“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands that I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NIV).
Obedience Results in Blessings
In addition to this article, this week we are sharing two visions the Lord gave Charis. Those visions demonstrate that God blesses those who obey Him. It is further evident from the above Scripture that the Lord “prunes every branch so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2 NIV). It is also evidence given to the Israelite people’s circumstances – the Lord declared blessing upon them appropriate to their needs and His goodwill for them (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
Evidently, in nature and in the course of our relationship with our children or other people, we reserve rewards for good behaviour but reprisal for bad behaviour. Likewise, the God of the highest Heaven is pleased if we show reverent regard for His commands, and He rewards us appropriately in order to encourage us to submit even more faithfully (John 15:2). Let me point this out: obedience is not a precondition to blessings; instead it is a command from God as a guard against His wrath (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The blessings are a reward for obedience. Since God knows all our needs (Matthew 6:8), He supplies them using our obedience (Matthew 6:33).
Therefore, the Lord commanded us not to worry about food or clothing (Matthew 6:25-26),which are our most basic concerns. He wants to give us eternal life; that is why we are commanded to store up treasures for ourselves in Heaven, and these treasures are stored in Heaven through our obedience and fruit bearing (Matthew 6:19-20). If our motives are only to receive blessings instead of being obedient, then we disregards His command; this is disobedience. Our heart and attitude should always be to put His Word and will before our needs. Yes, before our needs, because He promised to take care of us (Matthew 6:33).
When David wanted to build a temple for God's ark, his intention was to please God and to do God's will, and for that He was blessed with an eternal promise which was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. This was a spiritual blessing, and His material blessing was his Kingdom being firmly established until his death. David was blessed for his obedience, but also punished for disobedience (1 Chronicles 17:1-14; 21:1-30).
Moreover, when King Solomon put His request to God, He earnestly desired to do what was good to the Lord, and because He chose God’s will above His own needs, He was blessed beyond measure –spiritually, with knowledge and wisdom; as well as materially with wealth and riches (2 Chronicles 1:7-12). King Solomon needed the spiritual blessing to do the will of God; how many of us desire only the material blessings and not the spiritual to be useful to God in ministry to others? Also note in this passage of scripture: God knew what was in King Solomon’s heart; that is why the Lord communicated his heart’s desire in the vision. This is exactly the same thing He did knowing the children’s hearts and needs in Charis’ Visions of Obedience and Blessings. The experience is played out in the spiritual and the meaning is realised in the natural (Acts 16:10). Paul did not go look for that man he saw in the vision; it was the Lord who spoke through that man commanding the apostle to go preach the gospel there. (There will be an article in the not too distant future on “Understanding Visions,” with the help of the Lord, should He tarry).
Similarly, Joshua and Caleb put their faith and obedience in God before the promised blessings (Joshua 14:6-9). In other words, they chose hardship first as a test of endurance in order to be counted worthy to receive God’s approval. They were then rewarded for their obedience (Joshua 14:6-15; 19:49-50). God’s blessings are free and without repentance, but overlooking His Word of command in pursuit of a blessing or gift is loveless disobedience towards God.
Are We Only Interested in God’s Blessings?
Brethren as I tried to explain above, we should not use our needs to hold God ransom to supply our needs first and then we will obey. This is testing Him and showing that we have no love for Him and reverence for His Word. Joshua was also warned to “…not let this BOOK of the LAW departs from your mouth; …be careful to DO everything written in it. THEN you will prosperous, and successful” (Joshua 1:8). I am not magnifying “prosperity” here; God warned us about the trap set by the devil on the deceit of earthly wealth (Mark 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:9-11). Those of you who live by faith like my family and I will be content with the provisions God supplies, but those who want more than what they need are driven by greed. Quite frankly, when we have an abundant supply of material things, we have very little of God because we pay our way through. Neither do I promote poverty here; poverty comes as a result of laziness and disobedience (Proverbs 6:6-11).
Let me share a brief testimony with you. I once invited some people over to my house, to come fellowship and seek the Lord with us. These men were unemployed, unsaved and burdened with addictions. They came in response to my invitation; I ministered the word of God to them and encouraged them to seek the Lord more earnestly, not just with the eye on the material need but for the eternal salvation of their souls. After ministering the word of God to them, and we extended the invitation to them to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They rejected this invitation. However, when we asked if we may pray in agreement with anyone for a real need as child of God, they came forward for prayer. When they came, I encouraged them again to seek the Lord first; they promised to make right with God just for the sake of prayer.
This is the attitude of most of us; we are disobedient and are only interested in what we can get out of God, but we are unwilling to fully obey and do His will. Additionally, the Bible addresses the born again Christians as well as the unsaved people. The saved are taught by the Old Testament examples of the consequences of disobedience, as well as the reward of obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-68). The unsaved are excluded from the promises of God due to disobedience and a lack of faith (Hebrews 11:6). I have a point to drive home here: while it is Biblical to pray for people, when ministering to people it is sinful to pray for their physical needs only and not for their salvation. This creates the impression that we just use God and need Him only in time of need. The deception is also that we do not need to obey, “God will understand”. This is wrong kind of gospel; God is interested in obedience leading to eternal life more than just the supply of our material needs (Romans 2:6-8).
From the visions of blessings the Lord gave Charis, the Lord did not only minster to the children’s material needs, but He supplied the spiritual want first, and then reward for their effort in obedience. In conclusion, when we minister deliverance to people, we express their need in accepting Christ, but when unsaved people have need we just pray for them without expressing to them that the promises are for the children of God. The devil also gives “blessings” which he really uses to ensnare us and if disobedient people receive a need, they credit God, but communicate to us that God will bless you even if you don’t live right. Let me put it this way: God blesses our obedience as we Scripturally showed and uses that as a testimony to others. The devil fakes God’s holy character and “blesses” disobedient people who witness that God blessed them, but they continue in sin. I am not saying God does not bless the unsaved; He does (Matthew 5:45), but with the blessing to the unsaved He says, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:10-11). I only received breakthrough in Christ when the Lord delivered me from addictions and bad things. His character had to be seen in me so that His testimony is magnified in purity and obedience. Let us preach truth by properly representing Christ to the unsaved needy.
Blessed peace and love to you in Jesus name,
Visions Update: Visions of Obedience and Blessings.