“Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” —Luke 22:42
In every act of obedience there is a crossroad where a decision must be made to go one way or another way. To obey one must to choose to follow one path and leave another—even if there is nothing bad about the path you are on. Peter, James and John had to leave their honest job as fishermen to obey the Lord.
God may call you to do something (e.g. be a missionary) that would require you to leave a good job. There may be nothing wrong about the job you must leave. Perhaps it is the work of a mechanic, a manager, a nurse, or a banker. However, to obey God, you must leave that respectable job to go to a mission field. To chose your job over going to the mission field would be disobedience.
When God called me to go to Vermont to start a church, I was the assistant Pastor at Open Door Baptist Church. God was blessing my ministry there. Everything was going well and I was financially secure. However, to obey God I had to leave a good place to go to a place I did not know and without any financial security. I obeyed God and left Open Door to go to Vermont. By God’s grace there is a Baptist church in Barton, Vermont today.
Obeying God always requires a decision to leave something and cleave to God’s will. That is the choice Jesus made when He choose to come to this sinful planet and be obedient unto death. He left a sinless environment for a sinful environment. He left streets of gold for streets of filth. He left intimate fellowship with His Father to subject Himself to the scorn of wicked men. He left the joyful praises of angels for angry cries of “Crucify Him.”
Remember, obedience always has a price tag. What is it going to cost you to choose to obey God? As we sing that well known hymn, “Have Thine Own Way Lord, Have Thine own Way,” will you let God have HIS WAY in your life?
“And he said, Ye shall not send.” —2 Kings 2:16
One of television’s better shows was “Father Knows Best.” It ran from 1954-1960. Each episode usually depicted strong family values and the wisdom of Jim Anderson, the father of three children. Does “father know best?” I guess it depends on who the father is and what the subject is.
We have a similar situation in 2 Kings 2:16-18. It takes place immediately after the prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha takes up his mantle, parts the Jordan River, and passes over to the other side (2 Kings 2:11-14). He is greeted by a group of “ministerial students” called “the sons of the prophets.” These fifty “preacher boys” were skeptical about where God took Elijah. They think God may have dropped him off on a mountain or a valley. They ask Elisha if they should go look for him. Elisha knew better and told them, “Ye shall not send.” But these student prophets think they knew more than Elisha and insist on forming a search party to look for Elijah. Finally Elisha relents and lets them go to try to find the whereabouts of Elijah.
After three days of searching in vain, they return to Elisha empty handed. Elisha then tells them, “Did I not say unto you, Go not?” (The modern cliche would be, “I told you so!”).
Like the “sons of the prophets,” some Christians are slow to believe what the preacher tells them. They think they know better than the preacher and must go out and see for themselves. Eventually, they come to find out “The preacher knows best.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve counseled people and warned them against something they were planning to do. I tried to tell them not to do it, but they went and did it anyway and found out too late that I was right after all. Why not save yourself the trouble and just believe the preacher may know what he is talking about (Heb. 13:7, 17)?