Walking With God In Obedience

July 16, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Numbers chapter fourteen. Numbers chapter fourteen. We’re going to look at verse forty through verse forty-four. Numbers chapter fourteen, verse forty through verse forty-four. And when you reach there, please signify by saying amen. Would you please stand for the reading of our Word tonight?

40. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.

41. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.

42. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.

43. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.

44. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.

Let’s look at verse forty-five.

45. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.

Let us pray.

Father, we thank You. We praise You for Your Word tonight. We thank You that Your Word shall not return unto You void. But it shall accomplish everything You sent it forth to accomplish. I thank You for hiding Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Dear Lord, as I decrease I ask that You would truly increase. In Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

The people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God.

When we look at these Scriptures, it’s talking about the act of being obedient. We’ve taught on obedience before. But God is moving us into another realm in the Spirit. And whenever God begins to move you into another place, He’s requiring another level of obedience.

We understand obedience for what it is. But when God calls you to a place of obedience (glory to God), He means to be obedient, and there’s nothing other than being obedient.

When we look at the word to “obey,” it means to follow the command or guidance of. It means to be able to comply with. It means to carry out.

And all of these things He was speaking to the children of Israel. He was saying to them, “Follow My commands.” And He said, “Follow my guidance.” He said, “Comply with what I’m saying.” And He’s saying, “Carry out what I am telling you to carry out.”

When we look at the word to “obey,” it also suggest that not only will I carry out what God is telling me to carry out. But I am to carry it out with quickness. I am to do what God is telling me to do expediently. I am not to get into a place where I’m trying to figure out God. But I am to get into the mold to where God said it, that settles it, and that’s what I’m going to do.

When we look at the children of Israel in Numbers chapter fourteen, verse forty through verse forty-four, the Israelites realized that they had acted foolishly in not being obedient to God. And when they finally realized that they had acted foolishly about not being obedient, they told Moses, they said, “Okay. Now we’ll comply. Now we’ll carry this thing out. Now we’ll be obedient.”

But then it was too late. He said, “Don’t go up now. Because you didn’t do it before. So don’t do it now.”

You see, when we get in a hard place, it’s easy, easy for us to feel guilty. You don’t want to hear me. Come on. Let’s talk to me tonight. It’s easy to repent, because I’m guilty. I know that I’m guilty. But a heart-felt repentance is what God is looking for.

You see, you may not have been obedient. And you may feel the effect of your disobedience. But until I repent with a heart-felt repentance, God is not going to listen to what I do. It doesn’t matter what I do, even if I’m complying now with what He said. It doesn’t matter. Glory to God.

Many of us are in places right now where God has spoken to us. And He’s told us to do something. But we still have not done it. You see, it’s a dangerous thing to fall into God’s hands when we have not been obedient to Him.

In the book of First Samuel chapter fifteen and verse twenty-two, it says to obey is better than sacrifice. Do you hear what I’m saying tonight? God is calling True Vine Ministries to another level of obedience.

Why? We have been in prayer. We have been in fasting. We have been seeking the Lord early. And we have found Him. And He’s beginning to add unto the house of God. And in those things He’s saying, “Now I’m calling you to another level of obedience to My Word.”

Obedience. Sure enough, even after they said, “Okay, we will obey,” but the man of God said it was too late, they still did what they wanted to do.

You see, because they didn’t comply with God the first time... See, God may have wanted to do something else now. You see, you cannot be obedient to the old thing all the time. You’ve got to get into a place where you’re seeking God and saying, “God, is that what You still want me to do? Or God, do You want me to do something else now?”

He said to them, he said, “Don’t go up now. Because God is not with you.” But the Bible says that they went up anyway.

Who wants to walk in obedience to God? Don’t wait until after the fact. Don’t wait until you’re in a hard place to be obedient. Don’t wait until He got to chasten you to be obedient. Be obedient now to what the Lord has to say.

