“Obey today and God will show you the way!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 19, 2022
Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. Mark 6:45, NLT
I sometimes confuse my need to see results now with the process of being obedient in the moment. Feeling pressure from being surrounded with real time social media success, I need reminding that future fruit from real time obedience takes time. The tendency for social media to ambush my peace led to my experiment at the beginning of summer to delete social media from my phone. To help…to help me stay focused in the moment of real time obedience to God and not be distracted by objects of discontent. So far, no regrets—and I have more time to hear God.
The disciples of Jesus faced a test of real time obedience. After experiencing the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, Jesus insisted… that they get back into the boat (not hang around to sign autographs and post on social media what God had done through them, ha!). Yes…a real time instruction from the Lord to see if they would obey and not play. And they did…they bound into the vessel to make their way across the lake. You know the story. A storm tested their resolve to remain obedient. But they obeyed…rowing and struggling to follow Jesus’ directive. And He… showed up to show them the way…on the water, walking. A faith lesson for Peter and friends as Jesus lifted up their bold leader, calmed the storm and led His obedient crew to the other side.
“We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32).
There is the blessing of the Holy Spirit’s leading to those who obey Christ’s commands. At salvation the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer’s spirit, but there is a filling of the Spirit that overflows an obedient heart. Andrew Murray, the Spirit filled South African Pastor in the mid to late 1800’s, makes the point, “By saying God has given His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32), he proves he knew that surrender to Christ had been the preparation for Pentecost. In the other, we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), we have man’s part. Obedience is to be unto death; nothing on earth dare or hinder it in the person who has given himself to God.” Stunningly, the Lord gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey… for the courage to obey!
Is your obedience to the Lord the primary measure of your love for the Lord? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey my commands” (John 14:15). A professed love for God that does not result in obedience to God is dishonest, inauthentic, sin. Even in the face of fear…obey. Fear of failure, fear of not being accepted, fear of lost approval…all release their grip on you when you obey. Your obedience will free you to experience your Father’s love, the Spirit’s power and the Son’s validation with an intimacy you’ve yet to encounter. The fruit of your bold obedience will inspire and free those around you to do the same. Obey today and God will show you the way!
“But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29, NLT).
Heavenly Father, give me the courage to obey and be filled with your Spirit as a result of my true love for you, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What fear am I nursing that is holding me back from obeying the Lord?
John Michael Talbot: Here I Am, Lord
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