SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

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Living in Obedience – The Costs And Benefits, Deut. 11:26-28


You can only meaningfully talk about obedience in the context of a higher authority who issues commands that must be obeyed. At the spiritual level the only being who fits the bill is God the Almighty because He is higher than the highest, Eccl. 5:8, and greater than the greatest. And all lawful and legitimate authority derive from Him, Matt. 28:18, Deut. 32:39. His word is law, in heaven and on earth, Isaiah 55:11, Ezek. 12:25. His power is limitless, Isaiah 45:7 and yet He is gracious and merciful, beyond human understanding, Ex. 34:6.

But He demands obedience particularly from those who know Him, those in whom He has invested His abundant love and kindness. Lucifer was one of the three Archangels who saw Him face to face, a privilege he never asked for. The materials with which He made him was rare and special so that he could serve with distinction, as the conductor of the heavenly choir, Ezek. 28:13-14.

God the unrivalled creator with matchless intelligence achieved His objective. Lucifer was a wonder as the head of the heavenly sanctuary. He was admired by the Maker Himself and the angelic host.

But, unfortunately, success went into his head. He began to see God as his rival. He eventually launched a coup bid that was bound to fail. He could no longer submit to the will of His creator. That was more than disobedience. It was rebellion and God drove him out of heaven, Isaiah 14:12-14. Ezek. 28:15-19. He was no longer Lucifer but satan, the evil one. Jesus confirmed his shameful descent to the earth, Luke 10:18.

Here on earth satan took the opportunity of his presence to cause chaos until the Spirit of God came in to restore order, Gen. 1:1-31. The earth again became productive. Darkness gave way to light. But satan saw the creation of man as an opportunity to interfere with the divine plan for the human race. Adam and Eve were living in quiet obedience until satan located them in the Garden of Eden, their palace and protective shield. He tricked them into eating the forbidden fruit, which God had told them to avoid, as it would lead to their spiritual death, Gen. 2:15-17. However, they gave in to satan’s inducement and, to the delight of the evil one, they lost everything, including their special abode, Gen. 3:16-19, 23:24.

Disobedience certainly has its consequences. Obedience too has its costs. But the latter is to be preferred. Why? Because whatever trials you may experience, as a child of God, the objective is to make you stronger, to quip you for service for which there is reward, Mark 10:29-30. Abraham was childless when God called him and promised to bless him and make him a nation and a source of blessing to all families of the earth, Gen. 12:1-3. He later gave him a son, Isaac, and then asked him to sacrifice this covenant-son to Him. That was a rather tough one but Abraham obeyed, knowing that the God he was relating to was a loving one, not heartless. God blessed him beyond his imagination or expectation, Gen. 22:15-18.

Certainly God’s commandments are not always easy or convenient for man to obey. Jesus told His disciples that no one can be a part of His Father’s kingdom unless he does His will, Matt. 7:21. The Prophets of the Old Testament had to suffer persecution and many were even killed, Matt. 23:37.

Christ Himself was a perfect example of obedience, obedience to the Father in all circumstances, John 5:30. Yet He had to confront satan at the beginning of His Ministry, Matt. 4:1-13. Even the men of power, namely the High Priests, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes, saw Him as an upstart, someone they should harass, Matt. 21:23-27, Mark 12:13-34 and ultimately destry, if they could.

His advice to His disciples, then and now, is that they must “strive to enter in at the strait gate for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able”, Luke 13:24.

Why? Because not all believers would be willing or able to submit themselves totally to the will of the Father, John 6:60. He warned His disciples that since the Jewish leaders subjected Him to persecution they should expect the same treatment from them, John 15:20. The ultimate goal was eternity for which they should struggle. That was the reward for which He too endured crucifixion knowing, as He did, that obedience to the Father’s will, is the key to the heavenly kingdom.




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