Obedience to the Word
Father, we thank you for Your Word. We ask for revelation and insight as we the read the Word today. We also ask for the grace to be obedient to Your Word and to every instruction You give and have previously given us In the Name of Jesus.
Today's lead Scripture is from 1 Kings 17: 8-12.
8.Then the word of the LORD came to him (Elijah), saying,
9."Arise go to Zarepath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you."
10.So he arose and went to Zarepath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink."
11And as she going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."
12So she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die."
John 1:1 introduces us to the Word. It reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." When you are obedient to the Word, you are obedient to God because the Word is literally God. The above lead Scripture starts off with the Word of the LORD that came to Elijah who was a prophet of God. During those times, they was a famine in the land and the Word of the LORD instructed Elijah to go to this widow's home whom God had commanded to take care of his needs. However, as much as Elijah was obedient to God's Word to go a widow's house who would meet his needs during a famine, my focus today is on the widow's obedience to take care of a stranger during a season of famine. One may argue that Elijah was a prophet who had an established relationship with God which is the reason he would most likely be inclined to obey God's Word. On the other hand, we have this widow who was not a prophet of the time but from the text, it is safe to believe that she had a relationship with God. She tells Elijah that she only had enough for her son which she was going to prepare so they may eat and die. At the same time, this did not stop her from being obedient to God's Word.
When it comes to obedience especially concerning a Word from God or even a promise in the Bible, it is important to believe and act in line with the Word without hesitation. At times, the situation before us may not encourage us to be immediately obedient. For instance, this widow and her child probably had no one else who could provide or take care of her (and even if she had a support system, the land was in a famine) but she had God - when you have God on your side, you have everything. I believe not only did this woman have a relationship with God because of her generosity but she also had a revelation of God's character that He is faithful and would never abandon her. I believe this widow chose to believe God, that despite the terrible famine that had befallen Israel at the time, she had the faith to ask God to meet her needs despite the circumstances. I believe her faith that God would meet her needs had a corresponding action of welcoming a stranger in her home unknown to her who was a prophet. She could have focussed on the last meal she had for her son and herself but she chose to share it with him and die as she had confessed. Her faith in the LORD did not take away from the fact that she was in fear or uncertain of the future because in 1 Kings 17:12 above, we see her voicing her concerns to the prophet.
Elijah responded to her "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterwards make some for yourself and for your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: "The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth." (1 Kings 17:13-14).
The presence of fear does not always translate to the absence of faith. Even Abraham the Father of faith, at a certain point wondered if the promise of God giving him a son at an old age would come to pass, but the Word says, Abraham considered God faithful (Romans 4:20-21) .
The question then becomes, who is God to you? Our personal belief of God empowers you to boldly approach the Father and His throne of grace (Hebrews 10:19) thus increasing your faith whenever a challenging situation is before you. In our lead Scripture today, it happened exactly as the prophet had said and the widow with her son did not lack food for the entire duration of a famine that lasted over 3 years. As a result of the widow's obedience, God supernaturally and exceedingly supplied all the widow's needs because at some point in the story, her son died and the prophet by God's power working in him was able to raise him from the dead (1 Kings 17:22-23).
The above story illustrates the power of obedience. God honors obedience and He tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22) because He has already given us the ultimate sacrifice which is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:5-7).
The story of this widow further encourages us that despite the pain of obedience at the beginning, in the end it is always for our own good and God's faithfulness will always exceedingly abound in our favour especially during times of need. If God can answer your prayer requests that may be completely unrelated to His promises or Word but are in line with your desired will, then how will He not faithfully answer or move for a promise He has given to you or that is contained in His Word?
I'll end with this Word in Hebrews 10:23 NKJV
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He promised is faithful."
Prayer: Father, we thank you for YOU. We are thankful for Your Word that is truth, light and life. We thank you for Your love and faithfulness that endures forever. We thank you Father that You are love and nothing can separate us from Your love. Thank you Father for all Your promises for us that are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. Help us LORD to remember that all the plans You have for us are for our own good. Teach our hearts to always be obedient to Your Word regardless of the circumstances around us as grow in faith on this journey of salvation. We thank you for the grace that You have provided for us to be obedient to Your Word with the help of the Holy Spirit In the Name of Jesus. AMEN.
If you would like to know this God who will never leave nor forsake you, who loves you with an everlasting love before you ever loved Him and has given you eternal life through the faith of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ - whose faithful promises are yes and amen, I invite you to make this confession, "I believe with my heart and confess with my mouth that; Jesus Christ, the Son of God came in a human body to die for my sins so that I could have a new life where I am dead to sin and alive to God. I repent of my past sins and enter the Kingdom of light where I choose Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour today and forever."
Congratulations, by grace you are saved and are now a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old life has passed away and you have received the free gift of salvation into your life (2 Corinthians 5:17). To the glory of the Almighty God. Amen.
As a new believer, I urge you to let your Pastor know that you took the confession of faith or if you don't have one, become a part of a church. I also encourage you to get water baptised as soon as possible and get yourself a physical copy of the Bible or download the Bible app on your mobile in case you don't already own one! If you have taken the confession of faith and would also like a physical copy of the Bible, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. We would love to hear your story. GOD BLESS.