“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 1:19-20 NIV
God is the author and source of all the blessings in our lives. In order for us to live in His blessings and become a partaker of them, we must be submitted, spirit, soul and body, to Him. We are able to make the choice to serve God or not – it is our option – God does not force us. However, if we choose to resist the Spirit of God and if we rebel against Him, our lives will be destroyed. It is important that we are obedient to the Lord, but we must also be willing to serve and obey Him in everything.
Rebellion is an attitude. We can carry out acts of obedience and yet still have an attitude of rebellion on the inside. We can be outwardly obedient and inwardly rebellious and what we really are is rebellious. That is why God says, “willing AND obedient”. Obedience and submission are two different things. Obedience is an action and submission is an attitude. God looks at our heart. He knows whether we are willing to obey Him or not. It takes humility to submit to God’s authority in our life and to do what He says. So we must be submitted to God with all our heart and we must obey Him by DOING everything He says to do.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV
If we want God’s blessing, we must serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.‘ The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. Mark 12:28-34 NIV
Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. 1 Samuel 15:22-23b NKJV
Just because we can make the choice to disobey God, does not mean that we will get away with it. The sin of rebellion against God is equivalent to the sin of witchcraft. God takes it very seriously. This is not a game we play, but a matter of life and death. God is not someone you mess with lightly. If He gives an order, we must realize that it is not a suggestion. We are obligated to obey, if we want to live long and prosperous lives. We cannot toy with God. We cannot offer an acceptable sacrifice from a rebellious heart. Our sacrifice must be offered from a heart of obedience.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:2-3 KJV
God’s commands are not grievous. They are not burdensome, irksome or unpleasant. Whatever God tells us to do is going to be a blessing to us in the end. God asks us to lose our lives – to lay down our agenda – for Him, but this is something that He has already done for us. He laid His life down and gave it up for us. He gives us His all and He wants our all. We definitely have the best end of the deal!
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:15-17 NIV
If you are not wholeheartedly yielded to the Father, then you are yielded to someone else – i.e. the devil. You are a slave to the one you obey – whether it is God or the devil. Do not be deceived – you are either a slave of the devil –the author of sin and death – or a slave of God – the author of righteousness. So submit yourself to God. Be willing and obedient and you will eat of the good of the land!