We must not only do what’s right. We’ve got to do what’s right at the right time. Let me say that again. We must not only do what’s right. Hello, somebody. We’ve got to do what’s right at the right time.

God wants complete, and God wants instant obedience. Obedience must be timely. Look at your neighbor and say, “Obedience must be timely.” See, you can’t think about being obedient, whether or not it’s going to benefit you, or whether or not it’s what you’re in the mode to do at the time. You’ve got to get into the realm and I’ve got to get into the realm that that’s where I stay and that’s where I dwell, in the realm of obedience to my God and to the Word of God.

In Genesis nineteen and verse fifteen, the angels urged Lot. They said, “Lot, grab your wife and grab your daughters, and get out of Sodom.” But the Bible said in verse sixteen that Lot lingered. And that word “lingered” means that he hesitated.

You see, you can get into a place where you may have been the only Godly thing in that place. But those worldly pleasures have (glory to God) satisfied you, and have stimulated your senses to such a place that you get so used to them (glory to God) that there’s no light shining in you no more. Your weakness has been lost. And you’re just one of the crowd.

And that’s what happened to Lot. Those pleasures (glory to God) and the position and all those things began to get to Lot. And so Lot, instead of hastening to listen to what God was saying and to act in obedience, he hesitated. Don’t you know if you hesitate from being obedient, it can bring you to a place of utter destruction?

He risked being judged with the ungodly. See, you and I can’t risk being judged with those that are ungodly. You see, my job is only to minister to them and to get away from them, and let the Holy Ghost do His job. Come out from among them. Be ye separate.

Yes, Jesus ate with the sinners. But He stayed with them for a little while so He could minister to them. And then He went on about His business.

Obedience cannot be where you are hesitating, hesitating. Sometimes obedience is going to bring trouble. Sometimes when you’re obedient to the Word of God, you’re looking for trouble.

Jesus was obedient even to the point of what? Death. That’s what it said in Philippians. Even to the point of death. Obedience is going to sometimes bring you to the point where you got to die to who you are, to be able to live to who He is.

Obedience. Lot didn’t want to abandon the wealth and the position and the comfort that he was enjoying in Sodom. So he hesitated.

See, you may be enjoying somewhere where you are right now, but God is telling you to move from that place. And your hesitation, your hesitation can cause you to get caught up with all of those that are being judged by God.

Where are we in our walk of obedience? You see, in being obedient, it’s going to cause me to have to come out of myself. It’s going to have to cause me to yield and surrender myself to who He is. See, it’s no more self. It’s no more self. Paul said it’s not I, but the Christ that lives in me. It’s no longer self. Self has got to get out of the way to be obedient.

When we look at our lives and obedience, it comes most of the time in four stages. When we’re children we be obedient to our parents. When we are going to school, we be obedient to our teachers. When we finally get out and get a job, we be obedient to our employers. And then (glory to God) we learn how to be obedient to our God.

Where are you in your walk of obedience? Is your obedience real? Or is your obedience like Saul’s? Saul’s obedience was selective. When God told him to do one thing, he did something else. But yet and still in his mind he said, “I’m being obedient.” But that’s not what God told him to do.

You see, sometimes God will tell you to do something. And it might not seem like it’s the right thing to do at that time. But God knows the end from the beginning. It’s all going to work together for the good. But I need to go ahead and be obedient anyway.

Some of our nature, our natures are to rebel. Some of us, our nature is to instantly as soon as we’re told something, we stiffen up. And we begin to rebel. And we know that we in a state of rebellion. So we got to try to break through these barriers in our hearts, to try to finally say, “Okay, I’ll be obedient.” But God doesn’t want it to be like that. God wants us to be able to surrender automatically, instant obedient unto God and the things of God.

Think about yourself. Where are you lacking in your obedience? And in what part of your life are you the most rebellious? There’s somewhere in us that we don’t want to be obedient. And that’s that part that we got to constantly try to crucify, crucify, crucify, crucify. Get it under. Get it under.

