CALL TO OBEDIENCE #388
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Why Don't Men Obey God"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
We all realize the importance of obedience. Without obedience to man's laws, society would be unmanageable, schools could not function, industries would collapse, families would deteriorate. Without compliance to natural laws, airmen and fishermen would face disaster. Yet what is most amazing is, although we know we can and must obey both human and natural laws, we refuse to believe that we can and must obey God's laws.
This attitude of unwillingness and helplessness when it comes to obeying God is my subject matter for today. I shall appeal to your heart and your head to show you that obedience to God is possible and necessary. It brings you wagon-loads of immeasurable blessings.
Man Can Obey God at Any Stage of His Spiritual Life
God created man in His likeness. Two of the qualities that make man like God
Let us look at some notable Bible characters to illustrate this point:
1. Cain and Abel (Genesis 4)
These were the first men born with a carnal, sinful, selfish nature. Because of that, did they lose their ability to obey God? A thousand times NO!!! Cain chose to give in to the carnal nature, disobeying God. Abel chose the will of God by obeying God. Nobody has any excuse for disobeying God. Man's exile from the Garden did not disable him from walking with God!
2. Enoch (Genesis 5:20-24)
Most people chose disobedience since the fall. But Enoch, after walking 65 years in disobedience, decided at age 65 to walk in obedience and fellowship with God. This pleased God so much that He took him: Enoch was spared death. Yes, even though he had a sinful nature, this man walked with God before there was such a thing as a "rebirth".
3. Other Old Testament Saints
Here are some more of so great a cloud of witnesses that prove that unregenerate man can obey God: Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Job, Elijah, Elisha, all the other
4. The Disciples of Jesus
The disciples of Jesus obeyed before the Holy Spirit was given them as much as they obeyed after He was poured out. Jesus said so to His Father: …they have kept thy word. ...I am glorified in them (John 17:6,10). Jesus said this even though they fell far short in their spiritual graces (Pentecost would take care of that). Obedience means so much to Jesus. When He sees it, He gets excited. He will boast of it before the throne! You can do it and when you do it some of heaven will fall into your soul. When you obey Him, He will call you His friend (John 15:14). You will begin to sit in heavenly places. But it starts with you.
The Marvelous Measure of Blessings for Your Obedience
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out (Deuteronomy 28:2-6).
This is from the Laws of Moses. The obedient were so happy that it made them dance, shout, lift up their hands to heaven and sing to the Lord, even before Pentecost. They knew they could obey God and they did it. And don't think that the Old Testament era was the Dark Ages. There was darkness there alright, but not enough to prevent man from coming to the Light (Jeremiah 29:13). Again, God will give a blessing if we obey, a curse if we disobey. It has been this way since the beginning of human kind. It has always been man's choice whether he gets blessed or cursed.
If you as a Christian say, "I cannot obey God," you are riding on the back of the devil, brainwashed by him to make you think that your faith will compensate for your disobedience. It will not.
Let us get this straight: the problem is not that you cannot obey; the problem is that you don't want to. Had God not given us the ability to obey, He could not judge us. I am calling you in love to obey. I warn you as a watchman over your soul to align your will with God's will. I am calling you to a place where the honey is dripping from the trees.
Obedience is Not a Fruit of the Holy Spirit
There is a perception that obedience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not so
Only those on Pentecost who lived in obedience received the Holy Spirit. Those in the Upper Room were in obedience. The multitude of Jews from all nations were devout, meaning they were obedient. Many conversions and "Spirit baptisms" are fake
The Work of Christ
This now raises the question: Since man can obey God, then why does he need the work of Christ? It is because:
1. Everyone is born a sinner and has sinned at one time or another. Paul wrote: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Obedience alone cannot save us, we also need Jesus. We need His forgiveness and cleansing from sin to make it to heaven. Again, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22).
2. God wants us to live on a higher spiritual plane than Enoch and Elijah did. He wants
3. Without Christ in us we cannot evangelize the world. The world needs a Savior who can save to the uttermost. So, my friend, in conclusion:
This verse, better than any I know, connects obedience with the blood:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).