The Power of Obedience
27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28Saying, Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Further Reading: Acts 5:14-29
Decisions. How do most of us go about making decisions? Do you try to determine what will benefit you the most, or perhaps you strive to please or impress others? Maybe you let emotions take control or attempt to make a logical choice. Wise men and women learn to obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him. There is nothing more important in life than following Jesus and trusting Him to care for your needs. That sounds a bit ridiculous in the print day worldview of most people! Absurd, ludicrous! Let’s go to the Word.
When the apostles were told to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, they responded, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), and as a result we see the power of reaping and sowing established. Look at Galatians 6:7 “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
Every action has an impact, for good or evil. Our decisions, and the choices of others, determine the quality of our lives. The Bible reminds us in: James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
This is where I want to introduce something to you just in case you didn’t know! Once you have surrendered to Christ be it by emotion, commotion, locomotion, a need for devotion, or perhaps you were moving in slow motion, you made a vow and God has expectations. “You think the student loan folks are bad, cross God and see what happens!” That other stuff is dead gone thrown into a sea of forgetfulness however the expectation of this new life is nows demanded or everybody will be apprised to who you really are, because they won’t see the obvious fruit!
The Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Imagine how different the stories in Scripture would be if mankind knew what disobeying God would cost:
1. Adam and Eve would never have eaten the forbidden fruit.
2. The nation of Israel would have chosen to fight for the Promised Land the first time around instead of wandering 40 years in the desert.
3. After seeing Bathsheba bathing, David would have turned away and walked back inside.
4. Jonah would have willingly traveled to Ninevah to preach the Word of God.
On the other hand, The Lord rewarded those who were willing to follow His commands:
1. Noah was asked to build a unbelievably gigantic boat—which made him look like a complete idiot, “but he was ready when the flood came!”
2. Moses, chose to give up luxury and became a dessert dweller, was told to appear before Pharaoh, the leader of a powerful civilization, and demand freedom for the Israelites. Ultimately, the people were allowed to go.
3. Joshua was told to march around Jericho for seven days instead of relying on the military tactics he knew. And God destroyed the enemy.
4. Nehemiah boldly asked the Babylonian king for supplies to rebuild Jerusalem and received all he needed, including guards to help him safely reach the city.
5. In captivity, Daniel and his three friends refused to eat meat because it was not prepared according to Hebrew dietary laws. Yet they were healthier than all the other young men.
6. Peter and the apostles refused to stop preaching about Jesus, even though they were threatened with flogging and imprisonment.
Beloved as believers, we must:
1. Believe that God is sovereign—He controls all things at all times (Ps. 103:19).
2. Trust that He will work for our good in every situation and circumstance (Rom. 8:28).
3. Love the Lord. The Bible says we show our love for Him by obeying His commands (1 John 5:3)—and not just when they are convenient and desirable.
4. Listen to Him. When you pray, make time to hear what He has to say.
5. Be courageous. Obeying God takes courage because following His will often leads to conflict. You must be willing to do what is right anyway.
6. Fully surrender to Him.
The Results of Obedience are as follows:
1. You will experience personal victory if you follow His will, even if the world does not consider you a success. (See Josh. 1:8.)
2. Obedience leads to the consequential peace and joy in every circumstance.
3. Spiritual growth and maturity results when believers continue to walk with God in the midst of suffering.
Has God spoken and asked you to do something that doesn’t make sense from a human perspective.
The Spirit may lead you to give up a hobby or donate a valuable item.
He may prompt you to give financially when money is scarce.
You may be prompted to serve in your church or take a leadership role although you feel inadequate.
When you need to make an important decision, don’t rely primarily on your own reasoning, the opinions of others, or even what worked in the past.
Three Keys to Obeying His Voice:
A. Get on your knees before the Lord, seek the counsel of leadership and pour out your heart.
B. Spend time prayerfully reading His Word.
C. Listen for His voice, and then follow His specific guidance for your life.
Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. If you will take to heart this one principle, you will have the awesome privilege of watching the Lord accomplish great things in and through you.