Summary: Sermon thirteen in a fourteen sermon series based on the popular Bible study by Henry Blackaby.
We have spoken about the fact that when we sense the direction of
God and have received his invitation to join Him in what He wants to do through us, we come to a “crisis of belief.” Do I really believe that God can do through me what He is calling me to do? Once we have settled that questions with a resounding “yes,” then we are to demonstrate our faith by making whatever adjustments in our life might be necessary to obey God. That will always be the order of our responding properly to the call of God:
In our text, we note that the Son had to make some adjustments before he could obey the father and thus, join the father in the work of world redemption. He made the necessary adjustments (vs. 6-7), so He might obey (v. 8), and receive the resulting reward (vs. 9-11).
In the same way, when we sense God’s call to take a new step of obedience in our walk with Him and determine to respond by faith to His call, that we will first have to make the necessary adjustments to walk in obedience. Once we do that, we can than obey and be blessed as we receive the rewards that accompany that step of obedience to God.
What kinds of adjustments might we have to make in order to obey the call of God? Typically, the adjustments we might have to make in our lives in order to obey God will fall into one of the following categories:
1. An adjustment regarding our attitude - vs. 5-7
Note the attitude of the Son that put him in a position to obey the Father. His attitude was that any price was worth paying in order to join the Father in doing his will.
Even so, God’s invitation to us will also require a similar attitude if we would be in a position to obey. With regard to whatever is required to obey the father’s call, we must have the attitude that any sacrifice that might be necessary to do God’s will is worth making in light of the inevitable reward for obedience.
It was this attitude that enabled Jesus to obey the call to sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sake.
“Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” - Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
Obeying God will always require an adjustment in our attitude regarding the worth of whatever sacrifice is required to obey him.
In Luke 18:18-27, we read that the rich young ruler wanted eternal life, but he didn’t want to make the necessary adjustment to Jesus. His money and wealth were more important. Jesus knew that. Jesus knew that an adjustment had to be made in this man’s life regarding his worship of money and wealth before he could enter into a personal relationship with God.
His money had become his god. The young ruler refused to make that necessary adjustment, and he missed out on reward of experiencing eternal life.
The rich young ruler’s love of money and greed made him an idolater. He missed coming to know the True God and Jesus Christ whom God had sent. He wanted eternal life, but he refused to make the necessary adjustment of his life to the True God.
Contrast his response to that of Elisha, as recorded in 1 Kings 19:15-21. In order to obey God, Elisha had to leave his family and career as a farmer in order to follow God’s call. You have heard the phrase “burning your bridges behind you.” Well, the Bible says that Elisha burned his farm equipment and killed his 24 oxen. He cooked the meat and fed the people of the community. He was not about to turn back! When he made the necessary adjustments, he was in a position to obey God. As a result, God worked through Elisha to perform some of the greatest signs and miracles recorded in the Old Testament (2 Kings 2 through 13).
Notice that Elisha had to make these adjustments on the front end of his call. It is the same for you and me. Every time God calls us to obey, before we can do so, we will adjust our attitude at the outset and determine that whatever sacrifice is necessary is worth making in order to obey the call of God.
2. An adjustment regarding our actions - v. 8
The Son took action to make the adjustments necessary to obey the Father, and we will have to do the same.
We cannot stay where we are and follow God.
Following His call will always require taking the necessary actions to adjust our lives so that we might obey.