The Power of Obedience – Part 1

The power of obedienceThis message was first given on October 22, 2017. I never intended this to be a blog post.  But after three weeks and hours and hours of trying to reformat and upload the video without success, I am going to put it in print.

I believe our willingness to submit to God’s direction and activate it through obedience is an absolute key for the season we are in and the places we are heading as believers. Without these choices, we will not survive.

I am praying that all of you who would rather see a video, will lay aside your preferences and read this.  May Holy Spirit give you new understanding of this precious gift.

And so I begin: Recently I heard Marsha Burns (the woman who posts Small Straws in a Soft Wind on the internet) talk about a vision she had of a huge hourglass.  This is a summary of what she said:

She saw an hourglass that was about 18 feet tall.  She knew it had just been turned over. The top was full of sand and the bottom portion was empty.  She knew the hourglass represented this next season of time.  She stood in the place of a new beginning in the neck of the hourglass.   She understood that she was in charge of choosing how the bottom portion would be filled.  Her choices about how to fill her time would determine her next season.  She could fill it with entertainment, anger, unforgiveness, strife, running after financial gain, people pleasing, etc.  Or she could fill it with obedience to Holy Spirit and His leading.

She said that Galatians 5:16 came to mind: Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

There are two kinds of time.  Chronos time – time we mark on the clock of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years etc.

Then there is Kairos time. Kairos time is not determined by the clock or the calendar.  It is determined by the Lord. Kairos time marks our destiny.  It is an opportune time marked by God for us to say or do the right or appropriate thing.   If we miss the Kairos time, He will give us another opportunity – another trip around the mountain, until we get it right.

We cannot move on to do the next thing, until we finish what God has given us to do here, right now.

Romans 8:28-29 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Notice is says, ‘to be.’  It isn’t final, it is a choice requiring our participation and cooperation.

The sooner we find out what God is trying to teach us and cooperate with Him, the quicker we can be conformed in His image.  It usually has to do with a heart change.  Pride, unforgiveness, stubbornness or a multitude of other things.

As I considered this vision, I asked Holy Spirit, “What are You working on in me that needs my obedience?”

“Come here Beloved,” He said.

I see myself sitting across a desk with Holy spirit.  He is holding up a digital tablet.  I get the sense that this is an Isaiah 1:18-19 moment.  So, I looked up Isaiah 1:18-19:

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
19 If you are willing and OBEDIENT,
You shall eat the good of the land;

The word obedient nearly jumped off the page.  I knew I needed to look it up.  I was surprised to find something I didn’t expect.

Here is what the word obedient looks likeObedience

 Obedient — Strong’s H8085 – shama`

The KJV translates Strong’s H8085 in the following manner: hear (785x), hearken (196x), obey (81x), publish (17x), understand (9x), obedient (8x), diligently (8x),

Read it from right to left:

Shin  300 = Victory of good over evil, Holy Spirit.  Means: Teeth, Fire, the Fire of God to consume all His enemies, Devour, Destroy, Something Sharp.

Mem 40= Trial, Testing, Tribulation.  Means Womb, Water from the womb, Cleansing water, flowing water that brings life, Mighty, Massive Chaos, Humility, taking the low place, hidden relationship with God, Cleansing water, flowing water that brings life.

Ayin 70= Completion of time.  Means:  Eye, to See, Understand, Experience, or to be Seen, Window of the soul-good or bad (made of a Zayin and Yod—Word and Spirit)

Obedience: A humble person in a hidden relationship with God (Mem), sees and understands by the Word and by the Spirit (Ayin) and chooses to exercise the fiery zeal of God to destroy the enemies of their soul (Shin).

Obedience destroys the enemies of our soul.  Our soul involves our emotions, our will, and our mind or how we think.

 Obedience is a warfare word.

Jesus never went into hand to hand combat with anyone, nor did He go hand to hand combat with the enemy.  He didn’t argue with him.  He used God’s word.  God’s word was the weapon Holy Spirit gave Him to use.  So, when fear comes to threaten us with loss or injury, we can ask Holy Spirit to fill our mouths with the ammunition of God’s word.

When fear rises up, we can say,“My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  I will not fear.”  Philippians 4:19

 When we hear, “You aren’t loved,” we can say – “God loves me with an everlasting love.  He chose me in Him before the foundation of the world that I should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”  – Ephesians 1:4

“God demonstrated His love for me, in while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.” Romans 5:8

Or we may find ourselves confessing, “I can’t love.  I can’t witness.  I can’t forgive.  I can’t forget.  I can’t confess my sin.”  STOP IT. “I can’t” is not in Jesus’ vocabulary.  In fact He said in Luke 1:37“With God nothing will be impossible.”

Then, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  I am self- sufficient in His sufficiency.” AMP

This scripture says ‘all things.’  Well what are the ‘all things’?  I’ve heard it preached before and the one speaking didn’t put any boundaries on the all things.  However, I fully believe Paul was writing about God ordained things, not people pleasing, worldly or self-pleasing things. Whatever God says are the ‘all things.’  He gives us grace and power to do those things.

