Bold ObedienceSeries: UNSEEN. James Dewhurst August 18, 2019
Today, we are excited to be continuing in the third week of a 5-week series we are doing called – Unseen! Over these 5 weeks, we are discussing the Unseen spiritual disciplines that lead us to live a bold life of faith. If you and I want to make a greater impact on what is seen, then we have to have a deeper connection to the unseen!
On week one we talked about Praying Bold Prayers (Our prayers never die!). Last week we talked about Speaking Bold Words (Our words must support our prayers!).
Today, I want to talk to us about being people who act in – Bold Obedience!
1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (ESV)
A wise person once said – “Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience.”
Another person said – “Obedience is a choice between our limited knowledge and God’s unlimited power.”
Someone else said – “You will never know how to command until you first learn how to obey.”
Steven Furtick – “Obedience is our responsibility, and the outcome is God’s.”
One simple act of bold obedience got a bunch stagnant Christians working, and brought healing to a wounded widows heart!
(When God speaks to us, we must boldly obey!)
The problem today is not that God has stopped speaking. It’s that people have stopped listening!
(We’re not in the mood, We don’t have time, It will cost too much!)
The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of our Obedience:
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (ESV)
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (ESV)
1 John 2:17
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (ESV)
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (ESV)
17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. (ESV)
The Word of God delivers divine blessings when we hear it, receive it and then do it!
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! (ESV)
All too often Christians can get frustrated because they get busy doing a lot of good things, but there’s no blessing from it. God won’t bless what he didn’t ask us to do!
1 Samuel 15:22
22 And Samuel said, “Has 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 listen than the fat of rams. (ESV)
We cannot manipulate God into blessing our disobedience through our sacrifice!
The most basic law of spiritual growth is this – We do the following and God does the blessing!
The reality is, there are reasons why we all choose at times to go our way, instead of obeying God’s voice!
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (ESV)
The Greek words “Every Weight” In this passage refer to excessive size, weight or excessive clothing. At the time of this writing, people wore excessive garments that were layered and loose. The writer understood that if someone preparing for a race didn’t remove these garments, they could become entangled and lose the race!
> Sometimes we’re disobedient because of Sin!
> Sometimes we’re disobedient because of Fear!
> Sometimes we’re disobedient because of Selfishness!
> Sometimes we’re disobedient because of Distractions!
Truth – Defeating ourselves is the biggest battle we will ever face in obeying God!
We are self-absorbed and self-centered by nature and we have to learn to deny ourself!
Christ not only delivers us from sin. He also delivers us from self!
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)
Today, I want to close with three things that Bold Obedience always brings us:
Last week in Acts 4 we talked about the fact that Peter and John were thrown in jail for preaching Bold Words about Jesus after 5,000 people got saved. After they got out of jail, the Lord came to them and told them to go back and do what just got them locked up. They obeyed and here’s what happened in: Acts 5:17-20 “Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”
1. Bold obedience always triggers Opposition!
The moment I stepped out to renovate that widow’s house, people instantly questioned me. How are you going to pay for this? Are you sure you know what you’re doing? I’m not doing this because I know what I’m doing, I’m doing it because God told me to!
When’s the last time we did something so bold for God that people opposed it?
Instead of boldly obeying God, most of the time we allow our faith to decay because we are afraid of opposition!
After Peter and John got out of jail for preaching the gospel, they obeyed the Lord, went back out and got arrested again!
(Obeying the Lord rarely means less opposition!)
2. Bold obedience always reaps Provision!
After Peter and John were thrown into jail a third time for preaching the gospel, Look what God did in Acts 5:19 “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.”
Six years ago when we started this church, I had no idea where the people or the provision would come from. God has been faithful to provide every step of the way!
*If we had never boldly stepped out, we would have never seen God’s provision!*
3. Bold obedience always requires Faith!
God will never call us to do something that doesn’t require us to use our faith!
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) “And without faith, it is impossible to please God…”
Too often we only do part of what God said!
(Partial obedience is disobedience!)
God is calling us to be fully obedient today.
That starts with surrendering to Christ!