From the BVOV Archives: This Classic Teaching Originally Appeared In June 1984.
God has always desired to elevate the Church to such a place that all the nations of the world would know that these are the people He has blessed. The only problem is that over the centuries God has had trouble finding an obedient people. This was the problem in the Garden of Eden, and again in the wilderness with the children of Israel. It is still His problem with the Church—finding faithful, obedient people, who will walk with Him. One thing stands between God and the fulfilling of His will—disobedience.
It is impossible to walk with God outside the realm of obedience. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” God is not going to change to agree with us. We must change to agree with Him. Obedience is of the utmost importance in the mind of God. When we make the decision to walk with God in the realm of obedience, we will witness His power unhindered in the earth. In the story of Noah, we see that one man saved the entire human race because he was obedient and walked with God. Because of the disobedience of mankind, God was ready to destroy man. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:8-9).
The Father has always desired to have fellowship with His family. Since the very beginning, God has only wanted to communicate with man and give him love and guidance. The Word says, in the Garden, God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Yet, until we become obedient to His will, we not only close the door to communion with God, but we shut it in the face of His blessings as well.
Obedience Opens the Door
For Abraham to receive God’s promised blessing, he first had to be obedient. Genesis 17:1-2 says, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect [or upright]. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” God appeared to Abraham many times and gave him direction, but Abraham had to obey God’s will in order to have His power manifested. Genesis 26:5 tells us why. God said, “Because Abraham obeyed my voice.” Had Abraham not obeyed, God could not have performed His Word. Obedience has always been necessary for God to do His will in any man’s life.
All through the old covenant you will find that when Israel served God with their whole heart, He was wholly God to them. He performed signs, wonders and miracles, and put His angels before them in battle. When they honored Him through their obedience, He indeed became God to Israel. Obedience allowed God to manifest Himself as their source and Savior. Yet, when they failed to serve Him—He forsook them.
God can only go as far as we will go with Him. He will be God to us whenever we give Him that place. God said in Samuel, “Them that honour me I will honour.” God will honor us to the degree that we honor Him in our lives. God is unable to bless whatever area we withhold from Him.
Notice Exodus 19:5-6: “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”
Peculiar treasure means “a treasure set apart for one’s own possession.”
God paves the streets of heaven with gold. The walls and the windows of His mansions are made with pearls and jewels. Here on earth, these materials are considered priceless gems, but these precious stones mean nothing to God. For His idea of treasure is simply a people who love Him and, above all else, obey Him—who will obey His voice and keep His covenant.
God Wants Us Free
Why did He want the children of Israel to keep His Word and obey His commands? God knew His Word was their only hope of being free from the world and the curse that was all around them.
He knew the children of Israel would turn their backs on Him and would not keep their souls diligently. The Father knew they would begin to serve other gods, ones who had no life, who could not hear and answer their prayers. In Deuteronomy 4:28 He said, “And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.” Yet, Almighty God was there, willing to be all things to them, willing to be their God, willing to take their side and defend them.
Although He knew they would serve other gods, the Almighty was merciful, and said, “If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31). God is a good God! He is so merciful. Even when they had been disobedient, if they repented and turned toward Him with their whole heart, He would no longer forsake them.
God has waited and waited for a people who would be obedient to Him. He has dealt with people, pleading His case, endeavoring to get someone to believe His Word and to walk in it. Why? So He could bless them and pour out His love upon them.
Our Victory Is According to Our Obedience
“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29). Do you hear the yearning of God’s heart here? God desires us to do what He says because He wants it “to be well” with us. He yearns to be our God. He wants to set us high above all nations. He wants to make a difference between His children and the rest of the world—but the only way He can do that is through our obedience to His Word.
Jeremiah 7:23 says, “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”
We stop the power of God from being ministered to us when we don’t obey His Spirit. Right now, in this dispensation, the Holy Spirit lives in us. He teaches us. He trains and counsels us. We must be sensitive to His teaching. To obey God’s command we first have to hear it.
What can God do for you if you won’t obey Him? If we don’t understand the ways of God we can be deaf to His calling, ignorant of His will and, eventually, callous to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says Moses knew the ways of God. The Father revealed Himself. He revealed His ways to Moses and His acts to the children of Israel. If Moses had not known God’s ways, the children of Israel would never have seen His acts.
If we, today, will turn toward Him with our whole hearts and seek His face and obey His voice, even though we may have been disobedient in the past, we will find Him ready to get involved. We will begin to experience His delivering power the way we have desired. His mercy endures forever. It is never too late with God.