Part II: Obedience
Synopsis of Bible Study 05/23/18
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
- I want that cake, but my goals won’t be met, if I have it. You have two decisions on your hands. Who wins? Does my “ought not” win or does my “want to” win?
- The tension here is real. In order to justify our “want to,” we often blow off our “ought nots”.
- In order to justify my “want to”, I create something that turns my “want ” into a “need”. This makes me justify it to my “ought not”.
- Example: “One-piece won’t hurt me” or “I worked out all week long and I owe myself this piece”. Even though I know that this piece of cake is threat to me reaching my goal, I have allowed these statements to soften the blow and now I have made my wants into a need.
- The conflict between my flesh and my spirit is something we all have to struggle with.
Romans 7:15-19 (NKJV) says 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
- We see disobedience by Adam and Eve in the garden. Genesis 3 marks the first act of disobedience in history.
- Out of Genesis 3, we must understand two words. They are Instigated and Activated.
- Satan was the instigator concerning Adam and Eve in this text. Instigating doesn’t mean anything until you act on it.
- There is a formula tucked away in the following scripture. Genesis 3:1-3 (NKJV) 3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
- 1st part – The serpent was more cunning than Adam and Eve.
- Human beings and snakes are on two different levels. Satan used the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve, because he was cunning. Satan only uses things that are beneath us to try and trip us up.
- 2nd part – That which is beneath us starts talking to us. The snake spoke to the woman.
Genesis 3:4-5 (NKJV) 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”- This reminds you that there is something beneath you always wanting to talk to you and wanting to convince you that you are missing out on something.
- “Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God’s goodness – especially in connection with his commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience.” – A. W. Pink
- Satan must then skew the consequences. Once you feel like you miss something it creates This works much like addiction. In the word addiction, we find diction (mean to communicate or talk to you). Anyone that has ever dealt with addiction will tell you that whatever they are addicted to, keeps talking to them.
- The serpent told the woman that she wasn’t going to die. Disobedience leads to death. Relationships, careers, and other things die cause of disobedience.
- 3rd part – The serpent agitates. The Devil never tempts you with his third string. The Devil will always throw at you the best he has to offer.
II. Avoid Running from His Purpose
A. Don’t disobey God trying to obey man
- Acts 5:28-29 (NKJV) says 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.-There are many of us that find ourselves in situations where we are conflicted between obeying man and obeying God. God’s purposes for your lives supersedes our plans.
B. His purpose for your life supersedes your plans
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) says 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – God has plans for you to exceed what you understand.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV) says 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.- Here is your hashtag#. If you can think it, it is not big enough for God.
- God needs you to be obedient for his plan to playout in your life. Ex- The Waze navigation app helps navigate the quickest route home. Sometimes it will send you down backroads, trying to help you avoid traffic or bottlenecks.
- Bishop tells of a time where he disobeyed his Waze app. The app told him to detour, but looking down the road, he didn’t see anything. Traffic was moving and the highway looked clear. Instead of obeying the Waze app and detouring, Bishop kept going. Eventually, he saw why the Waze app wanted him to detour. Traffic eventually came to a dead standstill. What Bishop was not taking into consideration is Waze could see much further down the road than he could. Bishop did not display faith in his Waze app. Waze was trying to help him avoid conflict, because it could see what was going on further down the road. Waze is able to see what we cannot.
- In like manner, we got to walk by faith and not by sight. God sees much further up the road, than we can see.
- Ex2- Bishop tells the story of when he first come to Nashville. He was looking for a church. God showed Bishop a red brick church so Bishop walked into Mt Zion on Jefferson St. When he got inside, he didn’t see many people his age, so he turned around and left.
- Bishop went to another church down the street. Not even an hour into the service, God sent Bishop back down to Mt Zion. When he walked in this time, a woman asked him if he was a preacher. She then proceeded to take him by the wrist and take him to the Pastor. Later, he became Mt Zion’s only Associate Minister. Years later, he became the Pastor and Mt Zion has grown to be over 30,000 members strong. Who would have thought?
- Imagine if he hadn’t obeyed God and gone to Mt Zion? We would not be reading this right now. When getting to promise, know that youu might not get to the path in the way your thought you would.
III. Accountability is Required for His Plan
A. You can’t reject His plan and accept His provision
Deuteronomy 28:15-20 (NKJV) 15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 “Cursed shall be the [a]fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.-There ae consequences for disobeying God . If you continue to disobey God, then curses will overtake you. When you disobey God, your whole life is going to be jacked up!
