The Necessity of Prayer Ė Lesson XXVI, Prayer and Obedience
Godís commands are always issued in love and in our interest, and by knowing this it is always to our benefit to obey Godís commands.
The primer on obedience teaches that it pays to be obedient.
But this conclusion is just the conclusion that is reached in primer.
This is the conclusion that a child reaches.
A child cannot think further than the immediate.
A child who is taught to obey concludes that obedience brings its own reward.
And God has so ordained it to be.
But being obedient because it pays is not the end of the story.
A child who is obedient because it pays to be obedient will eventually learn to love the father or the mother who required obedience.
In process of time they will conclude that obedience brought them to the knowledge that the commands of father and mother were given in love and for their benefit.
Love then is the end of obedience.
Obedience, is not a hard demand made upon us.
Love takes delight in obedience, and the pleasing whom it loves.
There are no impossible tasks for love.
(The husband who tells his wife in most sincere tones: I will climb the highest mountains, swim the deepest seas, Fight fire breathing dragons, and wrestle lions. But when she asks to go get a gallon of milk, he replies, Iíll have to do it after the rain stops!)
The Apostle John wrote ďAnd whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.Ē
ďAnd whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments.
Is there any grace that God will not provide to His children who keep his commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight?
A redeemed man, a man whose chains of sin have been broken by the blood of Christ is no longer bound to commit iniquity because of his environment, or his heredity, or by his disposition.
The redeemed man can truly sing the Hymn:
My God is reconciled, His pardoning voice I hear, He owns me as His child, I can no longer fear, With confidence I now draw nigh, With confidence I now draw nigh, and Father, Abba Father, cry.
I can draw nigh because Godís grace is now mine.
Grace is now mine to obey God!
I could not obey God as long as I was an alien to God.
Godís grace is now available at all times so that I can love God and keep Godís commands.
Godís commands were grievous because I could not obey them.
But now My God is reconciled, His pardoning voice I hear, With confidence I now draw nigh.
And now I find that Godís commands are no longer grievous.
As Proverbs 3:17 records: Their ways are ways of pleasantness, and their paths peace.
Jesus repeated this when he said ďFor My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.Ē
With confidence I now draw nigh, and Father, Abba Father, cry.
So God is my father.
And what father who loves his children would demand impossibilities of his children?
And God, the perfect father does not demand impossibilities of His children.
It is possible to please Him in all things, for He is not hard to please.
It is possible for every child of God, to please his heavenly Father!
In reality it is easier to please God than it is to please men.
God never changes, God is always as his word describes him.
Know Godís word and you know God!
You will never truly know the heart of a man as you can know the heart of God.
And we know when we please him for we have the witness of his Spirit.
He is alongside us to guide us in the doing of our Fatherís will that our ways are well pleasing in His sight.
Godís commandments are righteous and founded in justice and wisdom.
Romans 7:12, Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Revelation 15:3, Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.
Godís commandments can be obeyed by all who seek His grace which will enable them to obey His commendments.
Godís children are under obligation to obey Him; disobedience cannot be permitted for Godís children are at stake.
Isnít this the attitude of an earthly father and a mother who loves their children?
Disobedience cannot be permitted for my children are at stake.
Doesnít a godly father or a godly mother demand obedience because they love their children?
Isnít every command to be given in love?
Isnít every command given for the ultimate benefit of your children?
But the spirit of rebellion is the very heart of sin.
It is the repudiation of Godís authority, which God cannot tolerate.
Godís very nature is intolerance for sin.
He always has had this intolerance.
This intolerance led him to make His Son known to the children of men.
Rom 8:3-4, For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
So walking after the Spirit will enable a man to obey God.
The Father in the Son, has provided all to his child to obey his commands.
There is nothing lacking.
The Atonement is Godís Enabling Act.
So in regeneration and through the agency of the Holy Spirit there is grace sufficient for all that is required of us.
God commands, but he always provides for us whatever it takes to obey his commands.
This grace is furnished without measure, in answer to prayer.
So that, while God commands, He gives all necessary strength and grace to meet His demands.
So all is provided in Christ to serve the Lord with reverence and with godly fear.
God expects his children to be partakers of the divine nature and he has given us exceeding great and precious promises.
Read II Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And by the obedience of his word we will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
A man that is lost, a man that is unregenerate, cannot obey God.
He is dead to God, dead in trespasses and sin.
But being born again means that a man is given a new nature and with this new nature a man begins the partaking of the divine nature.
Before salvation he could not obey God but when created in Christ Jesus all things are new.
By this radical change a man receives power to obey God in every way, and to yield his allegiance to God fully and gladly.
Then and only then can he say, ďI delight to do Thy will, O my God.Ē
So after a man is renewed by the Holy Spirit, after he has received a new nature, and become a child of God, he can obey God for this is the work of the Atonement.
The new man is called to perfect obedience.
The new man in prayer is to ďLift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,Ē.
The keeping of Godís commandments is set forth in John 3:22 as the reason why God answers prayer.
ďAnd whatsoever we ask we receive of Him because we keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.Ē
Because of this it is reasonable to assume that we can keep Godís commandments.
If he sets this forth as a condition of answered prayer it is reasonable to conclude that we can, by His grace, do those things that are pleasing to Him.
Doesnít He say in II Cor. 12:9, that: My Grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness?
The obedient child can come before the throne of grace with boldness knowing that God will provide grace to help in time of need.
Being obedient to God will bring boldness in asking.
A disobedient child cannot be bold in asking his or her father.
Disobedient children will always be timid in their approach to the father.
Wrong doing will always hinder prayer.
The requesting obedient child will come into the presence of his father with confidence and boldness.
The very fact that he knows he is obedient will give him courage and will free him from any reluctance of going to the father.