“The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess Him. He wants those who belong to him to be brave and fearless. He himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by courage of the Spirit….A christian is fearless”
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient”
Humility is the precursor to obedience. Only a humble heart can obey God’s Word. True humility is expressed in a life of obedience. It is the stiff necked, self-willed, and obstinate who cannot obey God’s Word. Men may preach, teach and perform many overt signs and wonders but it is God who searches the heart (Matthew 7:21-23). Only those who are truly humbled in heart before God can obey, please and honor Him.
As the Son humbled Himself as a man He became obedient to the Father while clothed in mortal flesh. The book of Hebrews declares:
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered”
It is not that Jesus was ever disobedient but in His incarnation, as a Man, He had to learn obedience! He came from Glory into a whole new realm and manner of life. In becoming a man, He had to overcome the testings, the temptations and the frailties of all that we are. Why and to what end?
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”
In His overcoming here, as a true man, He became the author of a salvation which is available to all who obey Him. The authenticity of the salvation of an individual must culminate in obedience unto Him. Salvation is revealed by our obedience. The depth to which we are saved is revealed in the depth of our submission unto His will.
Those who claim to be “saved” will show forth His salvation by living a life of obedience.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
While many may say “Lord, Lord” it is in the crucible of obedience that His Lordship is revealed.
The humility of a life is not known by a timid demeanor, It is known by the submission of itself to the Word of God.
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding”
We read in proverbs that “Wisdom cries out” (Proverbs 1:20-33) in the common course of everyday life. It ever seeks to instruct even the simple and the wayward but it is the responsibility of man to give heed to her voice. In all things pertaining to truth there is a response required for an individual to walk in the “WAY” of God. True wisdom, to the heart of one who seeks to be exercised and disciplined by its reigns, brings a growing wonder of His Life. We read that this wisdom seeks and cries out for men to hear and embrace her. Wisdom builds and brings safety and confidence; it builds strong families that produce children who are strong in the ways of our God. Strong families produce a strong Church. Paul writes to Timothy…
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also”
2 TIMOTHY 1:5
Without the fear of the Lord as the atmosphere of the home and the Church of God there is little vitality or strength. Without the fear of the Lord the sin and corruption of the world infiltrates and weakens the foundation of the home. There is no hope for true understanding within the lives of individuals without the ministration of the fear of the Lord. Weakened homes produce children who are set adrift in the world without a compass or foundation upon which they can build strong and confident lives. We see all around us the tragic consequences of a gospel that has rendered the “fear of the Lord” as a concept that is old and outdated; acceptance and tolerance is the new “enlightened” message.
The “fear of the Lord” brings us to the “true understanding” of the Glory and Majesty of our God. It brings parameters into the lives of those who know and grow in its way. That True Understanding enables us to depart from iniquity and produce strong ministrations of Light that will shine into the darkness of this present world. This ministration is not simply by the religious words of men but the Word of Truth that is ministered from lives that demonstrate authenticity by a life well lived in God.
We hear much in terms of teaching and doctrine in our day; without the “fear of the Lord” they remain words without power. Doctrines without the substance of life to demonstrate the verity of their declarations produce a Church that is declining in its influence and vitality within and without.
Where there is no Fear of the Lord Holiness, Righteousness and Truth will have little impact In our homes And in the Church of God And correspondingly In the world in which we live
“I can know if I truly fear God by determining if I have a genuine hatred of evil and an earnest desire to obey His commands”
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies”
“They are bread for us…” This was the declaration of FAITH that characterized the lives of Joshua and Caleb in the face of Israel’s unbelief and the number and the size of the enemies that inhabited the Land of Promise. Their strength was not in themselves. Their confidence was grounded in the unshakable trust that God was with them; a live vision that enabled them to remain unmoved by the size and the scope of their enemies. This is the crucial element to a faithful and consistent walk in God. The KEY phrase to this declaration is found in the verse preceding; “If the LORD delight in us”. True Vision always lifts our eyes from ourselves and causes us to focus on the things that please HIM. The life of the Son was always centered upon the one and great eternal desire to please the Father. His will was fixed upon this one thing and because of that His life was governed by that ONE GREAT WILL. The ability to see our enemies as bread for us is in direct correlation to our submission to HIS purposes; that we are here to DO His will and to walk in HIS ways regardless of the cost.
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant”
The life of feasting at this table must always be preceded by the WAY of the ALTAR. The Altar of Burnt Offering precedes the Table of Showbread! Vision is the result of a man’s walk; our ability to see and understand the purposes of God are directly related to our heart’s condition not our intellect. Spiritual ignorance is the fruit of disobedience. It was the obedience of Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him unto the Lord (as per the Word of the Lord) that Abraham saw the revelation of “Jehovah Jireh” (Genesis 22:13). It was WHEN the “feet of the Priests” carrying the Ark stepped into the flooding river Jordan that it parted allowing them to enter the Promised Land. It was WHEN Judah offered himself in the stead of Benjamin that Joseph could no longer restrain himself from revealing who he was in their midst. Joseph was there the whole time yet they could not see him until there was a change of heart. So too this table is set before us with the bountiful provisions of our God to nourish and supply us with all that we need to finish this race “that is set before us” (HEBREWS 12:1).
“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress”
“It is only by obedience that we understand the teaching of God”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)
“Every man must tread the Word for himself.
One may read it in one shape, another in another: all will be right if it be indeed the Word they read, and they read it by the lamp of obedience. He who is willing to do the will of the Father shall know the truth …the Spirit is “given to them that obey him”