A while back I was invited to speak at a new outdoor Christian music festival in a small town. There was a lot of hype and excitement but a very low turnout. When I stood up to preach on a large stage, I think there were 5 people sitting in lawn chairs and a handful of teenagers in a huge field. It was demoralizing. About 1-minute into my message, the pack of teenagers turned around as a whole group and walked away, but the Lord encouraged me. I’ll never forget what He spoke to me that day. He said, “Just be obedient to what I asked you to share and share it with all your heart. When you act in obedience, something divine always happens.”
The nuance to that statement is this: we can’t always see the divine with our naked eye. We are after heart change, and heart change is a hard thing to gauge unless you know a person for a long period of time and are able to watch their life. After the message, I had some good responses and it seemed as if it had jarred a few people. In the end I have to trust what God said by faith. We are to walk by faith and not by sight. If He said it, I believe it! When we walk in obedience (which takes faith), it will always yield divine results.
I remember speaking a message called, “X-treme Love,” to several hundred college students while I was the director of BASIC (a network of local church-based campus ministries). Several months later while visiting my mother-in-laws church one Sunday; a young lady that had been there saw me in the crowd and made their way over to talk to me. She said, “You are the director of BASIC. I’ll never forget the message you spoke that Sunday morning at the conference. It changed my life.”
Divine and eternal things will happen when we are obedient. And it’s not just obedience in speaking and preaching. It’s obedience in every area of life, like:
- How we love and treat our wives, children, families, and friends
- How we model Jesus to a lost and hurting world
- How we reach out to people as God directs
- How we use our gifts to bless others
- How we give sacrificially of our time, talents and treasures
- How we hold our hearts before God in the midst of trials and temptation
Next time, I want to talk about someone who modeled full obedience over 4000 years ago whose obedience still speaks to us today. He is one of the greatest examples of full obedience.