Faith and Obedience
Samaria M. Colbert
Hebrews 11: 1 (NKJV)
1.Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
James 2:14, 19, 26 (NKJV)
14. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
19. Yes believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble!
26. For as the body without a spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Hebrews 11:8-10 (NKJV)
8. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive his inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10. for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
I have said it repeatedly in other post. There is a difference between what is being required of you and what is being asked of you. Requirements are always attached to blessings. You can’t have one without the other. If you want the promise you have to meet the requirements. If someone is asking you something, they are giving you a choice or are inquiring of some information from you in order to gain your knowledge. In others words to ask a question it usually goes like, “Can you?, Will you?, Do you mind?, What do you think about? etc”. You can respond in whatever way you choose. If someone asks you to borrow something and you say no for the most part there are no repercussions for that other than maybe hurt feeling. Or if someone inquires of some information from you and you don’t know and state so. You can either find out or they move on. Again no repercussions for not knowing the answer to a question.
Although the bible says people perish for lack of knowledge so there are consequences for not knowing the word, praying and not knowing the will and ways of God. But that is another matter in which we will not discuss today.
Requirement is another matter. You again can choose not to meet the requirements but you will reap the consequences of disobedience. Often times consequences are not necessarily punishments they are more denials into the promise God has for us. For example in the scripture above Abraham left his home after receiving a word from God. Had he not obeyed God to leave he would not have received God’s blessing. We wouldn’t be talking about Abraham to this day. His obedience would not have equated to his righteousness. He would not have been given his son Isaac who was the promise. Meeting the requirements releases you to the promise. Isaac was the promise. Sarah would have still been barren and they would have passed away having never received the promise. You think not, just remember the people of Israel who had the promise to go to the land God had promised Abraham. On your own time I won’t give you this one research how many left Egypt and how many actually made it to the promise land. Most of them died in the wilderness because of their own disobedience even though the promise was for all of them. So again just because you have a promise from God doesn’t mean it will manifest. You have a responsibility. No God’s people we don’t serve Santa Claus we serve a true and living God. He is not deaf, dumb or stupid. He is merciful and kind He won’t release what belongs to you absent from your active and willing participation. Should you decide not be an active and willing participant He will decide not to actively and willingly release you into His promise.
So how does it relate to our topic faith and obedience? First things first what is faith?
Faith in it’s simplest form means to believe. It means to have hope, and to believe something will be even though you do not see how or see it manifestation. Faith. It means to believe that it will come to pass even though you have no physical evidence that it will. I grew up in non-denominational pentecostal, charismatic church where we are taught to have faith. Have faith for your miracle. Have faith for your healing. Have faith for your promotion. Have faith for you promise. We are taught to have faith for just about everything. Nothing is wrong with faith. In fact that is all we hear, talk about is faith. You would think we’d see more faith healings we hear so much about faith. I suspect that if you are Christian you probably can’t go a whole week with hearing, seeing or reading something about faith. Just turn on Christian television. Go to bible study or your regular Sunday morning service at some point whether it be during some worship song or a message you are going to hear something about faith.
All it takes is faith right? Ummm
If I could be candid what happens after you have faith. You believe with all your might something is going to happen. You sowed your seed. You pray. You call those things that are not as though they were. You rebuke every demon in high and low places. You fast, get together with the prayer partners to believe, because you are going to touch and agree and it shall be. You shout for your blessing and run around the church. You cry and lament. You make statements while in prayer like, “Oh Jesus”, Yes, YESSSSSSS LOOORRRRD” “Come Jesus come” with some tongues in between. All this to show God you have faith. You go lay your hands on something you are having faith for. (i.e a wayward child, the home your believing God for) You are faithful to pay your tithes and offerings so there is nothing blocking your blessing. You went to the alter and fell out.
Yet still no manifestation.
But I thought all it took is faith?
Well there is more to it than just having faith. Scriptures says faith without works is dead. What does scripture mean when it says faith and works? Works simply means obedience to what God has required of you. Or aggressively working towards what He has you told you to do, how He told you to do it, when and where He told you to do. During the specific time and course He told you to do. Hence the title. The simplest definition of works is exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. To achieve or win by work or effort in the works, in preparation or being planned to bring about (any result) by or as by work or effort: to work towards a change. Retrieved 2-17-11 from www.dictionary.com
Obedience means to adhere to a set of norms, rules, discipline and governing laws than either prevent negative consequences or bring about a desired result. For example obedience to the law means not going to jail. But say someone is training out for the Olympics. They are following a disciplined regimen, and transforming their bodies the end result being the accomplishment of a dream to make it to the Olympics or to be able to compete competitively on that level. When you are in obedience to God and have faith you are giving Him full on access and permission to transform and change you to what He wants you to be. Metamorphosis means a marked change in form, or metamorphosis, from immature to adult. From a immature childlike Christian into a full grown vessel of the most High God. In metamorphosis you have been transformed and construed in such a way that the end result is that you are now in the likeness and image of our father in heaven.
