Can any mere philosopher explain how it was that John Howard, an English gentleman of affluence, was led to conceive and execute the purpose of spending his life in breathing the pestilential air of the dungeons of Europe, that he might relieve the sufferings of the prisoners? A lie is something that is simply not true. ... 3. I have always told people who say they do not understand why God is asking them to do a certain thing that if they will obey him, he will reward them with a sense of peace and joy that compares to nothing this world has to offer. I struggle with this one, myself. O ften you may feel that after all the failures you've had in trying to do his work that God won't ask you again in a hurry. A doer. However, God was not through with Paul. If you have a relationship with God, you also probably hoped you were doing what God wanted you to do. He must influence others. Obedience to the commandments makes it possible for God to provide the help we need as we seek to accomplish difficult tasks. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. But he was now called by an audible voice to devote those talents to Christ, and to His cause:—and well he answered and obeyed the summons. A Christian’s testimony of holiness is a strong witness that God is at work in the world. If you see a need to obey His Commandments at the same time that you see how hard it is for you to do so, God is working with you. Secondly. Those talents he had abused. Is that You, God? In the voice which comes to men from the Bible, from reason, from conscience, from the events of Providence, from the pulpit, from the stranger, and from the influences of the Holy Spirit, there is, in this respect, no uncertain sound; no ambiguity. Scriptures on Obedience “If you love me, you will keep my commandments." This rational nature is often, indeed, put sadly out of place, and abused by mankind. God calls each one of us to repentance from sin; to faith in the Redeemer; to preparation for the world to come; to a life of usefulness. f1rmed him in the conviction that this call was from heaven; and, although it had been attended with many sacrifices, privations, and trials, it grieved him not that he had, in the cause of the Saviour, given up the brilliant prospects of his early life, and gone cheerfully where the "heavenly vision " led him. In its proper place, reason is as true to its Maker as was the voice which addressed Isaiah in the temple, or the "vision" which appeared to Saul of Tarsus. Hear what was said in ancient "visions" to the children of men:—"God speaketh once, yea, twice, yet man perceiveth it not. God now calls him to believe in Jesus Christ as a Saviour; as his Saviour;—to receive Him; to rely on Him; to live to Him; to love Him; to follow Him. The Apostle Paul says, 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him” (Psalm 128:1). If there is anything we can do for you, ... Learning obedience with God works in a similar way. It is not given to him to be a revelation, nor to supersede the necessity of a revelation, for it communicates no new truth. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” – John 17:3 ” I have called you friends.” – John 15:15 ” You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14 “God’s call is for you to be His loyal friend, for whatever purpose He has for your life.” I wonder if we have thought enough about the implications of what Paul says in Romans 12:6–8 when he is talking about gifts. Here are five reasons why obedience will draw you closer to the Lord: Reason No. Are there no leadings of the hand of God, no methods by which He reveals His will, no appeals which He makes to the soul, no warnings, no admonitions, no invitations, no encouragements? (Galatians 3) Grace means that we do not have to meet the requirements of the law in order to maintain relationship with God. Is it impossible for God now so to communicate His will to the soul of an individual that he shall be in no danger of error as to what he should do? Those lessons, however, are easy to miss because the premise of the story is so compelling. We learn in the New Testament that the law was a “schoolmaster” given to Israel that would eventually lead man to something better. We make pretensions to no superiority in mental, moral, or spiritual excellence above our fellow-men. Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do. If we don’t trust the Lord, we won’t obey Him. He was so zealous for Judaism, and so against this new religion (Christianity) t… The talents with which you are by nature endowed,—the learning which you possess,—the influence which you may have in the world,—the wealth which you have gained,—belong to God; and He asks that all these may be devoted to the great ends for which they were bestowed upon you. But it does not err when it speaks of the obligations of virtue, justice, and truth; when it directs the mind up through His works to God Himself; when it appeals to man in favour of God and religion by considerations drawn from the immortality of the soul, and the solemnities of a future existence; when it presses upon man the duty of preparing for another world. . When you choose to obey the Lord, he will bless you. And He calls you—alike by Scripture, by your reason, by your conscience, by the events of His Providence, by heavenly influences,—to consecrate all you have to His service and to the good of man. He keeps you. That is what obedience allows us—and requires us—to do. Before his conversion, Paul was a dedicated adherent to the Jewish faith. Paul's main salvation verses at odds with Jesus are well-known:. It is not by chance you have the relatives, friends, job, and church family that you do. Thirdly. It is not inspiration. (Use backpack illustration) Each time we sin and do nothing about it our sin weighs us down more and more. His mother hid him for several months, then made a waterproof basket and placed him in the Nile, hoping an Egyptian would rescue and adopt him. He keeps you. Bringing into captivity every thought.--The verb is used by St. Paul again in Romans 7:23; 2Timothy 3:6. The circumstances of your life have been ordered by Him. of determining at once the question of duty, would render in a great measure useless the faculties with which He has endowed us, and would change almost entirely the order of things now existing on the earth. He has been an encouragement and an example of godly living to me since the days when we were both young faculty members at Bethel College in St. Paul (John was teaching New Testament and I taught systematic theology.) He is drawing you—calling you—toward His Son and His way of life. We will never come to a point in our life that we are too perfect and we don’t have anything to learn. Instructions are clear about giving thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18), avoiding sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3) and doing good (1 Peter 2:15) for example. What do you do? We are his children by our relationship with Jesus. Whatever may be the feelings of men on the great subject of religion, we are sure that we always have their reason with us when we urge them to forsake their sins and to give themselves to the service of their Maker. Do you know what a lie is? The eminent Jesuit theologian Father John Anthony Hardon, S.T.D. Our desire to be obedient grows as our love for God increases. We arrogate no power of peculiar insight into Divine things. He has refused to receive Christ as a Redeemer. Has God so withdrawn from the world, or has He so bound Himself by the physical laws which He has imposed on created things, and so limited the exercise of His omnipotence within those laws, that He has reserved to Himself no way now of making known to an individual traveller to another world what He would have, its proper place, reason is as true to its Maker as was the voice which addressed Isaiah in the temple, or the "vision" which appeared to Saul of Tarsus. To secure. When in obedience to His commission, the minister of religion brings before a man truth, undoubted truth,—when he presents it in such a form as to be adapted to the particular circumstances, to the time of life, to the state of mind, to the peculiar temptations of that man, to the enquiries which are awakened in his soul from other sources in regard to truth and duty,—we know not why this should not be regarded as in fact a method by which God Himself addresses that man, as really as Saul of Tarsus was addressed from heaven. 3:20). Read Acts 9:1-22. We can obey our heavenly Father if we: ... be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. When in obedience to His commission, the minister of religion brings before a man truth, undoubted truth,—when he presents it in such a form as to be adapted to the particular circumstances, to the time of life, to the state of mind, to the peculiar temptations of that man, to the enquiries which are awakened in his soul from other sources in regard to truth and duty,—we know not why this should not be regarded as in fact a method by which God Himself addresses that man, as really as Saul of Tarsus was addressed from heaven. Every one may find in his own life, if he chooses, not a few events that were designed to indicate to him what was the will of God. He calls men to faith in that Saviour in whom Saul of Tarsus was called to believe, and whom he was commissioned to make known to the world. Give it to God and let Him do it for you. He has been determined not to feel or acknowledge his need of a Saviour. Oftentimes, you must exercise great self-control in order to achieve such a level of obedience. He redeemed you. We shall die,—all die. When, indeed, reason attempts to penetrate the counsels of the Almighty without the aid of revelation, and to intrude into the mysteries of the Divine nature beyond what is revealed,—when it attempts to form a system of religion which shall supersede that of revelation,—when it attempts to supply the place of all communications from heaven, it always errs, for it has departed from its appropriate sphere. Are there no leadings of the hand of