Some of us don’t want nobody to tell us nothing. We need to crucify that. Even the boss on the job. He’s the one that runs the place. And if he say we can’t be off, we want to cuss him out. If the pastor tell us something, sometime we want to cuss him out, in so many words. Hello, somebody. I see some smiles on some faces.

But God is calling us to a another level of obedience.

We get up to pray. We come to the house of God at five o’clock in the morning. And what I’ve been trying to do is open it up to everybody on Saturday morning. Because I found that some people are saying, “Well, everybody should be able to come and pray.”

So what I did was, I used a strategy. And I’m going to tell you what it was. I said, “If you really want to pray, then you going to be here on Saturday morning and pray. Then I can judge what I need to do during the week.” You don’t want to talk to me. So why should I open it up during the week to everybody, when everybody’s not going to come on Saturday? It’s going to require a sacrifice.

And see, I don’t make it a requirement, because I want people there that really want to pray. Hello, somebody. See, I don’t want to put a stipulation on whether or not, you know, if you’re going to do something in the church, you got to be obedient and come to prayer. Because then we’ll have one, two, three, about five people doing everything.

But listen. God has called us to be obedient. It is not whether you want to be or not. God requires it. He requires it.

What part of our lives are we not being obedient in?

In Genesis twenty-two... Go there with me. Verse one through verse five.

Sometime the Holy Spirit nudges us to do things, and He’s telling us to do things. And we won’t do it. We’ll just sit there like He ain’t even saying nothing.

In Genesis twenty-two, verse one through five it says,

1. And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.


4. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

God was testing Abraham. But it wasn’t that He was testing Abraham to try to trip him up. God was calling him to another level of obedience.

You see, when you are getting ready to go to another level of obedience, God will test you. Just like He tested Abraham. No, He did not want Abraham to kill Isaac. But He wanted him to give up Isaac in his heart.

You see, even though God may have made you a promise, but He wants to be more than that promise. Even though it took all of that time for that promise to come to pass of that son, his only (glory to God) son, heir to the promise, God wanted him to give him up in his heart.

You see, when you start to go to new levels of obedience, God’s going to require you to take things out of your heart. And most of us it’s going to be people. Hello, somebody. You see, the things that we love the most are the things that He’s trying to pull out of our hearts. The people that we love the most, He’s trying to pull them out of our hearts. Do you heart what I’m saying? He’ll pull them out. And He wants you to put them on the altar, and offer them up as a sacrifice in your heart.

When you’re going to another level of obedience... What do you love the most? Who do you love the most? Put them on the altar, and let God be first. I don’t care what God promised you. If that promise has already come to pass, and you’re so happy with that promise, give that promise back to God again.

And let me tell you something. Even your next generation will be blessed. The Bible said because of Abraham’s obedience, even his generations were blessed after him. You see, your obedience will cause those that come after you to be blessed. Do you hear what I’m saying? It’s a generational thing. Your obedience is just not linked to you. It’s linked to those that come after you. In the Name of Jesus.

Because he was obedient, God made him the father of many nations. That’s what the Bible tells us in verse eighteen. Look at your Bible in verse eighteen.

18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast (what?) obeyed my voice.

See, your children are going to be blessed because of your obedience to the Lord. Somebody needs to hear that.

See, we worry about our children. We worry about how they’re going to grow up and... But if I’m obedient to the Lord, they can’t help but to be blessed.

Everything that concerns you is going to be blessed, because of you obeying the voice of the Lord. Obeying His voice.

You know, we shouldn’t expect obedience to God to be something that’s easy. Most of the time it’s when this flesh done risen up, a lot of times, is when God is calling us to another level of obedience. And He chopping down layer after layer, to get us to that place.

Because a lot of times we can get to a place where we say, “Oh, yeah. I’m obedient to God. I’m doing this, and I’m doing that.” And it’s right then that God’s going to say, “Boom.” He’s going to drop the bomb on you. He said, “Now we going to another level.”

