torment. Fear brings present torment concerning future situations that may never happen. God wants to free you from the inside out. Remember that perfect love cast out all fear (1 John 4:18). Love drives out fear. Love makes the insecure, secure.
Ephesians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)
“May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love.”
7. When we obey we have joy!
There is joy in obedience. Why? Because it stems from your love for God. When we love somebody there is joy involved. Love is something you do. Obedience to God is our love in action.
Psalm 84:5 – 7 (TLB)
“Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow Your steps. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength.”
Something happens to the heart of an obedient Christian. It finds a place of contentment and rest. It knows that all things are possible with God. It has stood the test after every trial and circumstance to see that their obedience to God is a safe place to live.
“When we choose the obedient life, we are permitting God to make our lives all He dreamed they would become. We no longer need to ask what God’s will is because we are continually living in His will. Our goal in life is obedience to Him in the midst of each situation.”
Discovering the joy of obedience
I like that quote. It shows we don’t have to strive to know the perfect will of God. The only thing we need to do is live a life of obedience.
What happiness, what joy we can have in obeying God and His Word! There is blessings for those who obey God. 2013 will be a year of promised blessings and much abundance and advancement. Walk in obedience and do not fear for God is with you wherever you go!
From one obedient child to another,
Pastor Kris Belfils