When we obey God's instructions, our obedience opens us to receive the blessing of God; however, when we are slow to obey things change. We call this kind of obedience "delayed obedience." That is when we know God has specifically told us to do something but we wrestle with obeying for a time, we put it off, or just plain ignore Him.
One time toward the end of a series of meetings where Dennis was the guest speaker, the Holy Spirit directed him to give a specific amount of money to that ministry. He intended to obey, but he put it off. When he returned back home he further delayed in sending the money.
During the next two weeks, I noticed there was a sharp decrease in the ministry income. When I told Dennis, he went before God to ask what had stopped the flow of finances. The Lord answered him saying, "You did! I told you to give a specific sum of money to that church and you have not done it."
Dennis immediately repented of his disobedience and made a commitment to follow through with it. Then as soon as possible, he put a check in the mail and our flow of finances was restored.
This is an example that involves money, but obedience reaches far beyond our finances alone. God may direct us to go somewhere, or He may want us to call someone to encourage them or pray for them. He may tell us to change jobs or move to a different city. Dennis and I have learned that no matter what the Lord's instructions may be, it is to our advantage to obey without delay.
Delayed obedience brings delayed results. There are times when the answer to a person's prayer depends on our obedience to God. For instance, if someone has a financial need that must be met by a particular date, but I delay in sending the money God tells me to send, their need may go unmet. Obedience is not only important to continue the flow of blessing in our lives, but it can also make the difference in someone else's life.
Delayed obedience can cause us to miss the rewards of obedience, but if we will simply do as God asks, we will continue in the richness of His blessings.
Obedience brings God's favor into our lives. God will cause us to steadily increase as we obey Him. When we obey God, we will not have to live under continual pressure in this life. If we are quick to do His will, we can have great confidence that our steps are being ordered by the Lord.
God expects us to completely obey, and instantly obey. This kind of obedience is the key to successful living. Remember what the Prophet Jeremiah said: "Whether it be pleasing or whether it be hard, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God" (Jeremiah 42:6, Berkeley Version).
- Excerpt from the
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