On obedience

woman-149928_640Genesis 7:5: And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

Obedience to God always has to do with paying a price. You need to pay a price, which is a price in your self-will, a price of commitment, a price for change.

For Moses to obey God to take the mantle of leadership in Israel (Exodus 3) he had to change the plan he had for his life. He cannot go on the road he had channelled for himself and also go on the path of God.  God has called him to bring change, for that he needed a change of direction.

When God called him, he can no longer be a private man. Everything he did, even the woman he married was up for scrutiny.  Aaron and Mariam complained of the wife he married (Numbers 12:1). If not for his obedient to the call of God, he would have continued living with his father-in-law, herding his sheep, unknown, unsung.

David was called by God to be king, without that call he would not have gotten into the trouble with the current king Saul. He would probably had died as a shepherd in the backwoods of Bethlehem. He would not have amounted to anything.

But the road to becoming a king was fraught with many challenges. The call attracts many opposition, puts you in conflict. (Paul said, a door has been opened to me, but there are many adversaries [1Corinthians 16:9].)

It is a principle that runs throughout the bible. Even Jesus could not escape the conflict which comes with being yielded to the call of God. If he had remained a carpenter, he would not have been a threat to anybody, and his life would not have been cut short, because it was those who opposed him because he obeyed God who worked towards his death.

Abel was obedient to God, doing what pleased God, but he died in the hands of his brother who was jealous of the result he got with God, because that made him feel inferior (Genesis 4:1-12). Therefore you can obey God into trouble.

It was because the disciples obeyed God, as they became witnesses in Jerusalem after his resurrection, that they were persecuted and suffered social dislocation from Jerusalem as they were dispersed abroad (Acts 8:1).

If Paul was not obedient to the heavenly vision when as a Pharisees of Pharisees, a Jew among Jews, asked to take the message of Jesus to the end of the gentiles’ world, he would not have received so many beatings in his life, lied against and jailed for an offence which he knew nothing about, suffered shipwreck (2Corinthians 11:23-30). The path of obedience is the path of conflict, do not let anybody deceive you otherwise.

As mentioned earlier, if Jesus had not yielded to the call of God, he would not have died on the cross. He would have lived a quiet life, and died as an old carpenter. But yielding to the call of God, he gets to be the life-giving spirit to us all (1Corinthians 15:45).

Therefore, regardless of how difficult it was, obeying the call of God is worth it because that is the key to our lasting significance.

David had no claim to significance except in the context of the call of God on his life. God told him: I brought you from following sheep to be shepherd over my people Israel (2Samuel 7:8). He needed to understand that he was not appointed king for himself, but because of God’s people.

Solomon who became king after him, was not the firstborn. So kingship for him was a call not just about his lineage.

He was chosen among many possible candidates, though the child from an adulterous relationship, and the least morally sound choice for a king after the formidable reign of David.

After being picked to be king, he did not take his position with levity, but when he had the opportunity he asked God for wisdom to be the best king possible (1Kings 3:5-13), so he will serve the people to the optimum. And he ushered in a time of prosperity and abundance in Israel, because the one who is called gets to partner with God to change the wold.

Gideon, if not for the call of God to be a deliverer for Israel in the book of Judges, would have died an insignificant man. His natural credentials are poor. The least in his father’s house, from the least tribe. His self esteem was not in the best shape, but his obedience was, and that was the key through which though an unknown man, he was translated to national prominence almost overnight. That is what obedience to the call to stand out can do for you.

Those who answer God’s call get to change the world. This is because they carry the presence of God. When God called Moses, he wasn’t supposed to try to make it on his own, the same with Joshua, and everyone else God called. They were meant to be extensions of him, carrying out his mind, his power, presence and purpose, mandate.

When Jesus sent his disciples to the mission field, he said he was going to be with them supernaturally (Matthew 28:20). He said: I am not going to leave you as orphans, I will come to you (John 14:18).

Those who answer God’s call create change in their generation. They are no mean men, they have been chosen to cooperate with the God of the universe. But they have also set themselves up for great conflict.

The conflict is because the devil has set himself on a path of conflict with God. Paul said that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:10-12), against spiritual wickedness in high places, who push out knowledge that are in opposition to the true knowledge of God (2Corinthians 10:4).

Another name for Satan is rebellion. Samuel told King Saul that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, while rebuking him for disobeying God, or modifying the command of God (1Samuel 15:23).

Obedience is death to self, since we are the slaves of the one we obey, we also manifest, represent the one we obey. When Eve disobeyed God in the wilderness, she stopped representing God, and she manifested the devil (Genesis 3). So a walk of obedience is a walk manifesting God, manifesting light and power and presence of God.

When Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his son, he was not supposed to represent himself but Abraham. He was a trusted servant and that was what he did (Genesis 24).

Because of the level of obedience that Jesus operated in, he was able to tell the disciples that if they have seen him they have seen the father (John 14:9). The one you obey have established control over you. That we why are told not to obey the flesh, allowing its works to be established in our life, unto death, but rather we should obey the Holy Spirit, leading to life (Galatians 5:16, 6:8).

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