Basic obedience is at the heartbeat of basic Christianity.
Matthew 7:21 (Skinner paraphrase: “Not everyone that calls Jesus Lord really means it. Only those who do what Jesus says really mean it.”)
Did you know that spiritually, as a Christian, you are created to obey? Spiritually, you are built to obey–not command. Humanly, how are you built? To command. It is not your first nature to obey everyone. It is not your nature to do everything people tell you to do. Human nature is rather to take command or do things your way. For the Christian, spiritually, you are built in such a way that you want to obey and not command. Now if a Christian says, “that is not the way I function,” we know where to find the problem. The problem is lack of obedience.
If you’re tired of obeying, you will not want to read this. Or if you have it all together on how to obey the Lord, you won’t need this. But if you’re like me, you’ll need more and more studies on obedience.
It is never impossible to obey what God asks you to do. Everything He asks you to do, He also gives you the ability to do.
Oswald Chambers said, “There are some questions God cannot answer until you have been brought by obedience to be able to stand the answer. Be prepared to suspend your judgment until you have heard God’s answer for yourself.”
Talking about what God has done for us through providing Jesus Christ His Son is a great thing to discuss, isn’t it? But, people can talk about those things for weeks and yet never obey the One being discussed. Obedience shows what is in your heart. Professing with your mouth does not necessarily mean that you believe He is Lord.
Obedience has to go beyond knowledge…beyond belief.
The demons believe there is a God, but they will not be in heaven—
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! (James 2:19)
What you do reveals what you believe. So if you do nothing, it reveals you do not believe much. Let’s discover 3 simple truths.
1. First Of All, Basic Obedience Is Simple
Basic obedience is simple, but not necessarily easy. Christians sometimes wonder why God does not give them an answer concerning everything they pray about. Why does God help certain people during a crisis time and not others? One of the main reasons why is very convicting.
Suppose you are trying to make a decision about buying a house. What is God’s will concerning that situation? What are you going to do about it? You pray about it and yet you cannot close the deal on the house. So, you seek advice and ask, “Will you help me find my problem?” Asking a few questions may reveal that some things do not match up. A person may say, “Why can’t I get my prayer answered about buying this house?”
I ask, “Are you faithful in your giving to Christ?”
“No,” they say.
People may say they want their marriage to be put back together. But, when you simply ask that person, “Are you obeying the Lord by spending time with Him every day in His Word?” Many times their answer is, “No.”
Is it any wonder our prayers are not answered?
It is the simple basics of obedience that are often ignored. God is not looking for great obedience before He develops a relationship with you, He desires you to obey in the little things first. Disobedience keeps Christians from advancing any further in their faith. It is so simple, yet it seems as though it takes a thousand people and a thousand sermons to point out the problem. Basic obedience is simple. Obedience is simply following the commands of Christ.
People ask, “Why can’t I have greater peace in my life?” Ask them if they confessed their sins today and asked God to fill them with His Spirit. Many times the answer is, “No.” Is it any wonder that many of our prayers are not answered? Some of the basic, simple things of the Christian life are being ignored. Many Christians wish they could learn how to pray better or be a better witness. Yet, you wonder why they are not. The answer is simple. Obedience. The only thing that keeps you from becoming what Christ wants you to be–is disobedience. That’s all. It is so simple.
There are some things that God tells us to do that takes no special discernment or feeling in order to do it. Yet, people are simply trying to find out if they have the right command or if they do not have the right command. Is this what I ought to do in this situation, or should I do this? Would Christ want me to accept this job or teach this Bible class? Continue reading…