Article of Faith

September 17, 2019

Obedient children and children of disobedience (1)

Obedient children and children  of disobedience (1)

By Femi Aribisala

Jesus saw Simon and Andrew and said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 1:17).  “Immediately” they left their nets and followed him; no questions asked.  He also saw James and John mending their nets and he called them.  “Immediately,” they also left their nets and followed him.

What kind of power is this?  Did Jesus somehow hypnotize these men?  The answer is quite simple.  It is the power of God.  The psalmist says to God: “Your people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” (Psalm 110:3).  Jesus is the fulfilment of the scriptures.

God has the power to make us do whatever he wants us to do willingly.  His power does not violate our liberty but is consistent with it.  Don’t ask me how he does this, I cannot answer.  I just know he does.  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.: (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Demons obey Jesus

Jesus went to Capernaum, entered the synagogue and taught the people.  Suddenly, a man with an unclean spirit cried out: “Let us alone! What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are- the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24).  Jesus rebuked him, saying: “Be quiet, and come out of him!” (Mark 1:25).

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The demon convulsed the man and came out of him.  Bystanders were flabbergasted by this: “They were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

In short, the power of Jesus is also irresistible to demons.  When he issues a command to them, they have no choice but to obey him.  This is significant because demons are disobedient spirits.

Paul says demons are the spirits that are at work in the children of disobedience.  They are the spirit in which believers: “once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2).

However, confronted with the power of Jesus, disobedient spirits immediately become obedient.

Christians disobey Jesus

If demons obey Jesus, how about Christians; the so-called children of God?  If the spirit that works in the children of disobedience obeys Jesus, how about God’s own children; the ones Peter refers to as “obedient children?” (1 Peter 1:14).

The fact of the matter is that while the children of disobedience are actually very obedient, it is the children of God who turn out to be disobedient?  If the babalawo tells the children of disobedience to bring a cow, they do not bring a goat.  If he tells them to bury three live chickens in their backyard, they will obey him to the letter.

Tell the children of disobedience: “Has the babalawo said if you eat this thing you will die, you will surely not die.”  See if he will agree with you that he won’t die and will therefore eat the forbidden fruit.  Let me tell you this: if the Babalawo says don’t eat it, the children of disobedience will not eat it.  If they eat it, they know they will surely die.

But tell the so-called believer that God has said that if you tell a lie you will die.  He does not believe he will die.  He is convinced God does not do what he says.

Solomon provides the reason for this.  He says: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

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Life and death

This means sons of disobedience obey the devil, but sons of obedience disobey God.  This conforms to Jesus’ paradoxical kingdom dynamic: “The sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:8).

However, spiritual law is about slavery.  Spiritual law is a law of captivity.  There is no middle passage.  You are either a slave of God, or you are a slave of the devil. You are either a servant of righteousness or a servant of sin.

“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:16-18).

One, two, many gods

Children of God must not turn out to be disobedient.  Children of God must not honour God with their lips but their hearts are far from him.  Children of God must not have one foot in heaven and another foot in hell.  Children of God must not profess one thing and behave in a contradictory way.  A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Let not that man think that he can receive anything from God.

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Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24).

No balm in Gilead

Jesus reveals that healing is children’s bread. (Matthew 15:26).  It is the staple diet of the children of God.  Nevertheless, it is revealed in the scriptures that all the children of God are sick.  Moreover, the sickness is not localized: it is total.

Isaiah says: “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.” (Isaiah 1:5-6).

On his part, Jeremiah cries out: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved! For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; astonishment has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:20-22).

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There is balm in Gilead, but the children of God have rejected it.  There is balm in Gilead, but the people of Gilead prefer Coca-Cola. Healing is the children’s bread, but the children would rather eat cake.

Therefore, God pleads: “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:20-23).

Since God says his word is medicine to all flesh; have you taken your medicine today?  God’s word is not Sunday, Sunday medicine.  It is our daily bread.  It is spirit and life.