Now He’s saying, “Forgive those that you don’t want to forgive.” Come on. Talk to me. Now He’s saying, “Love those that are un-loveable.” Come on. Talk to me tonight. Love those that despitefully use you. Love your enemies.

He starts calling you to levels. He starts bringing things to your remembrance about, “Oh yeah, God. Well, you know, I remember. I remember when I was growing up, there was this bully. And boy, I couldn’t stand him. And when I got, you know, old enough where I could really handle myself, I said, ‘I’ll knock him out.’”

But then I got saved. I got saved. And I... The Lord brought him back to my remembrance. Come on. Listen. And He showed me that in my heart I still wanted to knock him out.

Now God was saying to me, “Release him and let him go.”

But I was saying, “But Lord, You just don’t know.”

“Forgive him. For he didn’t know what he was doing back then.”

I said, “Alright, Lord.”

And even now... You don’t know nobody like that, do you? Whenever he would come to my mind, I said, “Lord, just bless him in Jesus’ Name. Just bless him in Jesus’ Name.” Then I began to move on again.

See, yours may not have been a bully. Yours may have been an abusive relationship. Yours may have been an abusive parent. Come on. Talk to me tonight. And God is saying, “Release them and forgive them, and be obedient to My Word. Let them go.”

And once you can do that, you going to your next level of obedience.

Abraham received the abundant blessings because he didn’t hold back on God. The Bible says when you hold back, God said, “I will have no pleasure in you.”

What are you and I holding back from Him? What are we holding back from God?

I’ve come to the point and the place where I say, “Lord, I give You everything, whatever it is. I give it back to You. It doesn’t mean as much to me if it’s going to stand in the way of me loving You, or even walking in obedience to You.”

Does that mean children? Look at Abraham. Hello, somebody. You and I are just stewards of these children anyway, because they belong to God. They should not come before Him. Your spouse should not come before Him. Your job should not come before Him. Your house, your car, whatever it is, it should not come before God.

And if it stands in the way of you being obedient to God, and you be obedient to that thing more than you are to God, it has become an idol. And God said, “I will have no other gods before Me, because I am a jealous God.”

So how do I love them? You love with His love. You love with His love, the love of the Lord. Don’t just love with your flesh. Because that’s what’s going to mess you up. That’s what causes people to be so emotional when they just love with their flesh. That’s what causes people to lose their mind (listen to what I’m telling you) when you just love with your flesh. You got to love with the love of the Lord.

Obedience. In Deuteronomy twenty-eight and verse one... Go there with me. We almost finished.

Many of you are about to be tested. That’s why I am preaching this word. Glory to God. And all that jumping and shouting is about to see who you really are.

Verse twenty-eight and verse one. It said,

1. 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:

You see, when you begin to surrender and submit, it’s going to bring you to a place of elevation, elevation in Him. And when you are elevated in Him, even the world will see.

That’s what happened to Benny Hinn, didn’t it? Even the world saw. Because they were shocked and amazed at the testimonies of the doctors saying that yeah, they had it. Now miraculously they don’t have it.

He will set you on high above the nations, when you are obedient to Him. Even the heathen will know your name.

That’s why T. D. Jakes was able to talk to the president and pray with him. The president call him to do it. Why? Because God set him on high because of the level of obedience that he was walking in. And that’s where God is calling us to.

In Joshua three verse thirteen and verse fourteen, it talked about the priests taking a step down in the water, so that they could pass through. You see, the first step to obedience is the step down into the water. See, if they didn’t step into the water, then they wouldn’t have been able to pass through. The water would not have subsided for them. But it was an act of faith.

See, if you’re going to be obedient of God, to God, it’s going to require you to get into faith. You see, because sometimes when you are troubled and you are burdened, just because you’re quoting the Word, sometimes in your mind you’re saying, “You know, I wonder if this is really going to work.” Yes, it’s going to work. That’s your first step to the act of obedience. What does the Word of God say about it?

