WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 4, 2021
TOPIC: OBEY THE LORD COMPLETELY
BY T. O. BANSO
“LORD you gave your orders to be obeyed completely” (Psalm 119:4 New Century Version).
This New Year, make up your mind to obey the LORD completely, not partially. Partial obedience is not obedience. What the LORD wants is a hundred percent obedience.
God commanded King Saul to utterly, completely destroy the Amalekites, but he spared King Agag and the best animals. He went ahead to lie to Samuel that he had obeyed the LORD.
When Samuel asked him about the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen he was hearing, Saul answered that the people brought them from the Amalekites as they spared the best of the sheep and the oxen to sacrifice to the “LORD your God.” He added that they had utterly destroyed the rest! (1 Samuel 15:14-15). But that wasn’t the command of the LORD to him. The Israelites were to attack Amalek and utterly destroy all that they had, and not spare them; they were to kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey (1 Samuel 15:3).
Responding to Saul’s defence, Samuel told him the LORD’s reaction to his behavior, which He had told him the previous night. He reminded Saul how when he was little in his own eyes, he was made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed him king over Israel. He sent him on a mission to go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they were consumed (verses 17-18). “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?” (verse 19 New King James Version).
No defence by Saul would ever be able to justify his action. “So 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 heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version).
Because of Saul’s disobedience, he lost the throne. Samuel said, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king” (New King James Version). Don’t obey the LORD partially; that’s no obedience. Obey Him completely. The psalmist says, “LORD you gave your orders to be obeyed completely” (Psalm 119:4 New Century Version).
The words of the LORD are to be obeyed completely whether we agree with them or not. We are not to choose which word to obey or not. If obedience to the LORD will make you disobey human beings, don’t have any apologies about that. Obey the LORD completely.
In Acts 5, the Jewish Council rebuked Peter and the other apostles for disobeying their strict command not to teach in the name of Jesus but instead filled Jerusalem with their doctrine. They accused the apostles of intending to bring Jesus’ blood on them. “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29 New King James Version).
Your attitude to the Word of the LORD will bring you under a blessing or under a curse. Everyone chooses which one he wants. Obedience will bring you a blessing and disobedience a curse. That does not mean that the LORD will curse you. No. It’s just about the consequences everyone reaps for his or her choices. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 says, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known” (New King James Version).
Furthermore, your obedience will bring a blessing upon you and make you a blessing to others. Conversely, your disobedience will endanger the lives of other people. We see a perfect example of this in Jonah. The LORD told the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh, a great city, and cry out against it because their wickedness had come up before Him. Instead of obeying the LORD, Jonah arose and went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, and paid the fare, fleeing from the presence of the LORD!
However, Jonah endangered the lives of others in the same ship with him on the high sea as the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, which caused a mighty tempest so that the ship was about to be broken up. The storm only stopped after the culprit, Jonah, was discovered and, at his request, was thrown into the sea (Jonah 1:3-15). Be careful; don’t let your disobedience endanger the lives of others including your spouse, children, and followers.
Another example of disobedience in the Bible is Achan. He disobeyed the LORD’s command and caused the death of thirty-six men in Israel’s army in the battle of Ai before his sin was exposed (Joshua 7:5). He also caused his own death and that of his household (Joshua 7:24-26). Proverbs 15:27 says, “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live” (New King James Version). That perfectly describes Achan. He was greedy.
In Romans 5:18-19, the Bible contrasts the disobedience of Adam to the obedience of Jesus Christ. “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (New King Jams Version)
Obey the LORD completely. Obedience is for your own good (Deuteronomy 10:13). You’re doing yourself a favour, not God. You will reap the reward of obedience or the consequences of disobedience. “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’ For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19-20 New King James Version).
Obey what the LORD says in the Bible; obey what the Holy Spirit tells you. The Holy Spirit never contradicts the written Word of God. Jesus says blessed are “those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28 New International Version). Also, the apostle James says, “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25 New King James Version). Obey the LORD completely.
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: This year and beyond, I shall be willing and obedient, and enjoy good things from the LORD. I shall obey God completely rather than men. Holy Spirit, deliver me from disobedience that will endanger my life and the lives of others.
(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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