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Disobedience; Living in Abundance (Jn. 10:10b). May 2012

Naturally human beings are predominantly desirous of absolute independence. Our nature is such that nobody really wants to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. This seemingly rebellious ‘adamic’ nature is somehow responsible for the general disagreements/misunderstandings in the world today. May be it is in recognition of this that God gave Man a free will to make his/her own choices. However, even as apparently free as we are, it is also common sense to understand that we shall be held accountable for our choices as we shall be beneficiaries of  the consequences of our actions/inactions; decisions/indecisions either for good or for bad.

I have come to realize that, for Man, the propensity for disobedience is far higher and natural than that for obedience. God as all powerful as He is, will not force anybody to obey him. When we obey God, the benefits to us are pleasantly glorious, but when we listen to the dictates of the flesh; when we succumb to the influence of detractors and disobey God, the repercussions are often disastrous.

The dictionary defines disobedience as the failure or refusal to obey. The word ‘obey’ means to do what you are told or expected to do (A.S Hornby, 2000). Studying the scriptures I have again come to an understanding that apart from giving our lives to Jesus Christ and having absolute faith in the King of Kings another factor that could be responsible for how well we run this race on this planet is the presence or absence of ‘obedience”. The Almighty God, with passion, loves obedience and hates disobedience. How far we will go in achieving our purpose in redemption; How far we will go in influencing humanity for good in accordance with our divine purpose; how far we will go in becoming possible agents of change unto our generation with the assistance of the Almighty God, has an absolute direct proportional relationship with how obedient we are to the commandments and instructions of the God of Heaven whose name is Jehovah El- Shaddai. 99% compliance to divine leading and instructions is as good as 0%. The creator of Heaven and Earth demands and expects 100%. Anything other than that amounts to disobedience. Period!

While obedience is one factor that was responsible for the phenomenal success of some of the celebrated biblical giants such as Abraham, partial obedience or disobedience was the cause of the woeful, colossal failures of many others.

King Saul. What did he do? On two different occasions he messed up; big time! In one case (1Sam 15:3-23) he was instructed by God to go to Amalek and utterly destroy all (everyone and everything). However Saul listened to the voice(s) of strangers. He took counsel from people of lower calling; individuals of diffuse and confused understanding. Instead of being a true leader, he became the follower. Consequently he spared Agag; the Amalekite king. Against divine instruction Saul allowed Israel to spare and take the best of the sheep and of oxen to ‘sacrifice’ unto the Lord.  What a pity. Expectedly, but avoidably, God’s anger arose against Saul and He was rejected by God from being king. Earlier the same man(Saul), who was nothing before God made him king  ran out of patience and conducted a sacrifice offering that was meant to be done by prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 13:7-14). Disobedience caused Saul his kingdom; He lost his position in God; he was shamefully demoted. I dare say that disobedience ultimately led Saul to his death.

Moses was a man humanity held (still holds) to a very high esteem. That God used him to deliver Israel from captivity is common knowledge. Moses was a dear friend of God. Remember, that it was the rod of Moses that divided the red sea. However, as we can see in Num. 20:1-3, 7-12 Moses made a mistake. He didn’t obey God. In Ex. 17:1-6 God had instructed him to smite the rock to give water to quench the thirst of the complaining children of Israel. In that one case the instruction was to ‘smite’ the rock. However when Israel complained again, in Num. 20, God wanted to get some glory out of this second miracle. Why? This is my thinking: In the first miracle when there was a physical contact between the rod of Moses and the rock, some doubters in Israel (just as we also have in the church today) who witnessed that, would have rather said to themselves; “well he hit the rock with the rod. It is possible that it was the physical impact of the rod that caused the damage on the rock to release water that was already contained/entrapped inside the rock anyway. So what’s the big deal?” That could probably be why God had instructed Moses this second time to speak to the rock, to command the rock, instead of striking the rock, so that the doubters will be filled with awe about the miracle of God and give God all the Glory. Moses disobeyed God; He instead hit the rock with his rod. Even Moses was in doubt that speaking to the rock would be enough (Num.20:12). He would have thought;” well what’s the difference, after all the first time what I did was to smite the rock and water came out anyway.  Some today may think that what Moses did was partial obedience, but God saw it as total disobedience/unbelief and that was enough to deny him entry into the Promised Land.