Obedience is a warfare word.  It’s an armor up and assemble for instruction word.  It’s an undercover operations word that surprises to the enemy.  Our warfare is not yelling and screaming at the enemy.  That will only get you defeated and worn out. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus and we need to stand in who we are.

Satan is not expecting us to take a stand against his deception, to break free from the prison he’s had us in. He is expecting us to jump up and down and get frustrated, to his delight.  But when we stand and say, “You have no ground here.  Back off,” it catches him off guard.

We must take the stance that Jesus took:

John 8:29 – “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

Obedience is not about becoming perfect.  It is about becoming perfectly His.

 It is about giving more and more of our lives over to God until He is all in all.  It is not a list of rules, but a relationship with Holy Spirit, where we walk with Him daily and responding to the things He asks us to do.

In John 8:31-32 Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The only kind of truth that sets us free is the truth that we obey.  We say we know the truth and it’s all up here in our grey matter.  But until it gets down to our feet, then it isn’t really truth to us.

 Jesus is coming for a spotless Bride.  If we want to be without spot or wrinkle when He comes, we need to decide NOW to obey Him 100% of the time.

In the book of John, there are three verses where Jesus equates our love for Him with being obedient to His commandments.

 John 14: 15  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

John 14:21He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 15:9-11 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

If you are looking for joy, follow His commandments.

SIN- is the opposite of obedience.  Let’s take a look at this word:

Strong’s H2398 SIN graphicRemember read right to left.

Chet  8 = New Beginnings. Means: Fence, Gate, Tent wall to Separate, Protect, Cut off. Torah

 Tet 9 = Judgment.  Means: Choice, Basket, Snake, Surround or Twist (notice this letter looks like a snake in a basket)

 Aleph 1= God – Echad – Unity, Unique (no other like it) Means: Ox head—Strength or Leader, Most Important, FirstThe Strength and Power of the leader

SIN: Is a choice (Tet) to separate or be cut off (Chet) from God (Aleph)

No longer in unity with God’s strength and power. Choosing to separate from His anointing, His wisdom, and His protection.  We have left the boundaries of His house, His word and are open to the attack of the enemy.  Like the prodigal who left his father’s house and ended up eating scraps with the pigs.

In Hebrew, sin means to miss the mark.  But what is the mark?

Let’s look at Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

To miss the mark is to not walk in the image of Christ.  He created us to walk in His image.

Let’s look at the letters of the Hebrew word image:Image graphic

Tzade 90 = Humility. Picture-Fishhook.  Means: Righteousness, to pull toward, Desire, Trouble, Harvest

Lamed  30 =  Blood of Messiah, Dedication to a task.  Means: Staff, Goad or Stick, to Teach or Instruct, Authority, to Control, Urge Forward, a Tongue

A closed Mem 600 = Means: Hidden Truth

 IMAGE: To be created in His image then means to be created with a humble and righteous nature (Tzade) able to instruct with authority (Lamed) revealing God’s Hidden Truth (Closed Mem)

 HUMBLE: recognizing our weakness compared to God’s strength and knowledge.  So, we must look to Him for EVERYTHING. Not to be independent, but to be dependent upon the Lord. Giving Him the glory instead of taking it for ourselves.

RIGHTEOUS: To be righteous means that we have fully surrendered to God and are following Him in every area and decision of our lives.

Okay, let’s compare these two words sin and image:

SIN: A choice to separate and cut off from God

IMAGE: To be created with a humble and righteous nature able to instruct with authority revealing God’s Hidden Truth.

SO, WHEN WE SIN, WE…

We no longer resemble our Creator.  We’ve forgotten who we are and Whose we are.

Was Jesus prideful?  Did He hold grudges? Did He slander people or tell lies?  Did He gossip?  Did He engage in pornography or lust?  Did He abuse women or children?  Was He a racist?  Did He look down on the poor?  the weak?  Was He selfish?  Did He neglect God’s word? – All of these things and many more are sin.

They do not reflect the image of God.

  • When we sin we No longer see our sin or look to God for strength to walk away from sin.
  • We no longer manifest God’s love and wisdom in the decisions we make or the actions we take.
  • We no longer follow Jesus but follow our own way.
  • We are no longer able to teach others about the King or His Kingdom.
  • We are no longer able to exercise God’s authority on the earth.
  • And we wonder why things don’t work when we pray for people or petition God.

Because we are walking in sin.

If we sin really want to change, God in His mercy, has made provision for us. It’s called repentance.

1 John 1:8-10 – Notice, John is writing to believers, AFTER the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. As believers, repentance is still to be an active part of our lives.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Repentance is key in living an obedient life. 

 In Hosea 6:6, God said, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”  If we are in sin, God is not pleased with our sacrifices.  We can do all the right things, all the right motions, but if our hearts are not right, we stand guilty before God.  Our sacrifices will be dirty rags before the Lord. We cannot bribe God.  He sees our hearts.

Yes, as believers, we are forgiven, but repentance is needed to keep our hearts pure.

 In November, 2012, The Holy Spirit led me to this scripture:

Genesis 17:1 “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”  KJV

“I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted.” Complete Jewish Bible

After pointing out this scripture, He said, “Walking in obedience that comes from faith, doesn’t mean to be sinless, but to live a life showing forth the fruit of repentance. 

