“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do, and he will do even greater things than these because I go to the Father. And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.” (John 14:12-15 AMPC)
“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. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and terpahim (household good luck images).” (1 Samuel 15:22-23 AMPC)
There is a call going forth these days to the Bride of Christ; to all Christ-followers to put God as THE PRIORITY of our lives and not just a part of our lives. The days of punching the spiritual time clock are over if we want to be ready to meet Him in the air at the last trump. God is preparing to pour out His Spirit on all flesh as is prophesied in Joel 2:28, “And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” This last day’s outpouring is the last thing before our catching away to meet Jesus Christ. I know this topic is hotly debated but this is my belief and since this is my blog, I’m going to state my beliefs; popular or not.
This call is being answered by many in the Body of Christ. We see lots of meetings where the Spirit of God is moving in powerful ways. People are entering their Secret Places to meet with God in their everyday lives. It’s awesome to see the hunger coming forth from people; to see prodigals coming home to God. I’m glad to be counted in this number of hungry people, and as much as I am doing everything I can to establish an even deeper relationship with Him, He brought these truths to me just this week and wants me to share what He has challenged me with.
We all know the first part of this scripture in John where “if we ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” This is a real faith-builder! But attached to this awesome promise is a caveat. Yes, it’s the “IF” word. IF YOU OBEY MY COMMANDS.” The victories in our everyday walk with God; the signs and wonders all come with the “IF” word. It’s the dreaded command of OBEDIENCE. What exactly does obedience entail? First is our obedience to follow the commandments of the Bible such as the ten commandments (don’t steal, don’t kill, honor your parents, etc.). Then there are the two commandments of the New Covenant to love God first as a priority and second to love others as yourself as Jesus commanded us to. Also in the Bible are the teachings of Jesus such as the sermon on the mount as well as the anointed words of the Apostles. To keep these commandments, it’s imperative that we stay diligently in the Bible by reading and studying it daily. It’s literally our spiritual food.
As part of the first commandment to make God a priority, we are commanded to establish a personal, intimate relationship with Him in the Secret Place of the Most High. It is in this relationship where He begins to speak to us specifically about our purpose, assignments, and instructions. In all of these areas of commandments, we are required by Jesus Christ to obey or give heed to them. Obedience is an action word. It requires us to actually do something. When we treat His instructions as optional, this is disobedience. If we habitually ignore His instructions it becomes rebellion. This is a dangerous path.
Disobedience blocks us from operating in the power of God and it hinders the answers to our prayers. How is this so? Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, watches our disobedience and when we begin to pray for help or engage in spiritual warfare, He can legally block it because we are in the sin of disobedience. God is just and totally righteous. He will objectively look at our lives and if Satan has legal ground, He WILL grant it to him.
When disobedience moves into the realm of rebellion, then it becomes “as the sin of witchcraft” and “idolatry.” What does this do? Witchcraft and idolatry are sitting squarely in Satan’s kingdom and we are outside the blessing realm of God’s kingdom and subject to Satan’s attacks. The only way back is through REPENTANCE. Many would say “but I repented of my sins when I got saved 50 years ago.” Sorry, but sin requires repentance and I don’t know anyone who has successfully lived their whole life since salvation without sinning in word, thought, or deed. If we mess up, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Think of repentance as taking a spiritual shower. It feels so good to get out of a hot shower nice and clean! When our sin is covered by Jesus’ blood, we are squeaky clean in the Father’s sight.
As the Lord challenged me with my disobedience, which in light of some things seems small, but remember, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. Yes, I go to church faithfully, I go to the prayer meetings, I attend all the services, I pray daily to Him, and I read the word regularly. On the surface, I seem to be doing ok right? But in the Secret Place, He has given me specific instructions for my life that I have been ignoring because my flesh doesn’t want to do it. In several areas of my life, I have not been faithful to obey Him.
What has this done to my relationship with Him? Well, my songs of worship don’t cut it; my giving doesn’t cut it either. Obedience is better than sacrifice, Samuel said. When Jesus spoke the words “IF you love Me, you’ll obey Me.” This is the measuring stick He uses to measure our love. Gulp!
Think about it this way; suppose your spouse goes on and on about how much they love you; buys flowers and candy for you; writes beautiful cards and letters to you but in their everyday time with you they prove faithless. They flirt with others, you ask them to pick up dinner and they don’t even come home that night, etc. How much value would you put on their professions of love? It’s all just a bunch of fluff with no substance. That is what our disobedience tells Jesus. It’s just a bunch of fluff.
The Bible tells us to examine our hearts for any wicked ways hiding there. Let’s look at a few scriptures:
“Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways and set your mind on what has come to you. You have sown much, but you have reaped little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages has earned them to put them in a bag with holes in it. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared.” (Haggai 1:5-7 AMPC)
“Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord!” (Lamentations 3:40 AMPC)
“But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.” (Galatians 6:4 AMPC)
There are many love songs to Jesus that we sing in our churches and in our Secret Places with Him, but the true love song to Jesus is our obedience to His instructions and His Word. If we truly love and value Him as the priority of our lives, then we must not take His instructions lightly. They really aren’t optional IF we want to please Him, IF we want to glorify the Father through the Son; IF we want our worship to bless Him. I encourage you, as I continue to do, to thoroughly examine your hearts; your motives, or actions, and even your words against the Bible’s commandments. Has He asked you to talk to someone about Him? Has He asked to lose weight for your health? Has He asked you to pray for someone’s salvation as an assignment? Have you been obedient to do these things? These are important questions and until we can answer “yes” to them, we will not be able to enjoy the fullness of our relationship with Him.
Since we are at the start of a new year, make the choice to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ if you are named as one of His. If you aren’t one of His, that’s an easy fix; just repent and ask Him to come into your heart today and begin to walk with Him every day. Don’t let your life be a bunch of fluff. Let us sing to Jesus His favorite song: the song of obedience. It is truly the only love song He loves to hear!
Don’t know Him?