How Quick is Your Obedience?
Message No. 0540 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
One powerful credential that Abraham possessed before God was his incredibly instant obedience. In Genesis chapter 17 verses 10 and 11, the Bible says God spoke to Abraham:
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
At age 99, it would be completely normal for Abraham to say, ‘Wait a minute, does this rule include me? Lord, are you saying that, at my age, I need to undergo this painful procedure? For children that are born newly and who do not feel pain so much, I accept this covenant, Lord, and will comply when the next male child is born.’ Wouldn’t this have been considered a rational response? Well, no. For Abraham, there were no questions asked. Look at what he did in verses 23 and 24 of the same chapter:
On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised
Abraham’s instant obedience to God’s covenant looked as though he was given a heads up that this covenant was coming and therefore had been preparing for it, but no, he wasn’t. Notwithstanding, as soon as he received the instructions, he immediately sprang into action, gathered all of the male guys in his house into his makeshift OR and started a day surgery.
If this instant compliance was just a one-time thing with Abraham, some could say well, perhaps he was just bored and looking for some action. It wasn’t. In Genesis 22:1-3, Abraham received the most impossible of all instructions yet, from God. He was instructed to take his son, his only son, whom he loved (those were the emphases added by God to be sure Abraham understood the weight of the instructions) and go to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain that God would show him. There were no ambiguities in the instruction. Did God pause a minute to see if Abraham would object? Perhaps He did, but none came, so God rested. Amazingly, the Bible says early the next morning (perhaps the instruction came at night), Abraham loaded his donkey, took two of his servants and Isaac his son, and headed for the journey. It took God’s timely intervention to prevent him from killing his son!
We receive far less-challenging instructions from God today, but that doesn’t stop us from delaying our obedience. When God is telling us to do something, we want to be sure it’s God speaking. We digest the instruction, debate it in our minds and consider the consequences. Finally, we ask Him to let us pray about it. Pray to whom, the same God who gave the instructions?
Now, I am quite aware that most Christians are learners when it comes to hearing from God, so sometimes we are not sure and want to check that it is God who is speaking to us. It was the same thing with Gideon when, in Judges chapter 6, God chose him to deliver Israel from the oppressive hands of the Midianites. Gideon was so unsure that he asked God for a sign three times. He was so nervous, but God used him for the purpose He needed him.
Obedience is so critical to our walk with God, and while He prefers instant obedience as it was with Abraham, He does understand that we sometimes act in the manner Gideon did. We are however nonstarters if we do not pay attention to God’s instructions. Saul behaved as though he did not understand the meaning of obedience. Clearly disobeying God, he purported to have carried out all of His instructions (1 Samuel 15:13). Creating our own alternate reality (as Saul did) does not deceive God one bit. This is the exact opposite of what He expects from us. This year, God expects us to obey His instructions promptly. As soon as we are sure that God is asking us to do something, let us reject every form of hesitation that might show a lack of interest in walking with Him. Obedience has never failed to deliver positive rewards. God always does His own part. Let us pledge to do ours, too. Have a blessed week!
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!