I was lying down last night at about 11:30 and went to set my alarm for the next day. The kids usually get up around 7:30 in the morning and I wanted to have some quiet time with the Lord so I set my alarm for 6:30 to give me an hour. Immediately after putting my phone down I felt a spiritual nudge that I should get up at 6:00 instead of at 6:30. I initially shrugged it off and started to fall asleep. I then kept feeling that I should set my alarm for 6:00. I kept ignoring the feeling until the Lord final spoke to me saying, “You get up whenever you want but I’ll be there at 6:00 and if you want to hear from Me you will be there at 6:00 as well”. Feeling the conviction quite strong at this point I relented and set my alarm for 6:00. I then woke up promptly at 5:56 AM (I can only assume the Lord did this to spare my wife the sound of the alarm). Then as my eyes were just beginning to open God released what the He was trying to refresh in my spiritual man; the blessedness of obedience.
You see, many people think of obeying God as a scale of one to ten. One being very disobedient and ten being very obedient but this is not how it works. Think of this in terms of giving. Let’s say you go to church and the Lord tells you to give 100.00 dollars but you give 90.00 dollars. You are just as disobedient as the man who gives nothing. There is no scale of obedience; you either are or you are not. If the Lord tells you to sell everything you own and give it to the poor like he did the rich young ruler in Mark 10:21 and you give 99.99% of it away then you are as equally disobedient as the man who gives nothing. This is what the Lord was reminding me of when he had me get up at 6:00 instead of at 6:30. Perhaps my flesh would have been satisfied with 6:30 but it would have been disobedience and would have counted to God (in terms of spiritual blessing) as if I had not gotten up at all.
We must remember that obedience is primarily for our benefit. God does not need our money or time or resources. He is God! He is giving us an opportunity to free ourselves from worldly attachments and enter the mechanism of His blessing. What I mean by this is found in Galatians 6:7 where the scriptures read “whatsoever a man sows he will also reap”. God has established spiritual patterns or mechanisms to reward behavior that is consistent with His Word and to administer judgement for behavior that is not. Does this mean that God will send us a check in the mail if we give what he asks for at church on Sunday or if we give Him the time he requires? Maybe, God can do what He wants, but focusing on temporal blessings like money or possessions is not the point. God desires to open for us the doors of the spiritual realms and pour out many spiritual blessings. This is what we should desire. God knows we need food, clothing, and money to pay the light bill but let us not be deceived into thinking that this is the extent of His blessing. This is where prosperity Gospel preachers go wrong. It is the Lord’s desire to bless us but it is not with expensive cars and nice houses which pass away. He desires to adorn us with heavenly jewels and refine our souls in preparation for a wealthy eternity!
Everyone says that having an Acts chapter two type church is a great thing until it’s time to do Acts chapter two type stuff. It’s time, church, to reckon the old man and his futile thinking dead and live out life by faith in Christ Jesus. All of heaven is waiting!