WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 26, 2021
TOPIC: MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN YOU FULLY OBEY DIVINE INSTRUCTIONS
BY T. O. BANSO
“‘His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it’” (John 2:5 New King James Version).
There are two sides to the manifestation of miracles: God’s side and man’s side. On the side of God, there is no problem. As Jesus said, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27). Human beings, however, many times hinder what God wants to do for them.
From the Bible, we learn that when God wants to perform miracles, many times, He gives instructions. It could be directly through the written word of God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer, or the Holy Spirit speaking through the servants of God. If man fully obeys divine instructions miracles are birthed. If he fails to fully obey divine instructions, God is limited. Obey divine instructions fully, not partially. Partial obedience is as bad as outright disobedience.
In 2 Chronicles 20:20, King Jehoshaphat said to the people of Judah to believe in the LORD their God, and they shall be established. He told them to believe His prophets, and they shall prosper. That was when three nations came to fight against Judah and by the Spirit of the LORD, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah had prophesied victory for Judah.
He said, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17 New King James Version).
On the strength of this prophecy, Jehoshaphat encouraged the people of Judah. After consulting with the people, he appointed those who would sing to the LORD and praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army. The outcome of their obedience was a victory. The enemy nations killed one another.
The people of Judah saw their dead bodies in the wilderness and spent three days gathering the spoils of war. That miracle happened because they obeyed the instruction of the prophet of God to position themselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. They didn’t fight in that battle just as the LORD had said. If they had not fully obeyed the instruction they were given, they wouldn’t have experienced that miracle.
Everybody loves miracles, but not everyone is prepared to fully obey instructions that would give birth to the miracles they desire. Sometimes, the instructions are ridiculous or illogical. How would you tell soldiers to just position themselves and be still, and that they would not need to fight? Three nations had come to fight them and all Jehoshaphat did, because of that prophecy, was to select singers to go ahead of the army and praise the LORD. That appeared as going to commit suicide! But the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).
The foolishness of God proved to be right. “For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another” (2 Chronicles 20:23 New King James Version). If you want to experience a miracle, obey divine instructions fully, no matter how foolish it appears. To do otherwise is to try to prove that you’re wiser than God.
In 2 Kings 3, the king of Israel went with the kings of Judah and Edom to war against the Moabites. After seven days of travelling along a roundabout route through the wilderness, there was no water for the armies and their animals. Because of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, the prophet Elisha, whom they went to consult about the situation, gave them divine instruction that would lead to the supernatural provision of water.
Elisha said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. Also you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up every spring of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones” (2 Kings 3:16-19 New King James Version).
God’s instruction through Elisha to these three kings was to make the valley full of ditches or tranches. This is the way the New King James Version and other translations like American Standard Version, The Complete Jewish Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Darby Translation, Good News Translation, God’s Word Translation, Hebrew Names Version, and others present it. However, some translations present the sentence as what God said He would do – He would make the valley full of ditches, trenches, or water-holes.
The first presentation of this verse agrees with the pattern of God’s operation of giving instructions to human beings as their participation in birthing miracles. These three kings, who were in a dire situation, must have obeyed the divine instruction, digging the trenches in anticipation of the water God had promised to supply. They did what they were supposed to do, leaving God to do His own part. And He did.
2 Kings 3:20 says, “And sure enough, the next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere” (New King James Version). As the LORD had said, they didn’t see wind or rain, yet the valley was filled with water. Obedience to divine instruction resulted in the supernatural provision of water which also led to the defeat of the enemy.
The enemy had miscalculated. The sun was shining across the water God provided for these three kings, and their armies, making it look as red as blood. The enemy thought the three armies had killed themselves and when they arrived at the camp of the Israelites, they were roundly defeated and they fled.
If you want to enjoy miracles, fully do whatever God asks you to do. Obey the instructions He gives you. Don’t be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). The divine instructions that the prophet Elisha gave the widow of one of the sons of the prophet s were, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones” (2 Kings 4:3-4 New King James Version).
She obeyed these instructions and experienced a miracle. All the vessels she had borrowed were filled with oil from just the only jar of oil she had at home. The oil stopped flowing when there were no more empty vessels. When she came back to report the miracle to Elisha, he told her to go sell the oil, pay her debt; and live on the rest she and her sons. If she had failed to obey the instructions because she considered them absurd, she would never have experienced that miracle.
Are there divine instructions you have failed to obey in the past? Are their instructions that hold the key to your miracles pending for your obedience at the moment? Don’t delay further.
In 2 Kings 4, when Elisha’s attention was drawn to the presence of death in the pot of stew the sons of the prophets wanted to eat, he gave an instruction which they obeyed and the stew was purified. “So he said, ‘Then bring some flour.’ And he put it into the pot, and said, ‘Serve it to the people, that they may eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot” (2 Kings 4:41 New King James Version).
In 2 Kings 5, Naaman, the Syrian army commander who was a leper would have returned to Syria without being healed if he had not listened to his men to obey Elisha’s instructions to wash in River Jordan seven times. He had to humble himself and obey, even if River Jordan was dirty and, as he had said, Abana River and Pharpar River of Damascus were better than all the rivers of Israel. “So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his flesh became as healthy as a young child’s, and he was healed!” (2 Kings 5:14 New Living Translation).
I can continue to talk about other miracles that happened in the Bible following obedience to divine instructions including that of the widow of Zarephath, in 1 Kings 17:8-16, who enjoyed supernatural provision of food throughout the period of famine because she obeyed the instruction of the prophet Elijah to make bread for him first from the flour she had left.
But let me also mention the miracle of supernatural catch of fish by Peter in the same river he had toiled throughout the night without catching any fish. The story is recorded in Luke 5. After Jesus had finished using Peter’s boat to preach, He said to him, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4 New King James Version). The instruction didn’t make sense because Peter didn’t catch any fish throughout the night, which was the best time for catching fish.
Luke 5:5-8 says, “But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’” (New King James Version).
In the same place where Peter had recorded failure, he succeeded few hours after because he obeyed divine instruction. Peter and the rest of his colleagues were surprised. They all saw the reward of obedience.
At the wedding in Cana of Galilee attended by Jesus, the wine finished. The mother of Jesus told Him about it, but He said His hour had not yet come. “‘His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it’” (John 2:5 New King James Version).
The servants followed the instruction He gave them and filled the waterpots with water to the brim. Afterward, He asked them to draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. They obeyed His instruction. The master of the feast tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from. The wine was described as the good wine or the best.
Obey divine instructions to experience your miracles. Do whatever the Lord asks you to do. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). If you diligently obey the voice of the Lord, you will soon share the testimonies of your miracles. If you’re willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
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 disobedience of divine instructions in the past. Please show me anywhere my obedience to divine instructions is not complete yet. Holy Spirit, help me to obey divine instructions fully henceforth. Father, let the spirit of prompt and full obedience rule in your church so that our miracles shall no more be delayed.
(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.
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