—Part I! Compiled 2/88 DO 2416—A Sequel to the "Yield & Obey" series!
(Compiled from the MO & Maria Letters by Apollos)
1. Do you realise what being in this Family is really all about?—What we're in this Family for? Is it just for us to enjoy our Heavenly Homes & fellowship & freedom?—No!—These things are all just a part of the blessings God has given us in order to make it possible for us to do the job!—To get out & preach the Gospel & reach the World with the Good News! And as long as we keep obeying & doing that, He will keep blessing, protecting & making it all possible!
2. Jesus gave us a clear illustration of how important our obedience to Him is when He said, "Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, & doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a Rock: & the rain descended, & the floods came, & the winds blew, & beat upon that house; & it fell not: for it was founded upon a Rock!"—Mat.7:24,25. If your life, your ministry & your plans are founded on obedience to the Lord, no matter what storm & tests & trials & hard times may befall you, like the man whose house was on the rock, you'll stand, "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord!"—1Cor.15:58.
3. Jesus also gave us the sad story showing the sad results of disobedience: "And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, & doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: & the rain descended, & the floods came, & the winds blew‚ & beat upon that house; & it fell: & great was the fall of it!"—Mat.7:26,27. This foolish man's labours were all in vain, for when the test came, he lost everything! Why?—Because he had not obeyed & done what God wanted him to do! No matter how nice his house looked, it was doomed to defeat from the start because it was built on the wrong foundation!—"For no other foundation can any man lay than that which is already laid: Christ Jesus!"—1Cor.3:11.
4. How much better to obey the Lord & be a doer of His Word, & build your house on the solid Rock of the Redeemer instead of the shifting sand of disobedience!—Which is why He tells us, "Be ye therefore doers of the Word, & not hearers only, deceiving your own selves! For if any be a hearer of the Word, & not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, & goeth his way‚ & straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, & continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work‚ this man shall be blessed in his deed!"—Jam.1:22-25.
5. Jesus said that we're all supposed to become like little children (Mat.18:3), & if we'll just recognise that that's what we really are‚ we'll be a lot better off!—We're just little children spiritually, & we don't know hardly anything. The Lord is the One Who knows it all & He's the only One Who is really wise & knows what He's doing. If we'll just recognise this & simply follow Him‚ that's really being smart! The smartest thing any little child can do is to obey & follow his parents & do as they do, & as they tell him to do. That's how to stay out of trouble & survive!
6. This then, is what we're in this business for: To trust the Lord & obey the Lord & follow Jesus! Then we can just let Him take care of everything else!—Like that dear old hymn, "Trust & Obey" says: "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good Will, He abides with us still, & with all who will trust & obey. Trust & obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust & obey!"
7. The Bible tells us that the Angels of Heaven rejoice over every soul that's saved (Lk.15:10), & I'm sure they must rejoice not only when we first get saved, but also over our obedience to God & our service for the Lord! Imagine how happy the Angels & Saints & Holy Ghosts must get over you when you've really done your job well & are trying to do your best for Jesus, saving many more souls & preaching the Gospel, obeying the Lord's commands!—So let's keep'm happy by continuing to obey!—Amen?
THE SECRET OF GOD'S BLESSINGS!
8. Your happiness & your health—in fact, all of your blessings in this life, depend on your obedience to God! Jesus said, "If ye know these things (His commandments), happy are ye if ye do them!"—John 13:17. He also tells us, "If ye be willing & obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.—If you obey & serve Him, you shall spend your days in prosperity‚ & your years in pleasures.—"Isa.1:19; Job 36:11.
9. God is always the same & Jesus is always with you. He says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb.13:5)‚ He'll never leave your heart. The Love of God in your heart stays forever. But the blessings of God are not necessarily permanent if you don't please & obey the Lord!
10. God will never fail you, but when you fail, you fail to reap the benefits of the blessings that He would have given you if you'd obeyed!—Gal.6:7. God doesn't have to bless you, especially if you're disobedient. His blessings are sort of a special reward for obedience.—Just like with a little child, you give him a toy or special reward for behaving & being good. But when he's naughty & disobedient you don't give him a present.—You give him a spanking!