If you need folks in your house saved, the Word of God said if I get saved, He’ll save my whole household. He said, “Put Me in remembrance of My Word.” Lord, You said if I get saved You’ll save my husband. You’ll save my wife, my daughter, my son, my...” Oh, you don’t want to talk to me tonight.

Put Him in remembrance. “Lord, You said this. This is what You said. If I’m obedient in my giving, You said You’d open up the windows of heaven. You said it, God. So why am I lacking? Why do I not have enough, when I pay my tithes? And I look around me and other people are just getting blessed.

You got to say, “Lord, this is what You said. And because of my obedience the devourer is already rebuked. The canker worm and the palmer worm and the locust can’t touch what I got. I’m already blessed because I was obedient.”

You’ve got to know that when you are obedient to God, blessings are going to flow. Don’t let the devil trick you any longer. Don’t let him trick you any more.

See, sometimes we get in the groove with the principles of the Word of God. We get in that groove. I’m in the groove now. I’m in the flow. And then all of a sudden something happens and I get out the flow. But then that messed up the flow. Now I got to get back in the flow. And the blessing was just about in my hands. And now I done messed it up.

Okay, Lord. I done messed it up. But I’m going to get back in the flow. Get back in the flow. Don’t let it take you a whole month and two months and three months to get back in the flow. Get right back in the flow of obedience to the Word of God.

It’s a simple message, but it’s a principle that we must learn to follow.

You know, a lot of people don’t have friends. You know why? Because they don’t show themselves friendly. Don’t kick and holler and scream and cry and say, “Lord, I don’t have no friends,” when you’re going through and you need somebody. “Lord, I ain’t got nobody.” Why? Because you’re not friendly. Hello, somebody.

You got to go out there and show yourself friendly if you want somebody to be friendly to you. Don’t just think that people are just supposed to cater to you. Don’t think that. Because it doesn’t work like that. Don’t think that they automatically just supposed to greet you and say hello to you because of who you are.

You greet them and say hello to them. And you be friendly to them. And when you are friendly, what you sow, that’s what you are going to reap.

The Lord led me to go there for a reason. I’m not sure why. But a lot of times many of us get to go through, and we can’t find nobody to go through with us. Check out how friendly you really are.

You got to be friendly to the point of where it hurts. Don’t be afraid of being hurt. If you going to be in this body, you going to be hurt. You’re going to be in the body of Christ. You will be hurt. But don’t be afraid of it.

Saints of God, God is calling us another level of obedience. God is calling for more out of us. He’s calling for more than just coming and getting the Word.

You know, there are people that sit in churches that don’t even, you know, know half the things that non-denominational, charismatic type churches know. And they win more souls to Christ than we do. Oh, you don’t want to talk to me.

We get so fat on the Word of God that every time a man and a woman of God comes before us, if it ain’t deep, if it ain’t deep... I need to say it again. If it ain’t deep, if it ain’t mind boggling, then God must not be saying nothing.

But He’s calling us to do the first work first. Have you been obedient to Him lately? Has He been waking you up early, but you been laying there? Has He been calling you on a fast, but you eating everything in sight?

What is He calling you to in obedience? Has He called you to another level in your love walk, but you being more hateful than you ever been? Oh, I felt the Holy Ghost hit me. (Tongues.) Where is He working on you in your obedience. Think about it. Think about it. Is He calling you to lay down your life for somebody, but you haven’t laid it down yet? Think about it. Think about it.

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Look at your neighbor. I want you to say, “Neighbor, I am committing myself to another level of obedience to the Lord. I will obey... my boss on my job. I will obey my pastors in Jesus’ Name. I will do it in the spirit of love and meekness and kindness. And it will be genuine in Jesus’ Name.”

Give God a handclap of praise tonight.

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