Pastor Arnold brings a short and sweet final word on the subject of obedience, from the perspective of God's teaching on it.
On one occasion, while Sir Henry Brackenbury (1837 – 1914) was a military attache' in Paris, he was talking with the distinguished French statesman Leon Gambetta. Gambetta stated, "In these days there are only two things a soldier needs to know. He must know how to march, and he must know how to shoot!" The Englishman quickly responded, "I beg your pardon, Excellency, but you have forgotten the most important thing of all!" "What's that?" asked Gambetta. Brackenbury replied, "He must know how to obey!"
In Genesis 17:1, God said to Abraham, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be perfect." The word for "perfect" here does not means sinless perfection, but "uprightness, being without spot, without blemish, totally obedient." It means to finish what you started, a complete performance. John Wesley called it "constant obedience."
Christ declared, "He who has My commandments, and keeps them, it is he that loves Me," John14:21. David Wilkerson stated, "You cannot love God without having the fear of God in you. You cannot love Him without obeying His Word. And you do not truly fear God unless you love and obey Him."
William Penn warned our nation, "If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants." Our national and individual blessings from the hand of God depends on our obedience to Him. God promised in Isaiah 1:19, "If you be willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land." To "be willing and obedient" speaks of being submissive to God, His Word, His will and His purposes.
During the Korean War, a young man received a draft notice. Having just married, he sent a note to the draft board referring them to Deuteronomy 24:5, "When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken." The draft board apparently had their own "biblical scholar," too. The draftee shortly received this reply, "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it" (Matthew 8:9).
"Most of us do not need more light, we need more obedience." (Leonard Ravenhill).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida