Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.

(Dr. Stanley) “God always rewards obedience.  Partial obedience is disobedience.  Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”

If Naaman had dipped 6 times in the Jordan, he would have died a leper because God said 7 times.  At first his obedience was hindered by (2 Kings 5:11-12) his pride, anger, unbelief and the expectation of what he had thought.  It seemed ridiculous.  If dipping in the dirty Jordan would cure leprosy, why were the lepers of Israel not doing it?  Because God had not told them to, He told only Naaman to do that.  It was not the Jordan but obedience that was essential.  Fortunately, he listened to wise counsel, although reluctantly, and he was not only completely healed but he also became a believer in the One True God.

We don’t need to know the how and why in order to obey the Lord.  We already know that our all-wise loving God is Omniscient.  He requires of us only what is best for us and He will never allow anything in our lives that He will not use for our good.

If I had not experienced severe poverty in my early years, I would not know now how to be truly grateful for all the provision of God’s lavish grace.  As I think back over the years, at the painful experiences and losses, which we all have, I can see how God is using those things for (Philippians 2:13) the continuation of the good work He began in me.  Samson’s father Manoah (Judges 13:12) showed me a very wise principle.  Believe what God says, accept what God sends, then ask for His guidance in how to obey Him in those things.

How could the apostles have been (Ephesians 2:20) the foundation of the Church which was born on the Day of Pentecost, if they had not been, each one of then, obedient and faithful unto death?  Paul, Peter, Andrew, James, John, James the son of Alpheus, Thomas, Matthew, Philip, Nathaniel called Bartholomew, Judas not Iscariot, and Simon the Cananean.  All 12 were faithful unto death and here are a few examples.

Paul – beheaded, Peter – crucified upside down, John - survived the torture of being placed in boiling oil and then was exiled to Patmos to work in the mines, Thomas – martyred in India, James – hurled from a balcony and stoned to death.  How will these faithful servants of the Most High God be rewarded?  They will sit on thrones (Luke 22:30) judging the 12 Tribes of Israel and they will form half of (Revelation 5:6) the elders in the heavenly Sanhedrin.

The Lord tells us (Malachi 3:6) that He never changes.  What does that mean to us personally in our everyday circumstances?  It means many wonderful things in every area of our lives, including – when we are in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:25) the Son of God walks with us through the flames.  When we appear (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10) before the Judgment Seat of Christ, I have no idea what rewards will be, but I think they will include a varying capacity given to us by which we will reflect the glory of God in the positions, which are assigned to us.  We have 3 enemies – the world, the flesh and the devil and in ourselves we are no match for them. “A healthy awesome fear of God (Dr Swindoll) will steer us in the right direction to say, NO, to temptation”.  We cannot resist the devil (James 4:7) unless we first submit to God.

We must be clad (Ephesians 6:13) in the complete armour of God and by our submission/surrender to the Holy Spirit, He can reproduce in us the life of Jesus, as He (James 4:5) yearns to do.  I was wondering why the Isrealites threw dust on their heads (Joshua 7:6) as a sign of repentance.  Then I began to see the significance for me.  Because (Genesis 2:7) I am dust, I can never come before God as anything but dust.  Anything that is worthwhile about me is never because of me but always through me.  Through me only and always by Jesus Christ as His life is reproduced in and through me by (Romans 8:2) the Holy Spirit.  (Dr, Stanley) “The Holy Spirit is the Friend within.”  I am so thankful that He is my ever-present, never-failing Almighty Friend and He can make the dust that I am glorious in God’s sight by His transforming work in me.  (Dr. Tozer) “Stay close to the Good Shepherd and all the wolves in the world cannot get a tooth in you.”  The wolves (Acts 20:29) are howling and the roaring lion (2 Peter 5:8) is on the prowl.  The prowling lion can only roar from a distance at an obedient Christian because the Lord is (Psalms 28:7) our impenetrable Shield.  We are so highly privileged to have the Word of God.  The Bible is filled with rich treasures for us to embrace, to receive instruction, obey and see more of the Big Picture.

Gideon Levitam recalls that in the O.T. system of animal sacrifices 2 lambs had to be offered every day (Exodus 29:39) one for the morning and one for the evening sacrifice.  When Ezra heard of all the sin of Israel he was appalled and sat down all day (Ezekiel 9:3-5) but he arose to pray at the time of the evening sacrifice.  Why?  Because the evening sacrifice was the promise of Messiah.  Jesus died (Matthew 27:45) at the time of the evening sacrifice.  The perfect law (Galatians 6:2) of Christ is a (1 Peter 1:15) holy law and a (James 2:8,12) royal law of liberty.  The law of the spirit (Romans 8:2) is life and peace and the law of the flesh (Romans 7:21, Romans 8:6) is sin and death.  To which law will you choose to submit?  

Listen to this and take it very personally because it is for you and me and all born-again believers.  The Lord takes thought (Psalms 40:17) and plans for us.  Our heavenly Father knows our needs (Matthew 6:32) before we do and meets them by His riches (Philippians 4:19) in Christ Jesus because (1 Peter 5:7) He cares for us.  God’s eyes and ears (1 Peter 3:12) are always open to His children and He counsels, leads and guides us (Psalms 32:8) with His loving eye and attention always on us.  We are given strength (Philippians 4:13) through the power of Christ and in our greatest weakness (Ephesians 1:18) we have His greatest strength and power.  He continually (James 1:17) gives us perfect gifts.  The Lord will always be with us (Hebrews 13:5) never leave us because (Jeremiah 31:3) He loves us with an everlasting love.  He will (Isaiah 41:10) strengthen, help, hold us and shelter us in His everlasting arms because (Deuteronimy 33:27) the eternal God is our Refuge.  We have (Ephesians 6:13-18) the complete armour of God.

Every morning and all day we have (Lamintation 3:21-23) God’s mercy and loving-kindness, His unfailing compassion and His unfailing faithfulness.  We are (Isaiah 43:4) precious in God’s sight and He loves us.  Just in case you think this not enough - - we also have an inheritance (1 Peter 1:4) safely guarded and reserved in heaven for us.

My Wonder of God in His stupendous and mammoth works and doings, make all the greater my wonder of God in His doings and personal involvement in every detail, even the smallest detail of my life.  Holiness – beauty – love – mystery – and always more to fill my heart.