B. Sacrifice is not a substitute for obedience
- When you understand sacrifice, you know that it is not a substitute for obedience- 1 Samuel 15:19-23 (NKJV) 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the [a]spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of [b]witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” -Obedience is better than sacrifice. Saul was rejected by God from being king, because he was disobedience.
- Incomplete obedience is disobedience too. You can’t half do what God wants you to do and be considered as being obedient. God wants complete obedience.
IV. Accept and Respond to His Precepts
A. Obedience requires a demonstration of faithfulness
- “He who had never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” – Aristotle
- There are benefits to obedience.
B. The benefit of obedience is the blessing
Isaiah 1:19 (NKJV) says 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; God will protect you form your enemies.
Exodus 23:22 (NKJV) says 22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. -If you stay high when they go low, God will fight battles on your behalf.
The Rewards of Obedience:
- God will protect you from your enemies.
- Exodus 23:22 (NKJV) 22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
- Long life is promised to the obedient. Deuteronomy 4:40 (NKJV) 40 You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that [a]it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may [b]prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
- Long life is tied to your obedience. You actions alone however does not control how long you live. The sovereignty of God does that. Ex- Let’s assume God said you will live to be 105. That would be God’s plan for your life. Can we mess with that?
Let’s assume you make a decision to eat fried food every day, drink sodas all the time, and then chased it with sweets every day. By the age of 40, your doctor is saying that they are seeing platelets in your arteries. You don’t worry about it, because the Lord told you that you will live to be 105.
By the age of 50, you need a triple bypass and you have now come down with diabetes. Still you are not concerned, because you have the promise that you will to be 105.
By the age 51, you are dead! What happened to the promise that you would live to be 105? The answer is this, the Lord can take it away, because of the decisions that you made.
This also affects your children. When you live life making bad decisions, you can normalize this bad behavior. Your kids saw this to be normal behavior and this dysfunctional behavior turned into a generational curse. Now at the age of 30, they have honey buns and sodas and the cycle is starting again with them. Your disobedience can cause a curse.
How many of you have some area in your life that if you overcame it, you would be in good shape? Imagine you had a big bag full of marbles. Let’s say for the sake of argument, there were 80. Imagine that each marble represented a year of your life. Imagine every year on the same day, you have to automatically give up a marble. Now let’s imagine that you go shopping at a store called Carnality. This store contained the things that your flesh wanted to do. Imagine every act of disobedience you bought, cost a certain amount of marbles. For example, cigarettes, would cost 1 marble, and drugs 3 marbles. Perhaps drinking cost you 2 marbles. Now remember, you have to give up a marble every year. When your marbles ran out, then your life would end. How willing would you be able to act on your disobedience, when you saw how quick your marbles were depleting?
When you look back over your life at what disobedience cost you, fooling with some people, you realize that you lost years off your life.
- Increase is promised to those who fully obey God.
- Increase is promised to those who are obedient. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (NKJV)28 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:- Either you will have blessings or curses overtake you.
- Favor and a good name is promised to those who are obedient.
- Proverbs 3:1-4 (NKJV) 3 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; 2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and [a]high esteem In the sight of God and man.- You need favor and a good name. You don’t need to be that person that everyone dreads showing up.
- Favor isn’t fair, but it sure is fun.
*“There is no more deadly peril than disobedience; States are devoured by it, homes laid in ruins, armies defeated, victory turned to rout.” –Sophocles**
Characteristics of Obedient Christians:
- Obedient Christians will know the Lord’s power. Acts 5:11-14 (NKJV) says 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. 12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
- Obedient Christians obey God over and above civil authorities.
Romans 13:1 (NKJV) 13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
1 Peter 2:13-14 (NKJV) 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every [a]ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
- Obedient Christians boldly proclaim the message of life in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV) 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Romans 1:16 (NKJV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Exodus 19:5 (NKJV) 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
- Everyday you wake up you have choices. You don’t get to always control the choices that you face, but they are there. You have to make decisions based on your values. Sometimes you will make the wrong decision.
- You have to always think about the consequences. If we think about the consequences, it helps us to make better choice, when God tells you to be still, move, or rest, trust him and stop being rebellious. Obedience is where your blessing is. For some of us, if we hadn’t disobeyed, we wouldn’t be where we are right.