“Are you listening?  Are you listening?  I am speaking in a myriad of ways.  Those who have ears to hear will hear.  Having ears to hear is more than the ability to hear sound, to hear My voice.  Having ears to hear requires a heart ready to act on what I speak.  Faith without works is dead.”

(FYI-the word ‘obedience’ and the word ‘hear’ come from the same root word in Hebrew. To ‘hear’ means to hear with the intent to obey.)

We see people running from one church service to the next.  Going to conferences, turning on their internet listening to one message after another trying to get some kind of spiritual buzz going. But are they acting on what they are hearing?  Am I acting on what I hear?  I don’t always.

“My ways are not your ways.  I will call you to do things contrary to your logic, your comfort, your resources.  But when I speak, I speak with every need supplied in the ready for you to draw.

“I told Noah to build a boat for a coming flood when the land had never seen rain.

“I told Joshua to march in silence for seven days around a fortified city and when they obeyed by shouting, the walls fell down.

“I told the disciples to feed the 5,000 with 5 loaves and a few fish.

“Ears to hear require obedience by faith.

“I am Almighty God.  Walk before Me and act in faithful obedience.  We are one.  In Me you live and move and have your being.  Oneness requires obedience

“Are you listening?  Are you ready to act?  Fear not, I am with you.  You will never be alone.  All of the resources of heaven and earth are at your disposal as you move in response to My word. Listen with ears to hear, for I AM is with you.”

God created us to be blameless before Him.  That requires repentance –confessing our sins, turning from sin, never to return, and returning to God and His path. AND bearing fruits worthy of repentance. If we blow it, we can repent, go back to Him and He washes us clean.

Are we living with changed hearts?  Have we forgiven?  Have we quit lying?  Have we quit being prideful? Are we living life differently?  Are we treating others with patience and love?  If we aren’t, we are not bearing fruit worthy of repentance.

 Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Let’s take a look at some scriptures in Romans 6, 7, and 8.

We will start with a familiar scripture starting at Romans 6:12-14.

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not UNDER LAW but UNDER GRACE .

This scripture has been taught and shouted from the rooftops by grace teachers, but I don’t believe they see what Paul was writing about.

To be Under Law means you are no longer to be ruled by your old sin nature.  It is not the law of God Paul is referring to, but the law of sin from which we’ve been set free.  The law of God written in the Old Testament, that many preach against and say that it’s over and done with, is a righteous law.  God gave it to us so that we may know how to walk in righteousness. Grace gives us the ability to know and choose to live in obedience leading to righteousness.

The law of sin is our own evil nature that supposedly died at the cross or died when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. But this old sinful nature is still crying out from the grave saying, “Pay attention to me.  Do it my way.  You already know how.”  That is the law of sin.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God gave us grace to walk in power, to live in righteousness.  He gave us power beyond our own to do the right thing.

We are no longer bound by our inabilities to keep God’s word. That’s what the law of sin was all about.  It stripped us of our power to keep God’s word.  It bound us to doing wrong.

But, God’s grace shines when we are not able to do it on our own and are depending on Him.  Once we make the choice by His grace to follow Him, we have:

  • Grace to love
  • Grace to keep our mouths shut
  • Grace to speak when He tells us to speakGrace is:
  • Grace is favor, Yes.
  • It is a free gift, Yes.
  • Its purpose is to give us the power to obey and to fulfill God’s word.

When we say, “I am no longer under law but under grace,” we are saying.  “I’ve been equipped with supernatural power to fulfill God’s word. I’ve been equipped with power to re-present Jesus to the world.”

When we sin, there is a sense of guilt.  Because Holy Spirit holds up the standard, Jesus, reminding us of who we are and the price He paid to set us free.  But, we also see His love and if we are ready to repent, we will run to Him with a desire to do His will.

 Back to Romans 6:15-19   From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”

The law of sin and death has to do with living life according to the pattern of Satan.  The law of righteousness is for living life God’s way.

 “18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Holy Spirit is constantly prompting us toward God’s righteousness. He never stops saying, “No, that isn’t the way of life.  This is the Way.”)

19 “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

We need to make the choice to stay on God’s path.

22)” But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

 In Romans 7:22 –25 I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of Godthe new nature, but with the flesh the law of sin.

With the flesh I serve the law of sin; That is the familiar path of our old nature, is continually calling to us beckoning us towards sin.

The law of sin and death, is not the referring to the OT law or instruction God gave us, but our old sinful nature that was ruling our lives before we gave our hearts to Jesus and invited Holy Spirit to live in us.  Once the Holy Spirit moves in, we are more aware of what is right and what is wrong and He leads us to make changes in how we live our lives to reflect the holiness of our Creator.

I will get part 2 up later this week.  You will hear more from the Word and from the rhema God spoke to me and others about obedience.   Obedience isn’t easy but its reward is priceless.  Hope to see you back later.

Here is the link to Part 2

3 thoughts on “The Power of Obedience – Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Power of Obedience – Part 2 | Hear God's Heart

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