Committed Christians Follow God’s Instructions.

What was the first thing God gave Adam and Eve? Instructions. Why is it important to follow instructions? We follow instructions to show obedience, to survive, and to do things right. It’s important to follow the right instructions, so we get good results.

  • Joshua 1:8 New King James Version – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

The world gives instructions that are in opposition to God’s instructions. Jesus came to earth–The Word of God–and left twelve disciples to spread the Good News of salvation and to teach people how to follow God’s instructions. Disciples are “disciplined ones” who follow Christ Jesus.

There are many voices, other than the LORD’s voice, that will try to instruct us–the enemy, our flesh, the world, and even our family all can have our ear. We must discern the Voice of the LORD above all other voices and obey Him.

  • Matthew 7:22-23 New King James Version – Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

We must guard against the desire to fit in with the crowd. Often times the majority is going against the will of God. To be committed to Christ we must willing to stand out and go against the majority if the majority is doing what’s evil.

  • Matthew 7:13 New King James Version – Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Sometimes God gives us very specific instructions that must be followed precisely. God has procedures that won’t always make sense to us. But, we don’t have to understand in order to obey. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing. We can trust that His Way is the best way. We just need to follow instructions. What is Noah only partially obeyed God and only build half of the ark? Half of an ark would not save anyone.

  • Hebrews 11:7 New King James Version – By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

We must build up our faith in God, to obey God. Consider the word that the prophet Elisha gave three kings who needed a miracle to win the battle. Read the account in 2 Kings 3:15-27 to see how they won the battle by following one simple instruction–dig ditches in the desert. God miraculously filled the ditches with water and when the sun rose, the pools of water looked like pools of blood. This confused the enemy and the three kings went to war and won the battle.

Obey God by faith and expect UNUSUAL MIRACULOUS FAVOR from the LORD.

We are built to overcome–through Christ!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. ~1 John 5:4

We were not built for failure. We will have troubles, trials, and tribulations in the world, but we can overcome them all through Jesus Christ. We can’t control everything that comes against us, but we can control our response. Jesus commanded us to be of GOOD CHEER.

  • John 16:33 New King James Version – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

No, Jesus is not crazy. He is God and He knows what He is talking about. There is no trouble in this world that can take us out because the LORD is in control.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 New King James Version –  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 

How can we be cheerful right in the midst of our trial? How can we not be troubled when there is trouble all around us? Our attitude is our choice. When we believe the Word of God, we will not be troubled. Jesus has already won the victory. The more we believe that the more peace we will have.

  • John 14:1 New King James Version –“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

When we lack peace, we lack faith. When we stop believing God and start believing our trouble, we will become depressed, discouraged and fearful. Focus on God, not the trouble. When we follow God’s instructions, we will get God results. Sometimes we are not experiencing God’s best because we are not obeying the LORD.

  • Hebrews 12:6-7 Living Bible – For when he punishes you, it proves that he loves you. When he whips you, it proves you are really his child.” Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected?

When we respond to God’s correction with an adjusted attitude, we will grow through the trouble. Look at the big picture. God allows troubling circumstances, people and problems to develop us into the character of Christ Jesus.

Consider Jonah. He didn’t want to preach to the people of Nineveh. Instead, he took a ship in the opposite direction. So God sent a storm and a big fish to teach Jonah a lesson. (Read the book of Jonah for the entire account). Jonah learned obedience through the trouble he encountered. After being thrown overboard and spending three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, he was ready to obey.

Let’s consider our ways. In what ways have we been disobedient? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those areas and repent. God rewards obedience and faith.

  • Hebrews 11:6 New King James Version – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

We owe God worship, praise, obedience and all our resources, even our life. Anything less is disobedience.

  • Mark 12:30-31 New King James Version – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

How to Finish Strong and Stay Fully Committed to Jesus.

To finish strong and be fully committed to Christ Jesus we must overcome the following hindrances…

  • Excuses (not enough time, money, etc.)
  • The opinions of others
  • The flesh
  • Lack of discipline
  • The desire for convenience
  • Distractions
  • Fear (We must obey, even if fear is present. Face the first fear. Then keep practicing. Eventually, we will overcome.)

Discipline protects commitment. Without discipline we can’t follow rules or experience the benefit of sustained effort. We must be disciplined to obey God so that we receive all that God has promised us. Rules are meant to be followed. But, the flesh wants to figure out how it can break the rules. Rule breakers will be judged–eventually. No one gets away with sin forever.

  • 2 Peter 3:9 New King James Version The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

We must learn to recognize problems and correct them before they become bigger problems. God wants us to walk in authority. Are you dealing with a problem that you should have dealt with, but now you are dealing with it because you didn’t use your authority?

God will deal with us on timing. When God says it’s time to move, we need to move immediately. Sometimes we need to say no. We must seek the Lord first, before making any other commitments.

  • Mark 8:31 New King James Version And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

We will be tested to see how fully committed we are to God. When we are fully committed, we have to be proactive and aggressive; not passive.

  • Mark 8:32-33 New King James Version 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

We must be able to recognize when the enemy shows up. When we become aware of it, we must rebuke the enemy. The first thing we should go to when under spiritual attack is prayer. Don’t attack the problem in your own strength, PRAY FIRST. Answers to prayer takes time. We also must be prepared to keep praying until the answer manifests.

The enemy will sow a seed of a thought in our mind that is a lie. If we don’t reject it immediately, that seed will become a plant and sprout up. Lying thoughts steal our peace. We must confront the lies from the enemy with truth from God’s Word and from God’s promises. Don’t get side-tracked by F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). Instead of focusing on fear, cast every care on the Lord in prayer.

Use these tools to overcome FEAR:

PRAY.

  • Mark 11:24 New King James Version  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

ASK FOR HELP.

  • Galatians 6:2 New King James Version – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
  • Hebrews 6:10 New King James Version – For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 New King James Version – Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.

  • Ephesians 6:14-18 New King James Version 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—