Learning Obedience 1
Obedience: the key to the fullness of Christ
It is clear from the signs of the times that these are the last days. However, the purpose of God for the church to grow into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ has not been realized or manifested. The fullness of the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 that speaks prophetically of the church has not yet been our experience individually, locally and universally.
Deuteronomy 28:1 (KJV) And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deuteronomy 28:9-12 (KJV) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
The above scriptures speak prophetically of the church, since natural Israel could not have fulfilled these scriptures. This is clear from the fact that natural Israel was never at any time in history, even under David and Solomon, set high above all the nations of the earth. Furthermore, at that time all the nations of the earth were not even known as we know them today.
It is clear that the condition for experiencing the fullness of these blessings in the church is obedience.
That is why we must learn obedience.
In fact the scripture says in
Isaiah 1:19 (KJV) If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Job 36:11 (KJV) If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
So we see that obedience is the condition for the fullness of the blessings of God.
Why obedience must be learnt
Obedience must be learnt because of the residual satanic nature in the mind and flesh of even the born-again Christian. This satanic nature is intrinsically disobedient, stubborn and rebellious.
Galatians 5:17 (KJV) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Galatians 5:17 (NIV) For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
Matthew 26:41 (KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
These scriptures reveal to us that there is a struggle between the new divine nature in our spirits and the old satanic or sinful nature in our souls and bodies. Notice Paul, by the Holy Spirit, was writing to Galatians who were already born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. So obedience to God has to be learned even though we are born-again.
Even the Lord Jesus who had no sin nature in him faced the pressure of temptation in his mind and flesh from the satanic nature present in the air around him: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15.). So he himself had to learn obedience.
Ephesians 2:2-3 (KJV) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Ephesians 2:2-3 (NIV) in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
These scriptures reveal that the desires of the mind and flesh are influenced by the power of the devil in the air. In fact, this power of the devil in the air is at work in the spirits of those who are not yet born-again. However for those who are born-again it is no longer at work in our spirits but it is still at work in our minds and flesh. This is why the scripture says the carnal mind is in enmity against God (Rom. 8: 7). So it was from the air acting on the mind and flesh that Satan’s power was used to tempt and put the Lord Jesus under the pressure of temptation. However, glory be to God, even though he was tempted in every way as we are, he always overcame the temptation. This shows us that, just like Jesus, if we submit ourselves to the discipline of the Holy Spirit we can live above sin.
Remember, even though Jesus had no sin nature in his flesh or mind, he also had no blood to cleanse Him if He had sinned. You and I have the sin nature in the flesh and mind but also have the blood of Jesus to cleanse us if and when we do sin. So Jesus, without the sin nature but also with no blood to cleanse him, is same as us having the sin nature in flesh and mind, but with the blood of Jesus to cleanse us. So if we use the blood of Jesus, the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can, like Jesus, get to a place of living above sin. In fact, Jesus himself said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14: 12).
These works were not just outward works of miracles alone but also the works of living in consistent obedience. In fact it is the work of living in consistent obedience that will make it possible for us to do, consistently, the same works of power He did and even greater.
In our article next week we will see how we learn and walk in the same level of obedience as Jesus did.