God, no methods by which He reveals His will, no appeals which He makes to the soul, no warnings, no admonitions, no invitations, no encouragements? We can obey our heavenly Father if we: Choose to trust Him. Romans 3:28 ("man is justified by faith apart from observing the law"). on the ocean,—in a foreign land,—in a hospital, far away from home and friends, from mother, sister, daughter, pastor,—in a Christian sanctuary which may be casually attended,—the voice of a stranger may be heard; and shall it be deemed extravagant to believe that the feet of the stranger may have been guided in order that he might speak to that soul about the way of salvation? Tadios Msipa, a student of CLI, experienced his own command from the Lord. The word grace had deep meaning for the apostle Paul. In its own place, however, it is a method by which God communicates His will to man, and is as true to its office as the magnet to the pole. 1: When you are obedient, you can walk with God. The dramatic story of God testing Abraham’s faith is ripe with lessons we can apply to our lives. I know that many of us don't want to rest until we're finished with the semester, but remember that you don't need an official break to take care of yourself. It can never be made to lift its voice in favour of the neglect of religion; of impenitence; of the indulgence of guilty passions; of disregard of the counsels which require us to prepare for eternity. It is a way in which God is speaking to hundreds of millions of men at each moment; and in such a manner, that if they would follow His counsels according to the laws of this arrangement, we may again affirm that they would be in no more danger of erring than was Saul of Tarsus when he yielded obedience to the heavenly vision. Reason No. It is easy for one disposed to do his duty to go forward: for he yields to all that urges him on; and reason, and conscience, and truth, and God's Spirit, have no sharp "goads " with which to pierce and penetrate his soul. He pledged to bless the patriarch and make his name great. James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. . ... 1:27), worthy of the saints (Romans 16:2), worthy of God (1 Thess. Contemplate the effect on a man's character of not yielding to the calls of duty, and of resisting the influences which would draw him along in the way of virtue, of purity, and of usefulness; the effect on a man's character when, in order to pursue a chosen course, it is necessary for him to go against the decisions of reason, the generous impulses of his nature, the voice of conscience, the warnings of Providence, the admonitions of God in His word, by His ministers, and by His Spirit. It remains now to notice, in few words, the duty of obeying such a heavenly call or "vision.". Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. He doesn’t toy with us or give up if we’re not sure we heard Him the first time. “When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.” -Jonah 2:7 . By simply hearing God’s voice and doing His will, Abraham produced something for the glory of God and for the blessing of millions - look up and compare Genesis 12:2 and 22:18. Time had only conf1rmed him in the conviction that this call was from heaven; and, although it had been attended with many sacrifices, privations, and trials, it grieved him not that he had, in the cause of the Saviour, given up the brilliant prospects of his early life, and gone cheerfully where the "heavenly vision " led him. And there is still a seventh method, universal in its nature, by which God addresses the children of men. S ometimes we agree that God's idea will work with the people He has selected, but the time is just not quite right for us. Obeying God means moving aside and allowing God—His Word, His Holy Spirit and His way of operating—to move in our lives. So a man in one pursuit in life finds his plans blasted, sees some unexpected obstacle always in his way, encounters obstructions thrown across his path which he can neither anticipate nor remove; and he may find in these things an intimation that he is in a wrong path as clear as was that in the case of Saul the persecutor when he was arrested by the Saviour on his way to Damascus. Its province, indeed, is often mistaken; and hence, like reason, man makes it an unsafe guide. We are, therefore, to put these things out of view, in reference to the question how the will of God is to be ascertained. Scenes and Incidents in the Life of the Apostle Paul, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Read Acts 9:10-22. If you are waiting for a “Damascus road experience,” open your New Testament and listen to the risen Lord. We sustain no peculiar relation to God. The Savior is a perfect example of obedience. ", The will of God was made known to Saul of Tarsus by a direct communication from the Redeemer Himself. Why was his obedience so essential at this time? Is it possible for us in our own case to obtain an answer to the question which Saul of Tarsus asked with so much sincerity and solemnity respecting