After what had happened at the bank of the Jordan River and at the walls of Jericho, it seemed like nothing could stop the Israelites. All around the region, people heard what had been happening with Israel and they were terrified. But Israel’s air of invincibility melted away as quickly as it was established as the Israelites were beaten badly in a battle against Ai, a target the spies who checked it out believed would not take more than a few thousand soldiers to defeat(Joshua 7:2–5).
The name of the ancient Biblical city of Ai means “ruins.”
It was one of the royal cities of the inhabitants of Canaan (Genesis 12:8) prior to the invasion of Israel. After the conquest of Canaan was complete, the city of Ai was rebuilt and inhabited by the Benjamite tribe of Israel (Ezra 2:28, Nehemiah 7:32).
Joshua and the elders of Israel, of course, were distraught over what had happened, and Joshua fell on his face and cried out to God:
Oh, Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side! Lord, what can I say now that Israel has fled from its enemies? For when the Canaanites and all the other people living in the land hear about it, they will surround us and wipe our name off the face of the earth. And then what will happen to the honor of your great name? (Joshua 7:7–9)
The problem was spelled out in the first two verses of Joshua 7. A man named Achan had stolen and kept for himself some of the things God had said were to be set apart for Him alone. And because one man had violated God’s commands, it was as if the entire nation of Israel had violated His commands.
God commanded Joshua to get up, then told him that the problem was that someone had broken His covenant by stealing and then lying about it (Joshua 7:11). God then told Joshua that in order to set things back on track, the people would have to purify themselves and make things right again.
After going through a process of elimination (Joshua 7:16–18), Joshua discovered that it was Achan who had caused the problems for the Israelites. He had stolen a beautiful robe, 200 silver coins, and a one-pound bar of gold and then hidden them under his tent.
Obedience is the practical acceptance of the authority and will of God. It includes both submitting to Him and then expressing that submission in actions, words and thoughts. To be obedient is to be in agreement with God. To be in agreement with God is to be in a position of power in Christ.
Disobedience is caused by rebellion and distrust of God. To be disobedient is to yield to self-will instead of surrendering to God and desiring His will in all things.
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.'”
John 14:23 (KJV)
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Hearing and obeying is essential in many different areas in our lives.
For example if children fail to listen to their parents tell them about the dangers of running into the street but do it anyway, they can be seriously hurt or killed when a car hits them.
A driver who is well-acquainted with the laws about seatbelts in Seattle and aware of the dangers of not buckling up but does not ever wear their own seatbelt puts themselves at great risk. If they get into an accident, they have a good chance of dying.
A workman who knows the dangers of not obeying workplace safety codes but chooses not to wear the appropriate clothing and or eye protection might lose a limb or his life.
We know that in all of these areas, what is required is not only hearing, but also obeying. Rules and laws are put into place to protect us from great harm and if we choose not to follow them we choose in taking a risk that we will fall into harm.
That is why it is important that we listen closely for the voice of our Shepherd.
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land” (Isaiah 1:19).
Similarly, God intends for His Word to be not only heard, but heard and obeyed.
- Have you ever wanted to break the rules?
- Have you ever wanted to swim against the current of other Christians?
- How many times have you said “I know what is right but I am going to do it my way because I want to do it”
I know that I have tried to do things my own way so many times and in the end I end up worse off that I began.
I want something so bad, that I am even willing to change the rules, lower my standards, and disobey God’s course that he has for my life.
God loves us and if you Love God, You will obey Him. In tonight’s teaching, we will talk about Obeying God’s word.
Obedience is the outward expression of your love for God and when you walk in obedience, no one can question your character or your motives.
- New International Version
and this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
Obedience means doing what is commanded. If you obey the will of God, you are telling God in an outward expression that you Love Him. It’s your outward expressions that let him know you are ready to do his Will.
This means you have dropped the self-centered mindset and are ready to accept God’s plan for your life. Many of us get stuck in our plan or worse we get pulled off of God’s plan by the enemy. How will you know it’s in God’s plan?
To remain obedient in all that you do, make sure that you recognize the voice of your Sheppard, and not that of the stranger. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. The reward for Obedience is that God will make Himself known to you.
We must believe in Jesus, we must have faith in Him, and we must trust Him! Calling ourselves a Christian on its own won’t do. Following the commandments step wise won’t do. Reading the Bible diligently won’t do. We have to take the Word into our hearts. When we make the transition from calling ourselves a good Christian to being someone who is having a deep personal and intimate relationship with the Lord, then we can have the highest of joys, the deepest of peace, and receive the fullest measure of God’s love and power each and every day of our lives.
SIX WAYS TO SHOW OBEDIENCE
- 1.You must be Obedient with Your Heart
Being obedient to God with your heart simply means loving God more than anything else. If you put your personal relationships, your work, your money or your hobbies ahead of God then you are not being obedient to him.
- 2.You must be Obedient with Your Will
In order to be obedient to God with our will we must completely dedicate ourselves to him. If we are not one hundred percent committed to God then we are not obeying God with our will.
- 3.You must be Obedient with Your Mind
If you are to be obedient with your mind then you not only have to use your mind to make good decisions but you also need knowledge in the first place. That means in order to be obedient to God with your mind you must know his word, you must know Christian values and Christian principles. You must PRAY before you make decisions even though you feel as if you are making the right decision in the flesh.
- 4.You must be Obedient with Your Body
Obedience to God through your body means knowing what your body is capable of. Some of us have strengths because of our body and we must use those strengths. We must also take care of our bodies by protecting our bodies until marriage.
- 5.You must be Obedient with Your Finances
Any follower of God should recognize that their money doesn’t come from their employer or from their own hard work. All our money comes from God and all our money belongs to God. We are not the owners of any money; we are only managers of God’s money. We must manage our money in a way that is obedient to God.
- 6.You must be Obedient with Your Future
We must be obedient with our future and the only way to be obedient in the future is to prepare for it. We must dedicate ourselves to God and by deciding to service God we will choose to be obedient to God in the future to come.
You obey God because you trust God. You trust God because you love Him. As you grow in your faith and obey God, you will move from mental knowledge of God to a personal, dynamic, spiritual, Holy Ghost filled relationship with God.
Obedience is Costly. But, Obedience brings Future Blessing.
Being disobedient to God’s Word, Will, eventually put you in a Worldly predicament.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
Obedience to God is an outward expression for your Love for Him. The reward is having a personal relationship with God. Yes it is costly obeying God. But there is a Blessing on the way. Obedience to God is not an option for the servant of God. It is required. When you obey God, It releases a Power that can unleash Blessings that will overwhelm you and those around you. It will open up an experience with God that the Power and Presence of his Glory will do great and wonderful things.