Pastor Josiah Elias | The Life of Obedience
Our heavenly Father likes to talk to us, and He does so through His Word and through His
Spirit. In Old Testament days, He communicated with men such as Abram directly. Genesis 12 set the scene and various chapters showed how the communication played out.
In Genesis 12:1-2, the LORD said to Abram,”Go from your country, your people and your
father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation.” Abram had the
free will to obey or not-just as we do. He chose to go as the LORD told him. This decision was huge in that he was well established and would wander as the LORD told him. Pastor Josiah noted that “the accomplishing of His word is in partnership with man’s obedience.” What does that mean for us practically? It means that we should make up our minds daily to follow the LORD and obey Him for that day and the next and the next. Thus our minds, hearts, souls and spirits are turned towards Him first not ourselves, our desires, our families, or our society.
After the scene was set, the confirmation stage began where God reminded Abram of what He has done and will do. “But Abram replied,’O Sovereign LORD, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?’” Genesis 15:7-11 (NIV) The LORD instructed Abram to bring a heifer, a female goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon after which he was to kill each and cut each
down the middle except for the birds. Then he laid the halves “side by side.” vs 10 The LORD established a blood covenant (a promise), for in verse 17 “when the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.” The LORD, the sovereign LORD, passed between the divided animals and established a covenant. What an incredible confirmation the LORD made.
In verse 11 vultures, birds of prey, tried to steal the meat, but Abram shooed them away. Satan is disturbed when we decide to deepen our relationship with the LORD, when we obey His covenant. We must actively chase the thoughts, the fears, the anxiousness away and follow Jesus, spend time with Him. Pastor Josiah admonished us to not “let the vultures peck away at your obedience. Fight back against the enemy to protect your sacrifice of obedience to the LORD.” How do we fight back? We need to soak our thoughts and spirits in the Word, sing songs to Him, repeat psalms, and sit at His feet.
Genesis 15:18 is the confirmation of the covenant. God unconditionally pledged to Abram’s
“So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said,
‘I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the
border of Egypt to the Great Euphrates River…’”
”When it comes to obedience, we do our part so He can do His,” stated Pastor Josiah. This
pledge came to fruition in Solomon’s time. Just as the “Waymaker” song says,
“Waymaker, miracle worker
Promise Keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are.”
He keeps His word, makes a way where there is not way and is the LORD of the Impossible.
In addition God loves to give us beyond our expectations. In Genesis 17:5-6 God established a new name for Abram who became Abraham “father of many nations.” Abraham’s descendants would acquire the “land flowing with milk and honey” Canaan. Ironically before it was a cursed land because of Noah’s son Ham. Abraham would “reverse the curse” and redeem the land through his obedience. “Faith pleases Him, “and “He wants to walk with you and see your faith grow as you steward obedience.”
Finally in Genesis 22:16-18 Abraham was tested We saw how much was riding on his
obedience-his son Isaac as a sacrifice to the LORD. What is evident in this passage is that “we do our part so He can do His.” That is what Abraham did. He had a life style of obedience. That is what I want-a life characterized by obedience to the LORD first. Obedience today prepares you for obedience for tomorrow. John Bevere stated, “The highest form of worship is not singing, it’s obedience.”
May we obey Him so that we can be salt and light in this troubled world.
Written by Larry & Annette Linthicum