Obey God CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Peter said, in response to his accusers, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Today we are going to see the hindrances to and the blessings of obeying God.
In Acts 1:4, the Lord commanded the disciples to wait for the promise. The promise was that the Holy Spirit would baptize them into the body of Christ. The hindrance to obeying God was impatience. So often the Lord directs us to obey him and, because of impatience, we get ahead of him and miss the blessing of obedience. In this case, the blessing was being filled with the Spirit of God. The greatest evidence of the Spirit in Peter’s life was that he quoted and perfectly applied the Old Testament no less than 13 times in the first 4 chapters of Acts. Imagine if the disciples hadn’t waited.
In Acts 5:32, the Lord commanded his disciples to witness of these things. They could witness of the crucifixion, resurrection, exaltation and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The hindrance to obeying God was shame [Acts 5:41, Mk 8:38]. So often the Lord directs us to witness to someone and we refuse because we don’t want to be ridiculed. However, the blessing of obeying God is that men “cannot overthrow” the work of God [Acts 5:39], particularly when it is done by men who consider it a privilege to suffer shame for his name. Imagine if they hadn’t witnessed.
In Acts 9:11-13, Ananias was commanded to “Arise and go.” He was told to lay hands on Saul [later Paul] and give him instructions on what he was to do for God. The hindrance to obeying God was fear. Paul was the worst opponent to Christianity and Ananias would have justifiably been afraid to face Paul. Facing him would have been like leading Adolf Hitler to the Lord. So often we are led by the Lord to do something but we don’t want to do it because we are afraid. However, the blessing of obeying God is that Ananias was able to lay hands on one of the greatest preachers of all time [Acts 9:17]. Imagine if he hadn’t gone.
In Acts 10:19-21, Peter was commanded to, “Arise, and get thee down” to see Cornelius. The hindrance to obeying God was doubt. So often we are led by the Lord to do something but we don’t because we doubt that it will work out. The blessing for Peter is that he was able to be used by the Lord to open the gospel to the Gentiles. Imagine if he hadn’t gone.
Conclusion: You are going to sense through preaching, Bible reading and study, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit in your life something that God wants you to do. And you will hesitate to obey him because of one of these hindrances to obedience. Do not disobey him. There is a great blessing in obeying God that you will miss. Finally, there is one command that you cannot afford to disobey if you are not yet saved. It is the command, “Ye must be born again.” Failure to obey this command will result in an eternity in hell.