Summary: Many people think they can find happiness by satisfying their appetites yet remain unfulfilled. Sadly, people strive for more money, better jobs and promotions failing to realize that the Lord is the giver of success. God gave us directions in how to find
The Blessed Dimensions of Obedience (Deut 8:1-20)
Many people think they can find happiness by satisfying their appetites yet remain unfulfilled. Sadly, people strive for more money, better jobs and promotions failing to realize that the Lord is the giver of success. God gave us directions in how to find life in all of its fulness in the scriptures. In Deut 8:1 he tells us to be careful to obey all of His commands.
As a result, He promises to give us abundant life, security and multiplying influence. The following are several areas where we need to trust God to help us obey Him.
Quote: Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master".
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22.
Illustration: On Dec. 4, 1893, Walter Gowans and Rowland Bingham of Toronto, Canada, and Thomas Kent of Buffalo, N.Y., landed at Lagos, Nigeria. Their aim was to establish a witness among the 60 million people of what was then commonly known as the Soudan, the area south of the Sahara between the Niger River and the Nile. Gowans and Kent died in the first few months. Bingham returned to Canada, formed a council, and went back to Africa in 1900. That attempt, too, was unsuccessful. In 1901 Bingham sent out a party that succeeded in establishing the Mission’s first base, at Patigi, 500 miles up the Niger River. When these first SIM pioneers landed in Nigeria, Gowans was 25 years old, Bingham was two weeks away from his 21st birthday, Kent was 23.
It is not the multitude of hard duties, it is not constraint and contention that advance us in our Christian course. On the contrary, it is the yielding of our wills without restriction and without choice, to tread cheerfully every day in the path in which Providence leads us, to seek nothing, to be discouraged by nothing, to seek out duty in the present moment, to trust all else without reserve to the will and power of God.
1. OUR HEART - Ask the Lord to help you obey Him with all your heart by loving Him more than any other. People who love the Lord with your heart are passionate about giving Him their greatest affection, worship and adoration.
Illustration: When I was in Junior High I once asked my friends to find out if a certain girl liked me because I did not want to declare my affections until I knew she liked me first. I did not want to risk being rejected. God took away the risk when He loved us first. I John 4:19 says, "We love because He first loved us." We can love Him unreservedly because we know His love is broader, deeper, longer and wider than any other love.
2. OUR SOUL - We obey Him by giving Him our soul’s best ardor. When I love and obey the Lord with my spiritual being I am expressing a willingness to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. When I love Him with all my soul I am willing to exhibit greater Christlikeness by adding to my faith, goodness then knowledge, then self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and Christian love. (2 Pet 1:3-8)
Application: The more Christlike I become in my intimacy with the Lord in my personal devotions and worship, the greater spiritual transformation I experience. The more I allow the Holy Spirit to produce godly fruit in me the more I am transformed from one degree of maturity to another just as by the Spirit empowers me.
3. OUR TALENTS - I obey God when I completely offer to Him all my talents for His greater purposes, plans and projects. Jesus told about a man who hid his talent while the man with ten talents went out and multiplied his talents to give back to the Master. Jesus said, "Take the talent away from the wicked and lazy man and give it to the man with ten talents. For to whom much is entrusted much is required, but to the one who has and does not obey, even what he has will be taken away from him."
4. OUR WILL - We obey God when we make consistent volitional decisions to obey Him regardless of the price. Jesus said, "If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself (surrender his natural rights and relinquish everything to me) and follow me." We need to continual surrender our will to the Lord so that He can bless everything about us.
Illustration: Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.