WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 28, 2020
TOPIC: GIVE OBEDIENCE TO GOD THE HIGHEST PRIORITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Amaziah asked the man of God, ‘But what should I do about the silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?’ The man of God replied, ‘The LORD is able to give you much more than this!’ So Amaziah discharged the hired troops and sent them back to Ephraim…” (2 Chronicles 25:9-10 New Living Translation).
In 2 Chronicles 25, Amaziah, the king of Judah, was not satisfied with his army of 300,000 select troops and decided to hire 100,000 experienced fighting men from Israel – mercenaries from Israel, a kingdom God was not pleased with at that time.
Amaziah had already paid 7,500 pounds of silver for the services of the mercenaries. But God sent a man of God to warn him not to go to war with these mercenaries as Judah would be defeated no matter how well they fought because God was not with Israel. Amaziah then raised with the man of God the issue of the money he had already paid for the mercenaries.
2 Chronicles 25:9-10 says, “Amaziah asked the man of God, ‘But what should I do about the silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?’ The man of God replied, ‘The LORD is able to give you much more than this!’ So Amaziah discharged the hired troops and sent them back to Ephraim…” (New Living Translation).
The answer of the man of God is very instructive: “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!” In other words, what was 7,500 pounds of silver to God? God was able to give much more than this as a reward for obedience.
Amaziah, therefore, decided to forgo the money. He went to the battle with the 300,000 soldiers he had thought were not sufficient to give him victory and they won the battle. God showed him that what he needed was Him, not mercenaries.
You could see that when the man of God warned Amaziah that if he allowed hired fighters from Israel to go with his troops into battle, “You will be defeated no matter how well you fight. God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help or to frustrate” (verse 8 New Living Translation), he was concerned about the money he had paid the mercenaries.
If he had gone ahead to disobey God, what he would have lost would have been more than the money he didn’t want to forfeit. And that is the problem with many people. Instead of minimizing their loss by obeying God, they end up losing some things more precious than the money they don’t want to lose.
Beloved, if you’ll obey God, He can give you more than the amount or any other thing that is tempting you to disobey God. God has a way of compensating for your obedience. After Abraham had obeyed God to sacrifice Isaac and God provided a ram in place of Isaac, He promised again to bless him and multiply him.
Hear what the Bible says in Genesis 22:15-18: “Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (New King James Version).
Many people also live their lives pursuing money-making at the expense of obedience to the Word of God. They do the things forbidden by the Word of God just to make money. Such people can’t escape the punishment for disobeying God. The psalmist prayed, “Help me to prefer obedience to making money!” (Psalm 119:36 The Living Bible). Place obedience to God above money. Don’t let money be more important to you than obedience to God. Give obedience to God the highest priority.
Man fell when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, eating the fruit God had forbidden them from eating. They were consequently evicted from the Garden of Eden. They lost an entire garden because of one fruit! (Genesis 3).
Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt because she disobeyed the angel’s instruction to Lot and his family not to look back (Genesis 19:26). King Saul lost the throne because of disobedience to God’s command to completely destroy the Amalekites. He prioritized sacrifice to God above obedience to God. But the LORD told him through the prophet Samuel, “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 heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version).
Don’t disobey God and lose your life or the lives of those precious to you. Jonah, a prophet who disobeyed God, endangered the lives of the mariners or sailors in the ship he boarded to Tarshish instead of Nineveh that God had sent Him. Jonah went the opposite direction to escape for God! Imagine that! However, God sent a great wind which caused a mighty tempest on the sea. The violent wind didn’t cease from raging until the disobedient prophet, who was fast asleep, was fished out and thrown into the sea (Jonah 1:1-15). Give obedence to God the highest priority.
I repeat: Don’t disobey God and lose your life or the lives of those precious to you. This is more important concerning your salvation and the salvation of others, especially those in your sphere of influence. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 New King James Version).
God will reward your obedience. He said, “I did not say to the seed of Jacob,’Seek Me in vain’” (Isaiah 45:19b New King James Version). If you’re willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). Don’t let any other thing be more important to you than obedience to God. Give obedence to God the highest priority.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my past disobedience; forgive me, LORD. I shall prefer obedience to making money in the name of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, help me to give priority to obeying Your Word above anything else. In the name of Jesus, I shall be willing and obedient, and I shall eat the good of the land.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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