Would you obey what God told you to do?
Did God ask you to do something? Are you doubting? Do you have insecurity? Lack of confidence? Fear of failure? Worries about an uncertain future? If God told you to something do not let any of the above stop you from doing it. Why? The LORD says and it is recorded in Zechariah 4:6, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” You see it is not your might, ability or power that is going to make you successful in what God asked you to do. Mark it- It is the LORD who will do it by His Spirit.
Obedience to God’s calling always involves taking a risk. You are venturing into something you have never done before. Not sure about because there are unseen, inexperienced and unknown elements in the step of faith and obedience to God. You won’t have anything else other than the Word of God that spoke to you. You have to walk on the Word and nothing else. It takes vulnerability and an aspect of risk in taking a step of faith in obedience.
Mathew 14:22-33 describes an incident of faith and obedience to the Lord. Jesus was walking on the water (on the lake) and coming to their boat. The disciples were in the boat buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. When the disciples saw someone walking on the lake, initially they thought it is a ghost and cried out in fear. However, Jesus immediately told them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter said to Jesus “if it is you, tell me to come to you on water.” Jesus replied, “Come.” Then Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water and came to Jesus. Don’t you agree when you walk on the lake, you are in a supernatural environment? Nobody walked on the water except Jesus Christ until then. Now Jesus is God and it is not a big deal for this to walk on the water. But for Peter, it is definitely a supernatural event. He did not know how he is going to walk on water. There is an unknown aspect but he stepped out from the boat on the word of Jesus. In short, peter walked on the word of Jesus. To be more specific, he was not walking on the water. But was walking on the word he heard from Jesus in full trust and obedience.
What made Peter different from other disciples? Peter was vulnerable and willing to take a risk in obedience to obey. Other disciples sat in the boat. They were not willing to take the risk. Now Peter can testify he walked on the water. No other human being can claim such an accomplishment in human history.
If you want to be a true follower of Jesus, you must be willing to act on His word. If God asked you to something, once you make sure, it was God who asked you to do it, then you have to step out in faith and obedience. Remember that old hymn, “trust and obey and there is no other way…”
When you think about the faith warriors that are listed in Hebrews 11 they all exhibited vulnerability and obedience to God. They were all ready to step into the unknown future based on His word only, although there was nothing to look forward at that time. They walked and acted on the Word of God. Think about Noah. He spent 120 long years of his life to building the ark, preparing for the big rain that God told him. It did not make human sense to him or anybody in his family or friends. Why? There was no rain happened on the earth until then. He was preaching people to enter into the boat to escape from death due to heavy rain from heaven. Now everybody must have ridiculed and mocked him. They must have thought he was a crazy fellow with some type of mental disease. However, it makes sense for him because God told him to do and he fully obeyed and did it. You see at the end his obedience and the risk he took in the midst of embarrassment and ridicule was paid off when heavy and not stopping rain poured out from heaven and all people except the ones who entered the ark in faith were destroyed in the rain.
Think about Abraham. God told him to leave from his country, and from his relatives and from his father’s house to the land which I will show you. (Genesis 12:1). A lot of unknown elements. Nothing to see in front of him. Much risk involved in leaving the familiar and to step into unfamiliar. However, Abraham took the risk of obedience and stepped out in faith. As God promised him in Genesis 12:2-3, God made him a great nation, God blessed him, his name became great, he became a blessing. God blessed those people who blessed him and his posterity and God cursed those who cursed his posterity. Finally, in and through Abraham, his lineage and the promised seed (Jesus Christ) all the families of the earth are blessed. As promised, the promised seed-Jesus- the savior of the whole world came through his lineage and the world is blessed by the savior. Look back the results and was the obedience of Abraham paid off? Yes, paid off in front of all our eyes. History testifies the faithfulness of God in and through the life of Abraham.
There were other great people who took the risk of obeying God in the midst of trials and heart-aching issues. Job is an example who took the risk of staying in faith in the midst of fiery trials. He experienced loss and severe trials like no one else may have ever encountered. But he did not sin against God or blame God but took the risk of staying with the Lord in faith (Job 1:22). He did not forsake his faith in God. That requires courage and stamina to remain faithful. All his doubts, frustrations and depression were paid off when the LORD restored the fortunes of Job twofold at the end. (Job 42:10-17).
You see, when God asks you do to something, it may not make much sense to you or the people around you. God gives you a dream. Those around you do not possess that wonderful dream from God. He asks you to walk on His word. It could not make logical sense to others around you. That is the risk- the risk of an unknown element. However, you ought to trust His word and step out in obedience and faith.
Henry Varley a British revivalist once told D.L Moody who was a shoe salesman these words- “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” D L Moody responded, “By God’s help, I am going to be that man.” The rest is the history God made out of him. He became the well know evangelist who attracted thousands and thousands of listeners in this crusades. According to Moody Bible Institute, Moody was the greatest evangelist of the 19th century.
We began this article by talking about Peter. Peter left everything to follow Jesus. He let Jesus use his boat to preach the sermon one morning after all-night fish-catching endeavor when he did not catch any fish. After hearing Jesus command to put his net into the deep water and let it down for a catch, he obeyed although he already worked all night, tired in the morning and did not catch any. Peter’s response to the command of Jesus is noteworthy, He said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but because you say so, I will let the nets down again. When he obeyed the word of the Lord Jesus, he got a great quantity of fish and because of the heaviness, the nets began to break. (Luke 5:1-7).
You see the all the fish were there in the lake all through the night. But they could not reach out to one of them although they tried their best. However, at the word of Jesus, they got a great quantity of fish. You see, Jesus has authority over nature, diseases, sickness, demons and devil and death. (Refer daily insights in teachbible.org on these points and read the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament section of the Bible) because He is the Son of God. He is the savior of the whole world. You can come to God, the Father, only through Jesus Christ. As Jesus Himself said, “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Jesus said and it is reported in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus also said and it is reported in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”
When they brought the boats to the land, Peter understood who Jesus is. He understood Jesus is God. Do you know what he did upon that awareness? He left everything and followed Jesus from that point onwards. (Luke 5:11).
Can you be vulnerable to God’s calling? Would you obey God if He asked you to do something? Think-what is that He asks you to do these days? Make sure you heard from him and then walk on His word. As Henry Varley said and it is still true, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” By God’s help, you can be that man. It does not say what God can do with an educated or wealthy or healthy man. Nothing like that. What God can do with simply a man fully consecrated to Him.
Remember: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. God asks you to do- not based on your might, power or strength. He gives might, power, strength and all needed requirements by His Holy Spirit. You will accomplish and finish what God asked you to do by His Spirit’s might, power, and ability.