Greetings again my Brethren.  Obedience alone is honouring to the LORD.  We often think it is our good looks and works, or our God given abilities and talents, our achievements and knowledge, but not so my friend these all are often based on selfishness and self-seeking, it is obedience and obedience alone that is honouring to the LORD. All we do in God must end in obedience to Him and His word with a motive of unbridled love, if not then it is all for naught.  God will use the good deed for His glory, but righteousness that God intended for our lives is lost.  This is why God’s word never returns void.  This is how false preachers  and teachers, even prophets can do mighty miracles, but at the heart of the person is deceit and ambition, thus the spiritual growth and development God has purposed will not happen.

One of God’s major tools He uses in our lives to make us an instrument He can use is obedience.  God must be able to take us to the “School of Obedience” to teach us His ways. God’s school of Obedience has very few entrance requirements to attend only to be called (and we all are called) and to be willing to endure God’s dealings and judgments in our lives.  God’s School of Obedience is subtle not staffed with many folks, is not advertised on the internet or on TV, but to graduate you must allow God to teach you obedience the first time and every time He speaks.  In Isaiah we read, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”  (Isaiah 1:19-20)

“If” (the most important word in the Bible) sets the condition for receiving  from God. If we are willing and obedient we shall have the best the land we live in can offer. If we are “obedient” and learn the lessons God has for us we will have His best, but so too is the reward in meeting the condition to “refuse and rebel” and “be devoured with the sword.” Funny both are promises from God. The only difference is us being “willing and obedient.”  This obedience the first time God speaks is a big deal to God.  Again we must master this to graduate.  In Matthew we see Jesus calling disciples into His service and please notice their response. “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”  (Mathew 4:18-20)  They did not debate or argue.  Jesus did not have to ask them two or three times nor did Jesus say please, but “And they straightway left their nets and followed him.” This is what Jesus is looking for in us, obedience “straightway” the first time He speaks.  The disciples did not graduate from the school of Obedience, but they did pass this test which gave them ground for the next test.  Also in John we read, “And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”  (John 21:6)

Jesus spoke and they immediately acted in obedience to what Jesus said and received “the multitude of fishes” for their troubles.  Two points here:  They acted on what Jesus said to do and not on what they thought needed to be done and they acted immediately with no hesitation.  When we hesitate often we start playing the “what if” game and think ourselves away from what God wants. Now this is not blind obedience, but obedience knowing God has spoken.  In this we have faith (because “faith comes by hearing a word from God (Romans 10:17)) and boldness knowing who and what our source of power is.  When God has to speak and speak time and time again to us it is a sign (to us) we have not learned the lessons God wants us to learn. We have not become the instrument God needs us to become so that we can do the things He needs us to do.

Next month we will start looking at the teachings by the Master to accomplish the divine work God must be able to do in us as we answer His call.  Remember many are called but few are chosen.  Do you hear Him now?