11. When you obey & please the Lord, being the kind & loving Father that He is, He gives you gifts & blessings. But if you don't please Him & you don't love Him enough & you don't obey Him & you wilfully go the wrong way & do wrong things, how can He bless disobedience?—He can't! He's certainly not going to give you more gifts & blessings if you're disobeying Him!—In fact, He may even withdraw & take back some of those He already gave you!
12. There are two ways to try to serve the Lord: The easy way & the hard way. The easy way is to listen & obey. The hard way is to try to do things your own way.—And I've found that even though it may sometimes seem like God's way is the hard way, it always pays to obey!—Even though sometimes it hurts, & even though sometimes you can't understand why‚ or what the Lord's trying to do, all you know is that He wants you to do something. But even though it may seem like a real trial to obey the Lord at the time, a real crisis, a great sacrifice, it always pays to obey in the long run!—Always!
13. So if you're going to learn & remember anything from this lesson, learn & remember this: Obedience always comes before the blessing! Obedience comes before the reward! Obedience comes before the anointing! You don't get God's anointing to obey, you get His anointing because you obeyed, is that clear? You get the anointing because you obey!
14. Faith & obedience come first, then God blesses & answers prayer! So many people have told us, "If God will do this or that for me, then I'll serve Him, then I'll believe." It means nothing else in the World but that you're putting self first, trying to make a deal with God! "If God will serve me first, then I'll serve Him. You work for me first‚ God, then I'll work for You!"—And He just doesn't work that way!
15. He says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness, then all these things shall be added unto you!"—Mat.6:33. The blessings don't precede obedience. You don't say, "Lord, You bless me, then I'll obey." But God tests you first to see if you'll obey first, & then He will bless you. It's such a common mistake people make!
16. All the way through the Bible, God told men to do something first before He would meet them & do the miracle or answer their prayer.—God told Moses to strike the rock & then He'd bring forth water. Moses could have argued, "Well, Lord, I don't think there's any water in that rock, this is kind of crazy! Besides that‚ Lord, I'd rather just see You do it!" But no, he went ahead by faith & took an old stick & hit the rock, expecting God to do the rest, & God did!—Exo.17:5-7.
17. Another time‚ the Lord told the priests to go down to the water of the river Jordan & start carrying the Ark across, & that then He was going to stop the river at floodtide, when it was at its highest. The Lord told them that He was going to stop it & let'm go through on dry ground! They could have said‚ "That's crazy! We're all going to drown trying to carry this big old heavy Ark down there!—Let's just stand here & wait till God holds back the water, then we'll go across!" But no, He told them to go‚ so they obeyed, they went, & as their feet touched the water, the waters dried up!—Jos.3:7-17.
18. When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead‚ He told the people, "Roll ye away the stone!"—John 11:39. He could have made Lazarus walk right through the stone, so why did they have to roll it away?—Rolling the stone away from the door was something they could do. They couldn't raise him from the dead, but they could obey & roll the stone away!—And when they did, the Lord honoured their faith & obedience & did the miracle & raised Lazarus!
19. Remember when Jesus called Peter to follow Him?—Peter was tired, he was probably discouraged‚ he'd been out fishing all night long & had returned empty-handed. But Jesus told him, "`Launch out into the deep, & let down your nets!' And Simon answering said unto Him, `Master, we have toiled all night‚ & have taken nothing!—Nevertheless, at Thy Word I will let down the net!'"—Luk.5:4,5.—It looked like an impossible situation, & Peter could have said, "Forget it!—I'm tired & going home to bed! Besides, the fishing's no good today!"—But instead, he launched out by faith & obeyed, & God met him & did the miracle!—"And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: & their net brake!"—Luk.5:6.
20. The Lord will always help you if you do your part & obey & help yourself as much as you can! Do what you know you can do‚ what you should do, what the Lord wants you to do, & then stop worrying about the rest that you can't do: God will take care of that part, God will do what you can't do! You do what you can, & God will do what you can't!—Is that clear? Do what you can, & God will do what you can't!
21. Just trust & obey & do what you know God wants you to do, then He'll show you what to do next!—And when you obey that, He'll give you a little more, & step by step as you follow Him, He'll show you more & more. The trouble with most Christians is that they stopped obeying the little truth they did have, & as a result, God hasn't been able to give them any more. So for God's sake, your own sake & His Work's sake, obey & take that step of faith in the direction He says to go!—Then you'll find out what He's going to do next. But if you don't go‚ He can't show! If you don't obey‚ He can't make a way!