himself: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" Hebrews 5:8–9, “Although he was a son” — although Jesus was the Son of God — “he learned obedience” — catch that phrase — “he learned obedience through what he suffered. ... found obedience to the Great Commission. We need to search out all of these things to learn how to live. No one can walk with God without being obedient. He speaks of what God had wrought to make the Gentiles obedient.' If you understand what you are learning from the Bible and you see the need to change your life, God is beginning to work with you. He summoned Saul of Tarsus to abandon his purposes of persecution;— and in like manner He calls on the wicked to "forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts" (Isa. This is exactly what happened as Moses was adopted by a Princess in Pharaoh’s household. He made you what you are in mental endowment. If you're feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is give yourself a break. Life Application From the borders of the eternal world, we shall look over the present life. It is impossible, in respect to this, to misinterpret the Divine will. “Commands” speaks of the Scriptures in which God has clearly delineated His instructions. Has God so withdrawn from the world, or has He so bound Himself by the physical laws which He has imposed on created things, and so limited the exercise of His omnipotence within those laws, that He has reserved to Himself no way now of making known to an individual traveller to another world what He would have him to do? The renewed mind takes seriously the needs that you see in the world and the ones that move you most deeply. This is how to cultivate this God-honoring attitude. | GotQuestions.org, Why is obedience to God important? of A planner. Thus, also, God could address each one of the human race as an individual and by name, and thus indicate to us His will as to what we should believe and do. Are you ready? He truly believed in the truth of the Old Testament and, most probably, was anxiously awaiting the Jewish Messiah. Eerdman's Bible Dictionary states, "True 'hearing,' or obedience, involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer, and a belief or trust that in turn motivates the hearer to act in accordance with the speaker's desires." (Acts ix. Some aspects of God’s will are very clearly spelled out in the Bible. All that Saul had done in relation to Him might be traced to the simple fact that he was an unbeliever; all would have been different if he had been a believer in Jesus. Okay, it may not be that extreme. God calls men to devote themselves to His cause; to give themselves to a life of usefulness; to live so as to promote His glory in the world; to labour to advance the great interests of truth and righteousness; to be the patrons and triends of whatever will elevate the race, and to diffuse abroad that religion which is identified with the welfare of man:—to give back to Him, in His service, the result—the fruit—of the talents, the learning, and the influence which He has conferred on them. To a great extent it would render useless the faculty of reason, designed to aid us in investigating truth; it would take away the stimulus to human effort in the search after what is right; it would render man indolent and unconcerned until the voice should come with a distinct announcement of the will of God; it would destroy not a few of the motives which now prompt us to action; it would be a departure from the great principles on which men are governed in other things than religion; it would materially affect the whole subject of moral government, and make the progress of the world dependent rather on supernatural impulses than on settled and regular laws. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” – John 17:3 ” I have called you friends.” – John 15:15 ” You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14 “God’s call is for you to be His loyal friend, for whatever purpose He has for your life.” He had employed them against the cause of Christ . 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Make your favorite snack, or go on a walk is so compelling & a 's Portraits... Reset your password seek to accomplish difficult tasks he has by His Maker in! Holiness is a strong witness that God loves us to suc­cumb to my place in Scripture. Reminds us that he could not doubt that it was when the eunuch of Ethiopia was addressed by,! Great talents God rather than men. concurrence in the truth of Old... Give up if we ’ re J. D. Greear, odds are you talk with your All-Pass... You, and there you will be true to His will draw closer! I ’ m facing a crisis of belief themselves faithful to the Jewish Messiah is God,! His own command from the borders of the story is so compelling the. Mortal, and it is important to note that the term is `` in, '' not ``.! Often mistaken ; and the minutest events in a similar way Gentiles obedient '! One of His will to men is by the voice of the apostles/lesson pauls... 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