When you look at these two situations (Saul and Moses) you will notice that the pressure of the followers immensely contributed to the disobedience of their leaders. This brings us to this lesson; no matter whatever, wherever, whoever, whenever and however; God’s instructions and commands must be obeyed; must be adhered to. Otherwise the consequence(s) of disobedience would be undesirably catastrophic. Many leaders today are under immense pressures from their followers to do and say things that were not ordered by God. For instance some leaders may be under contemporary pressure to support concepts and ideas that run contrary to the dictates of the Holy Scriptures. The explanation/justification is often that we are now in a new, modern/technological advanced age. This logic falls flat on its face. You know why? Jesus Christ does not change with time; He doesn’t change with Science; He doesn’t change with seasons. His concepts, His personality, His desires remain the same: yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). It is also worthy of note that even when it was the followers that literally made their leaders to default, the consequence(s) of disobedience started with the leaders as they were the ones that, first, bore the brunt of God’s anger.

God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and prophesy (Jonah 1:1-2). It was that simple. I am convinced that if Jonah had, in obedience, told God to provide him with the best of means of transportation to Nineveh, to deliver the prophecy God would have obliged him. In any case God is the Alpha and Omega. If he sends you on a journey, he will surely make a provision for how you will get there.  If Jonah had said “Lord I will go, but you see I don’t have a limousine or Rolls Royce or even a Horse to go to Nineveh”. God would have made a provision for him. No!  Instead Jonah chose the path of disobedience. In the end he caused other people a great deal of discomfort. Just imagine the anxiety and trouble Jonah brought to the innocent occupants of the ship that he entered while running away from God. The sea became turbulent and the shipmasters had to ask him who he was and he had to confess. He had to tell them that he was the reason why the sea became restless. They had to throw Jonah into the sea before the storm would cease. Jonah eventually ended up on the shores of Nineveh; vomited by a fish. This was avoidable. There are some people reading this article now who are exactly like Jonah. They have been running from God and his Call for some time. My honest advice is that such folks should save their families, the church of God and their colleagues the hardship and sorrow. It is possible that they are inadvertently the ones responsible for the undue turbulence that is rocking their families/churches and communities now. This they did by refusing to obey the instructions of the Almighty God. If that doesn’t sound persuasive enough, such persons should realize that just as it happened to Jonah, the assignment God has purposed for them must be done.

Jonah confessed to his fellow occupants of the ship. He told them that he was the reason for their troubles, but Achan didn’t. God had just delivered Jericho into the hands of Joshua and Israel. Similar to what God told Saul, Israel was instructed not to take away the accursed thing from Jericho (Jos.6:17-19). Achan didn’t obey the instruction. He took the accursed thing from Jericho brought it to Israel and kept quiet. He didn’t tell anybody. Who faced the consequence of Achan’s disobedience? Simple: It was Joshua and his army. They had to flee before Ai. Before anyone could blink, 36 men were already dead. God regarded the sin of one man; Achan as the sin of the entire people (Jos.7:11). Achan kept quiet even when innocent people were perishing. It took God’s intervention and revelation to Joshua to get Achan to confess. The lesson here, again, is that those who decide to disobey God should please consider other persons around them: family & church members, members of the community to which they belong. It is possible that the disobedient may be the one responsible for bringing inexplicable troubles to others.

Compare to the cases of Peter’s (Lk. 5:1-11). Peter had fished all night and caught nothing. He was a frustrated man. In his frustration Jesus showed up and first asked to use his boat. And Peter obeyed and surrendered his boat. After using his boat Jesus asked Peter to launch out into the deep for a draught of fishes and again Peter obeyed and caught a multitude of fishes so huge that his net broke. If Peter had disobeyed Jesus and refused to release his boat to the King of Kings, of course he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to launch out into the deep for a miracle. The lesson here is that whenever God wants to set you up for a promotion there is something in your possession he would ask you for. When he asks, it’s only a test to see how obedient you are. If we are wise and obey, God will always give us a blessing; a breakthrough; victory far greater than whatever we had initially surrended to God. Again when Jesus asked Peter to launch out into the deep, he obeyed. He didn’t begin to reason and first figure out where the fishes would come from after all he had fished all night in the same environment and caught nothing. Lesson: It is not our business to know exactly how, when and where God will do what. We should leave that to God. All he wants from us is total obedience.

Friend, what is it that God is asking you to do? What responsibilities has he committed to your hands? Don’t run away from them. God hates disobedience so much that the scripture likens it to rebellion and stubbornness which it compares to the sins of witchcraft and idolatry (1Sam. 15:23). My prayer is that none of us will receive a ‘Jonah treatment’ in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you and your beloved family

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

 

Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 04:31pm