Obedience, the Most Potent Weapon
By Minister Dimeji Ibidunni
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:19, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
Sunday 23rd April 2017
Prayers, the blood of Jesus, fasting, the word of God are great weapons we can make use of as Christians, but they are not the most potent weapons. There is a foundational weapon that we need to utilize before all these other weapons I have listed can be as lethal against the enemy as they can be; and that is the weapon of obedience.
The Church today is filled with pick-and-choose believers, who want to decide what they believe in. We’ve embraced a lot of western values that we’ve wrongly interpreted as Christian values. Obedience is so important to God, such that our prayers can be nullified as a result of our disobedience.
God’s love for us is immeasurable, according to Scriptures, even while we were ungodly. As His children, He deserves a response from us – our obedience. As a matter of fact, there is nothing we can do for God, or give Him besides obeying Him. He desires obedience on many levels.
Firstly, you cannot obey the one you do not love. God’s instructions to us are mainly for our own good. As we live in a parallel world: the kingdom of Light and darkness, our choices do matter. In Deuteronomy 30:19, we read these words: ‘"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!’(NLT). Life and blessings are like a railroad, it is set; so also is death and curses. The sun, moon, stars, storms and animals all obey God’s word; He’s created all things and set laws in motion to govern the universe. Sadly, humans have flagrantly opposed God’s wisdom right from the very start.
Here is Romans 5:6-8 reads: ‘Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him’ (MSG).
We have been taught about our positional access to God – we are seated together with Christ, positionally. Experientially, our relationship with God must continue to grow to enjoy all the benefits that this position affords. This will only become our reality when we obey God, unconditionally. Why should we pray to God and expect Him to answer, if we will not obey His word?
Micah 6:8 reads: ‘He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?’ (AMPC). Another word for obedience is humility or the word submission. Submission is a coinage of two words: ‘sub’ and ‘mission’. Our obedience is simply putting our lives under God, and doing all what He tells us to do – it’s simply for our good and ultimately to bring glory to God.
Obedience starts from within our minds. Here is 2 Corinthians 10:4-6: 'For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.'
Until a few years ago, I did not connect obedience with spiritual warfare. I soon realized that the role of prayer and fasting in overcoming certain circumstances in our lives sometimes may not be sufficient if our attitudes contravene what God has written in His word. Obedience is critical and foundational to success in spiritual warfare. The bible speaks of the devil as the Accuser, who accuses us before God day and night. And though we pray day and night, we must realise that there is a court system in Heaven, with God as the Judge. Since God is principled, I wonder how many of our prayer answers have been delayed due to our hesitation in obeying God’s instructions? As much as God loves us unconditionally, He still expects a response to that love shown to us. Hence, obedience is closely intertwined with spiritual warfare.
Besides obeying God, we must also reverence every authority that God has placed in our lives – this is the key to receiving more answers to our prayers. Isaiah 1:19 is a good reminder of this simple truth: ‘If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land’. Our life choices must be carefully examined before we proceed – we cannot make negative choices, and not embrace the consequences, even though we will be forgiven by God.
Obedience is both a kingdom principle and a weapon. Here are some quotes from CH Spurgeon: ‘Believing and obeying always run side by side.’ ‘Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God’, and lastly ‘Obedience is the hallmark of faith’. As we are all being worked on by God, we must realise that we will never outgrow the school of obedience throughout our lifetime. Everything God requires of us is for our own good. Here is AW Tozer: ‘True faith commits us to obedience’. ‘When faith becomes obedience then it is true faith indeed’. ‘The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that true faith is not present’.
Here are some of the blessings of living a life of obedience:
• Generational Blessings: Deuteronomy 7: 12 reads: ‘If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors’ (NLT). The fulfilment of our destinies is closely woven to our obedience.
• Fruitfulness: Deuteronomy 7:13 reads: ‘He will love you and bless you, and he will give you many children. He will give fertility to your land and your animals. When you arrive in the land he swore to give your ancestors, you will have large harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats’ (NLT).
• Healing and Divine Health: Deuteronomy 7:14-15 reads: ‘You will be blessed above all the nations of the earth. None of your men or women will be childless, and all your livestock will bear young. And the LORD will protect you from all sickness. He will not let you suffer from the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all your enemies!’ (NLT).
• Dominion and Total Victory: Deuteronomy 7:17-19 reads: ‘Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’ But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes!’ (NLT).
God’s blessings in our lives are conditional – we must be ready to obey Him to see the fulfilment of all that He has promised us. Without a shadow of doubt, we cannot really work for all that we require in life, and the extra blessings that God wants to favour us with, will become ours when we truly walk in obedience.
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