• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity 39 - A Late Obedience

Jonah 3:1-4 LITV And the Word of Jehovah was to Jonah the second time, saying, (2) Rise up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out to it the proclamation that I am declaring to you. (3) And Jonah rose up and went to Nineveh according to the Word of Jehovah. And Nineveh was a great city to God, of three days' journey. (4) And Jonah began to enter a day's journey into the city. And he cried out and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overturned!

A late obedience is better than disobedience. Jesus illustrates this with the parable of the two sons:
Matthew 21:28-31 LITV But what do you think? A man had two children, and coming to the first he said, Child, go today; work in my vineyard. (29) And answering, he said, I will not. But afterward, having regretted, he went. (30) And having come to the second, he said the same. And answering, he said, I go, sir; but he did not leave. (31) Which of the two did the will of the father? They said to Him, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, The tax collectors and the harlots go before you into the kingdom of God.

The "tax collectors and harlots" who repented were late in obeying God in their lives, but did so. The Pharisees, like the second son, agreed with God's will but never performed it. So the harlots with their late obedience got into the Kingdom ahead of the Pharisees with their lip-serving disobedience.

Jonah "obeyed late" but he did obey and God blessed his late obedience.

"The word of Jehovah was to Jonah a second time.." God re-issues His command until it is obeyed. As John Wimber used to say "Old orders are still good orders".

We don't need to hear a new command from God if we are yet to fulfill the old command from God! If there are "old orders" from God you yet have to fulfill, then get marching! A late obedience is better than disobedience.

Go back to the Lord and say to Him:
"Lord, years have passed since you told me to do that, yet I knew at the time it was you. If you still want me to carry your order out then let your Word come to me a second time like it graciously did to Jonah - and I will obey you."

If the Lord has come to you and said "Child, go today; work in my vineyard." then hearken to the command, leave your comfort zone and trust God with your future!

Obedience to God is more than having nice ideas about God or believing He exists. There is no such thing as abstract obedience; obedience eventually involves the body - "Jonah rose up and went to Nineveh".

Jonah could have agreed with the concept of saving the heathen, Jonah could have read the book, worn the T-shirt, bought the bumper sticker and attended the missionary convention and He still would have been disobedient.

Jonah only obeyed God by going, as commanded, to the place God told him to go.

Jonah's physical frame went in a certain direction. This is important. While obedience should be from the heart, it is not merely of the heart. Obedience eventually involves the body - what the tongue says, what the hands do and where the feet go. If God says "Go to Africa" then thinking about Africa is not enough. Believing in Africa is quite insufficient. You must do the deed and go.

We are certainly not saved by works but neither are we are obedient by imagination! Virtual obedience, like that of the second son who agreed in principle, but did not act in fact, is no obedience at all.

Living faith does the good deeds that God has prepared for us to do.
"Ephesians 2:8-10 LITV For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; (9) not of works, that not anyone should boast; (10) for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared that we should walk in them."

Jonah's obedient faith caused him to obey God and go to Nineveh and cry against it - the good work that God had prepared for him to do.

God has good works prepared for you to do - at work, at home, at church and maybe even on the mission field.

If God has called you to a good work - then rise up and do it. God will bless your obedience.


John Edmiston


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