Ref: DCLM Workers Retreat, May 2021
1 Samuel 15:10-23; Genesis 22:1-18
Your obedience to God is either partial or perfect. Both are illustrated from the two passages above. Our walk with God demands perfect obedience as opposed to partial obedience.
Partial obedience implies incomplete obedience half-hearted obedience, unacceptable obedience, unwelcome obedience or no obedience. To put it bluntly partial obedience is disobedience to God.
On the other hand, perfect obedience is total, complete, flawless, acceptable and pleasing obedience to God.
Today many believers and Christian workers are living in self-delusion like King Saul that they are obeying the Lord by their partial obedience which in realty is disobedience. God is calling us to perfect obedience like Abraham. In your life-marital, financial, career, academic etc or ministry anything short of perfect obedience is tantamount to rebellion which is condemned by the Lord. Perfect obedience on the other hand is commended by the Lord. At this Retreat let us all be resolved to be committed to perfect obedience and it shall surely be well with us.
We shall look at three points in the message:
- The Condemnation for partial Obedience
- The Commendation for perfect Obedience
- The Commitment to Perfect Obedience
- THE CONDEMNATION FOR PARTIAL OBEDIENCE
1 Samuel 15:10-23; Numbers 32:11
Saul disobeyed God and lied to Samuel. He became dishonest. Offerings, worship, church activities, service, are meaningless if they flow from a heart that is covering up for sin. Saul’s partial obedience and sin in the matter of the Amalekites were:
- Independence of God
- Big in his own eyes, hence could reject the authority of God through Samuel.
The command was clear – Destroy the Amalekites and everything they had including animals. But he did not fully obey the Lord. God frowns at rebellion and condemns it without any reservation. Rebellion and stubbornness are terrible sins which the Scripture places at the level of witchcraft and idolatry, sins worth of death – Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 13:12-15.
Rebellion against God is perhaps the most serious sin because as long as one lives in rebellion he closes the door to forgiveness and restoration with God. Examine your life critically – your personal life, relationship with your spouse, interaction with the opposite sex, financial matters, ministry, evangelism etc.
How do you treat instructions from the International Headquarters, National Headquarters, Divisional Headquarters, District Headquarters, Local leader, sectional head-women ministry, children ministry, youth ministry, campus ministry etc?
How obedient are you in honouring your financial obligation to your Headquarters? Are you honest in sending all your offering to the right office or you spend part of the money for whatever expenses and send the remaining as the full offering? Remember partial obedience is rebellion.
What about fleshly indulgence, martial conflicts, unfaithfulness to your spouse, hypocrisy, deception, anger, pride, covetousness, worldliness, unfaithfulness in regular tithe paying etc?
Disobedience disqualifies a leader or worker in the church to remain so. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men who are not willing that God should rule over them. Remember that God is no respecter of persons. God demands nothing short of perfect obedience.
2.THE COMMENDATION FOR PERFECT OBEDIENCE
1 Samuel 15:22; Genesis 22:1-22; Romans 2:13; Matthew 3:17; Joshua 14:9; Isaiah 1:19
Perfect obedience is the chief end of all time religion. Nothing is so pleasing to God as perfect, total obedience to Him. Indeed, even the ordinary man is happy when he is obeyed.
Humble, sincere, conscientious obedience to the word and will of God is more pleasing and acceptable to Him than whole burnt offerings and sacrifices hence His commendation and blessing for perfect obedience. Micah 6:8.
It is perfect obedience to every word of God that will eventually lead one to Heaven – Ezra 7:10. Abraham is a classic example of perfect obedience to God. When asked to depart from his father’s country to an unknown land, he never questioned God. When asked to sacrifice his dearest son Isaac he did not argue with God but rose up early in the morning to do so (Genesis 12:4,5; 22:3). His perfect obedience to God earned him all the blessings from God of which we are the beneficiaries.
From today you must be resolved to commit yourself to perfect obedience to God in every aspect of your life and ministry.
3.THE COMMITMENT TO PERFECT OBEDIENCE
Psalms 40:6-8; Hebrew 10:7; Ezra 7:10; Matthew 26:42; John 8:28,29; 6:38; Acts 26:19,20; Romans 1:14-16; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Acts 5:27-29
Perfect obedience to God does not come automatically. You must be resolved at all cost to commit yourself to perfect obedience in the minutest aspect of your life and ministry.
Jesus, Paul, Peter, the other disciples and other Saints of old, and other contemporary believers have shown us the example. We will do likewise in Jesus’ name.
How do you evaluate your obedience in such areas as:
- Purity of heart and life
- Preaching Christ – 2 Timothy 4:1-5
- Preparing saints for the rapture – In follow-up and visitation
- Marital life – relationship between you and your spouse – Ephesians 5:22-33
- Financial matters of the church
- Obedience to instructions from our various headquarters
- Worldliness etc
Perfect obedience comes at a cost but with huge compensation. God will surely bless all such people both now and in eternity. Perfect obedience is the glory of Angels and it will be ours also (Psalms 103:20).
Examine yourself today. Are you partially obeying God or perfectly obeying Him? Decide for perfect obedience from now.