Take care then how you hear, for the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away. (Luke 8:18)
When God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3, Moses’ next move was crucial. After Jesus spoke to the disciples in the Gospels, what they did next was pivotal. What you do after the Holy Spirit speaks will have enormous consequences for you and those around you. Too often when the Spirit of God speaks to us, we launch into a protracted discussion with Him, questioning the correctness of His directions. Moses tried it at the burning bush (Exodus 3:11-4:13), and it limited him for the rest of his life. Because of Moses’ objections, God assigned Aaron to be a spokesman for Moses. He had to speak to the people through his brother Aaron.(Exodus 4:14-16). Eventually, Aaron caused Moses considerable grief when he made the golden calf for the rebellious Hebrews (Exodus 32:1-6). Aaron, together with Miriam, led a challenge to Moses’ leadership. Moses paid a high price for arguing with God (Numbers 12:1-8)
I encourage you to review on a regular basis what you sense God has been saying to you. If God speaks and you hear but do not respond, a time could come when you will not hear His voice. Disobedience can lead to a “famine…of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
When Samuel was a young boy, God began to speak to him. The Scriptures say, “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let nothing he said prove false”. (1 Samuel 3:19). Be like Samuel. Don’t let a single word from the Lord fail to bear fruit in your life. Then God will do in you and through you everything He promises.
If you hear the Word of God and do not apply it to produce fruit in your life, your disobedience will cost you. Make up your mind now that when the Spirit of God speaks, you are going to do what He says.
Henry and Richard Blackaby
The original sin was the sin of disobedience. God had specifically instructed Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One command, one request, and one rule. Yet we read that they disobeyed and through their disobedience, not only they, but all of humanity, became slaves to sin. From that single act of disobedience, the whole of creation came under the bondage of Satan.
The two sins that are at the root of all other sins are rebellion and disobedience. To be clear both of these can only occur after direction and instruction are given. We know that Adam and Eve had been given clear instructions so they chose disobedience and by that choice rebelled against the authority of God. One cannot disobey without also rebelling. To ignore instruction and direction is also to override the authority of the one who has given the instruction and direction.
God makes His point of view very clear in the story of King Saul.
“Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people Israel. Now listen and pay close attention to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts (armies), ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way when Israel came up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and completely destroy everything that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, though he totally destroyed all [the rest of] the people with the sword. Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and everything that was good, and they were not willing to destroy them entirely; but everything that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed completely. Samuel said, “Is it not true that even though you were small (insignificant) in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel, and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, totally destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are eliminated.’ Why did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but [instead] swooped down on the plunder [with shouts of victory] and did evil in the sight of the Lord ?” Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things [that were] to be totally destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed [is better] than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as [serious as] the sin of divination (fortune-telling), And disobedience is as [serious as] false religion and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:1-3,7-9,17-23
As we read this Scripture, we hear God say that rebellion is as the sin of fortune-telling- getting our direction from other sources rather than God; and disobedience is as the sin of false religion and idolatry- worshipping other gods and objects rather than worshipping God.
Why is disobedience and rebellion so serious? It is because they have their roots in satanic ways. It was Satan who rebelled against God and attempted to lead the angels in rebellion against the throne of God. It was Satan who refused to obey and enticed Adam and Eve to disobey. The heart of disobedience, whether that of us disobeying God or even children disobeying parents is that of dishonoring the one who is in authority. Disobedience questions the wisdom, authority and even the goodness of God. In Moses’ story, he questioned the wisdom of God choosing him for the task. In your story do you question the wisdom of God choosing you for the task? In Saul’s case, he attributed his disobedience to people pressure. Go back and read his words. Do you choose not to carry out God’s instructions because you fear the reaction or response of others? I think it’s interesting in the Christian community that we consider a number of sins as being serious but quite often consider disobedience lightly. How often have I heard someone say that they felt the leading of God to do something but didn’t and just passed it off as though it were insignificant. Do we really believe that God would impress us to do something that’s unimportant.
The only thing that breaks the power of disobedience is obedience and the only thing that brings down the rebellion is full surrender. We see in the story of Judas how his response to betrayal was the attempt to justify his act through human absolution and we see that that way failed. We see in the story of Peter, his denial was resolved by his commitment to love Christ and to feed His sheep. In other words, Peter had to move from denial to surrender and obedience.
We cannot leave this subject without considering that beyond the crucifixion and death of Christ, it was His obedience and surrender of His will to the Father that broke the power of Satan and sin over humanity. Had He not yielded to the authority of the Father and had He not obeyed His instructions, we would still be lost in sin. While we will never accomplish anywhere near this level, I wonder how often the church and the world suffers continual bondage and weakness because we do not surrender and obey.
“Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility], who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]. After He was found in [terms of His] outward appearance as a man [for a divinely-appointed time], He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.”
Dr. John Thompson