Home

Blessing Comes Through Obedience

6 Comments

Have you noticed a shift in priorities in the minds of a lot of Christians these days? Specifically, that there is an entitlement attitude when it comes to the subject of God’s blessings? It goes something like this: I profess to be a Christian. I go to church. I deserve to be rewarded (blessed) for my efforts. Somewhere in the confusion, the fact that we exist solely to worship God has been supplanted by the idea that God exists to bless us.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. In the 66 books of the Bible it is clear that God’s primary interest in us has very little to do with making us happy and wealthy. Of course, there are many scriptures that speak of the joy of the Lord, as well as about prosperity and good health. What we must understand however is that these things are a by-product of obedience.

Taken in its entirety, the Bible is clear that God’s priority for us is not to make us happy, but holy. That is because while we are more focused on being as comfortable as possible in this world, the Lord is focused on preparing us for where we will spend eternity. Do you see the difference?

Nowhere is the gap between these two positions more evident than with the false prosperity teaching that is now fully entrenched in the church. This false gospel is focused almost entirely on getting riches instead of giving worship to the Lord. It is a man-centered belief rooted in the love of money and the pride of life. In it, there is no place for the humble. Obedience has been relegated to blindly ‘sowing your best seed’.

As I began to study for an upcoming message on the subject of obedience, I began to notice a pattern: blessings came after obedience. Take the story of Abram (later named Abraham) for example. In chapter 12 of Genesis, we see that God has promised to bless His servant Abram.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV

Abram was 75 years old when he departed Haran and headed for Canaan after having received an incredible promise from God. What did he do upon receiving these great promises? Did he set back and wait for the shower of blessings to rain down on him? Did he look around for a place to ‘sow a seed’?

The very first thing Abram did was to believe God [1]. The next thing he did was to pack up and move away from everything that was familiar to him. Are you starting to see a pattern of obedience here? If you continue reading the book of Genesis, you will find out that Abram did more than believe and move. He also endured.

Abram had to overcome many obstacles that stood between the promise of blessing and actually receiving it. Here is a sampling of what this man encountered on the way to receiving what the Lord had promised:

  • He was forced to remove himself from his homeland, his family, and his father’s house
  • He dealt with famine
  • His wife was kidnapped by Pharaoh’s princes
  • There was family strife with his nephew Lot
  • Later on there was more family strife over Hagar and Ishmael
  • His nephew Lot was kidnapped, forcing Abram to go to war to rescue him
  • He carried the mental and spiritual burden of knowing that God’s people would be held captive for 400 years
  • He interceded with the Lord to save Sodom and Gomorrah if as few as ten righteous souls could be found in those cities
  • He saw his wife kidnapped again, this time by Abimelech king of Gerar
  • Abram walked in faithful obedience before the Lord for 24 years before God changed his name to Abraham, or the father of many nations

All these things happened to Abram after he received the promises of great blessings. If you were to read the entire Genesis account of this man’s life, you would not find even one instance where he felt entitled to receive anything. What you will find instead is one example after another of his faithful obedience to his God.

I don’t know about you, but that tells me something. It tells me that even though I might receive a promise of blessings from God, that promise often comes with a price tag. What does it cost? The price is 100% obedience.

  • Obedience when your family is being torn apart
  • Obedience when you lose your home and everything dear to you
  • Obedience when you wonder where the next meal is coming from
  • Obedience when you’re called upon to stand in the gap for others
  • Obedience when all your friends abandon you
  • Obedience when the doctor gives you a bad report

There is no such thing as a cheap blessing. Never has been, never will be. It may surprise some of you to read this, but God does not need your money! Neither can we buy a blessing from Him. Yes, give unto the Lord from the perspective of a grateful heart, but do not give with the expectation of profiting from your giving!

Blessings come from being obedient to the Lord and to His word.

Have a blessed day, in Jesus name!

Ron

[1] Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23

As if there were any doubt…

6 Comments

For many decades, dedicated men and women of God have voiced their opinions that when held to the Biblical definition of Christianity, the state of the church in America is one of decay, rot, and outright rebellious contempt for the things of God. From a host of different platforms, these courageous leaders have made their positions clear: the battle for the church in America has been lost to the world.

What a shocking statement! How dare anyone declare that the church in America has capitulated to the world! Wasn’t it Jesus Christ himself who declared that “upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it“? [1] (emphasis mine)

Yes, Jesus certainly did make that statement. But unlike those who take those words and twist them to mean that we can live any lifestyle we wish to so long as it’s done under the banner of what they define as ‘church‘, the church Jesus said would never be defeated scarcely resembles such an aberration.

Say what you will, but by and large, American church attendees seem to have an aversion to anyone speaking about the church in a manner they deem as divisive, critical, or out of line. I get it, I really do. No one likes discord or division in the ranks. Most certainly, no one likes a troublemaker in their midst. It would seem then that the solution is to keep quiet and toe the “company line”.

Which is fine, I suppose, if what you’re interested in is blending in with the masses and going along with everything that comes along whether it is Biblically factual or not. Apparently, what constitutes for a faithful church member today is to hear nothing, see nothing, and do nothing when egregious sin is in the camp.

Unfortunately for me, I am cut from a very different cloth.

It is not possible for me to stay silent when I see God’s word being trampled, diluted, or wholly compromised for the sake of tickling yet another set of ears. It is an affront to a Holy God that the church has prostituted itself with the world to the extent that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between what we call church and the world at large.

The decades-long Satanic assault on the family has taken its toll. Divorce, single family homes, unwed mothers, and absentee fathers are now fully accepted as normal. Church, Sunday School, and worship have been transformed into “events” rather than being everyday, critical elements of the Christian life.

The data doesn’t lie. It never does.

“According to Dr. George Barna, CRC Director of Research and author of the AWVI 2021, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism—which he describes as “fake Christianity”—is a worldview that is defined and driven by current culture more than by historic religious truths or a comprehensive and coherent doctrine”.

From that same article Arizona Christian University President Len Munsil noted, “As a nation, the biblical worldview is running on fumes.” Munsil explained, “People see themselves as Christians, but these findings show they are actually living out a watered-down, counterfeit worldview that looks more like the culture around them than the biblical Christianity they profess.”

Is this the Church that our Lord said would stand against the gates of Hell? I think not!

Perhaps it is time to redefine the word “church” so that it more accurately reflects the culture that has overwhelmed her. Or maybe the correct thing would be to return to the Biblical definition of “Church”.

Either way, what we have now would be nearly unrecognizable to the church found in the book of Acts.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. [2]

Have a blessed day everyone,

Ron

[1] Matthew 16:18

[2] Romans 13:11-12