By Funmi Komolafe
Brethren, welcome to another week. Glory is to God.
As we thank God for sparing our lives, my prayer is that reasons to be grateful to God, will never cease in your life.
Today is the last Sunday in February and by the grace of God, you will march on to victory over all challenges in the name of Jesus.
As we begin to take our strides to enable us march into victory, we need to uncover some hidden facts that are essential to us as Christians.
First, we know that whatever religion we practise, it is because we have some level of faith. If not for miracles, we at least believe that God is able to hear us. Otherwise, there would be no need for prayers. It is also that we believer that we have a Creator, the God of Heaven and Earth that can hear us when we pray.
As human beings, we also know that certain things are beyond human comprehension just as we know that Spiritual forces influence our physical life.
All of these, rounded up are the pieces of evidence of our faith in God.
Faith is perhaps the most important factor in our religious life. No wonder our Lord Jesus said in Mark 11 vs. 22 “ And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God”.
Jesus also told us what could happen when we have faith in God. Mark 11 vs. 23 “ For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith”.
But at times, faith isn’t enough. We need obedience to receive the miracle of God.
Genesis 12 vs. 1 &2 is our first witness. “ Now the LORD has said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”.
Verse 4 “ So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran”.
Brethren, at 75 years, Abram could have wondered why God wanted him to leave his comfort zone to be a stranger in another land but all the same he obeyed. Why did he obey? He must have obeyed because he had total trust and confidence in the Almighty God, the one that never makes a mistake. He believed that every word that God had spoken concerning blessings would come to pass if he obeyed. That must have been a stressful journey but he obeyed.
The result of that single obedience was Abraham’s unquantifiable blessings.
As Faithful Christians, we are partakers of these blessings. Abraham’s story makes it clear to us that obedience can make the LORD bless us in a manner beyond our imagination.
On the other hand, disobedience is not only sinful, it could be suicidal. The first example of disobedience that the Holy Bible gives us is found Genesis 3 1-3. “ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”. In this conversation with Satan physically represented by the Serpent, Eve repeated God’s clear instructions in respect of a particular fruit.
Genesis 3 vs. 4-6, the conversation continued, “ And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall surely not die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”.
As Christians we are familiar with the story and the consequence of disobedience as recorded in verse 14- 19 of that same chapter. “ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy bely shalt thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of the life”.
To the man and woman God said in verse 19 “ In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return”.
I know that you are familiar with other pronouncements that God made on the collaborators. You may read up the entire Genesis chapter 3.
The point that is being made here is that disobedience to the word of God could have consequences that may deny us our blessings.
But we cannot obey if we have no knowledge of what to obey. That is why it is important to study the word of God, be present at church services under the spiritual leadership of undiluted men of God.
Another example of obedience, which is worthy of emulation, is that of the three wise men. Many of us are familiar with the story of the three wise men that travelled to see baby Jesus and present him with gifts.
In the midst of the joy that the wise men had seen, an enemy, Herod wanted to cut short that joy.
But God intervened. Whatever is the challenge that you are going through, God will intervene and you will testify in Jesus name.
Matthew 2 vs. 12 “ And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way”.
Brethren, these were wise men, they could have queried the Lord’s instruction and went back the way of Herod. What would have happened? The joy of the world would have been cut short and you and I will not be called Christians today. We would not be in a position to call the name Jesus that sets us free from spiritual and physical bondage.
Jesus lived and still lives that is why we call his name and our prayers are answered.
Brethren, obedience is key. It is good to have faith but God appreciates and rewards obedience.
The man of God, Samuel made this point very clear in Ist Samuel 15 vs. 22 when he rebuked King Saul for disobedience “ And Samuel said, Hath 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 harken is better than the fat of rams”
When we are told to live a righteous life, it is simply to live according to the laws of God for mankind.
Once this is done, faith plus obedience will make the Lord answer our prayers and bless us.
May the LORD richly bless us all in Jesus name.