25 Feb Some Benefits of Obedience
Every instruction in God’s Word carries a consequence. When obeyed, the rewards are there and when disobeyed, the rewards do show up with time. What happens many times is that the benefits are sometimes limited to our understandings. Without our understanding, our cooperation is limited and possibly inconsistent. Many times we tend to be event-oriented rather than process-oriented. God’s dealings are usually process-oriented though they manifest as events. One of such instructions is the instruction to give. This runs through the Bible and its basis is found in the principle of the seed and harvest. The entire kingdom of God operates on the seed –principle. Jesus made that clear in Mark 4, when He was discussing the parable of the sower. In verse 13, He asked if they got the parable, because failure to get it implies they may not get the others. God Himself, in carrying out His redemption plan planted the seed of His Son. The fundamental seed is the Word of God. He uses it for everything He does in His kingdom. If God is seed-minded, we should be too.
Giving is one of the keys of the kingdom of God. The account of Matthew showing the teachings of Christ shows how He discusses giving, along with praying and fasting in Chapter 6. He was teaching these subjects and revealing the right attitudes and heart-posture we should have to do these things to get the results God wants us to get. So many realise the importance of praying and fasting especially in dire circumstances but fail to see the role of giving in such circumstances. In Luke 6:38, we read ‘Give and shall be given unto you, good measure pressed down and shaken together, running over shall men give to your bosom’. This giving includes forgiving, not judging, not speaking evil of others etc. Whatever you give will be given back to you. Seedtime and harvest shall not cease says God Himself in Gen. 8:22. As I grew in my understanding of God’s ways, purposes and plans, I realised that the goal of our Christian faith is not just to be blessed, important as that is, I realised it includes being conformed to the image of the Son as recorded in Romans 8:29. We please the Father when we allow His Son’s image to be formed in us. We were made in His image and the Son is the express image as recorded in Hebrews 1:3. These talks of Character and power as the Son manifested. At the water of baptism the Father was pleased before the Son had done any miracle. So Character is premium with God. Apostle Paul told Timothy to commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2Tim.2:2). Faithfulness is the cornerstone of character. If Giving runs through the Bible and faithfulness is a cornerstone for our development, I believe the Lord helped me see that Giving has something to do with our character development. These are the benefits perceived so far.
Giving helps you deal with the inherent selfishness in our humanity; so we can get delivered from selfishness as we practise giving faithfully. Giving also helps break our dependence on the natural. As human beings we tend to put our dependence on what we see, feel, touch and taste. We need to be aware of the work within the limits of these things in some cases, but we have been called to live by a higher law, the law of faith. We shall be severely limited in our experience of God if we allow ourselves to be dependent on the natural. This affects everything about our lives. Our self esteem, for instance is so dependent on our performance as well as our perceived acceptance or rejection from others. That is a subtle dependence on the natural that can lead to failure. We are not to be moved by what we see but by what we believe. Giving as a practise helps to break that dependence if we apply ourselves to it. These benefits are ours as we know and by faith, receive them. Because God so loved that He gave, we know God is a giver, as we give be take on His attributes, we become more and more like our Father-God. Finally we give and God will cause people to give to us as His word says. Now even in this case, many just wait for someone to give to them out of the blue, and it doesn’t work like that. Where material things like money are concerned we need the wisdom of God to position ourselves for the return on our giving.
God gives instructions as to what to do or He gives divine ideas that when put to work will yield dividends as a way to give back to us through others. We give, we pray and obey instructions from heaven as a matter of practise and our harvests will keep coming as we keep giving, praying and obeying. The more we are blessed the more seed we should be sowing. He gives seed to the sower, bread to the eater and multiplies the seed sown and increases the fruit of our righteousness. See 2 Cor. 9:6-11. There are different types of giving in the bible: tithing, giving to the poor, giving to those who teach you God’s Word, (Galatians 6:6); Missionary giving and whatever other types God shows you. Each type of giving has its place and benefits that need to be received by faith not by sight. Let your giving enhance your walk with God. Faithfull commitment to any other instruction in God’s Word will yield similar benefits and more. Make obedience a habit, do it with all your heart and let God show you so much more that He can and is accomplishing through your obedience. Stay on the cutting edge of what God is doing on the earth. Stay in constant touch with heaven and whatever you do, do it with all your heart and as unto the Lord. God bless you.
The Lord Bless and keep you!
Rev. Kola Ewuosho