So God according to the scripture God not only requires faith He requires works (obedience). Now that does not mean try to manifest His promise on your own. That is dead works. It does mean after God has given you the promise, you must be obedient to His law, rules, and specific requirements that He has set before you in order to get to the desired result. The desired result is the manifestation of His promise in our lives. No we don’t do works on our own. After God has given you the promise you still have to seek God for the path He has for you to take.
There are God’s universal laws that govern His kingdom. Such as thou shall not commit fornication or adultery, thou shall kill or covet and so on. These are universal laws that everyone who claims to be a Christian should be following. If you don’t follow the laws of God, you can claim to be a Christian all day long, you simply are not. But there are requirements that are specific to our development individually. God requires different things based upon your specific purpose within the kingdom. Most Christians know the universal laws of God. They don’t know specifically what God is requiring of them but they are not necessarily in sin. For example it is not a sin to marry someone. However if you marry someone who God has not ordained for your life even though that is not a sin you have still disobeyed God. The sin is that you didn’t obey His voice. You will still reap the consequences of disobedience. Abraham’s requirement was that he leave everything including his father’s house to a land that he didn’t know about. Abraham was obedient to God’s specific requirement for his life. It is not a sin should Abraham had stayed in his father’s house. There is no commandment saying thou shall not stay on thine father’s property. In fact the law during Abraham’s time was so that Abraham would have inherited his father’s stuff. It is actually crazy to leave all that behind for someplace you don’t even know and have never seen. Abraham must have heard from God that was the specific requirement for Abraham.
The point is Christians are good at faith. They are not so good at obedience to the specific requirement to get the blessing. Consequently we pay our tithes, shout, speak in tongues and fall out. Yet we don’t see the manifestation of what God required of us. You need faith and obedience to the plan and purpose. God has already preset the plan and the purpose for what He wants to happen throughout the earth. We must be obedient. We must know His voice.
I sound like a broken record I say this on every post. But is amazing to me how Christians will shout, speak in tongues, run, jump and shout and not meet the requirements yet still expect God to manifest His glory in them. Seriously folks this is delusional thinking at its best. In therapist terms many Christians are delusional because they are believing things that are not, doing things they shouldn’t yet still expecting something from God. That is not faith. Scriptures says faith without works is dead. News flash believing without obedience is just plain silly. Scripture says in Romans 10:9,10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart then you shall be saved. Even salvation looks like this:
Works (confess with your mouth) + Faith (believe in your heart) = Salvation
The scripture above says that even demons believe and tremble. SO WHAT IF YOU BELIEVE! If demons believe and are still guaranteed eternal damnation what makes us think that somehow believing will get us something from God. A demon is still a demon no matter how much they believe. Believing is just believing if there are no works. Works without God’s direction is just purposeless. It doesn’t get you any closer to the manifestation than doing nothing. So purposeless works and doing nothing are the same both get you nowhere.
The point is it is not enough to sit around doing nothing waiting on something to fall from the sky. You must be obedient to the specific plan that God has for you in order to reap the benefits. I have composed a few things to know about faith and manifesting the promise. Some things maybe repeats but they are important to the manifestation of the promise thereby worthy of repeating.
Faith and Obedience:
-Faith and Obedience go hand and hand. They are never separated they never come apart. One must come with the other. They are always intertwined. If you have faith but no obedience you won’t manifest the glory and you won’t be obedience if you don’t have faith.
Faith and Obedience / Obedience and Faith
-Works is not going about trying to put yourself on. For example just because God called you to preach doesn’t mean you start the effort, getting your business cards together in an attempt to birth yourself out into your prophetic promise. Remember if God has given you the promise it is His responsibility to bring you to it. So works is not the same as the world’s definition of works where they work hard to get to the end result. Our (Kingdom) works means to allow God to process us for it to manifest. Manifestation is when God makes it show up.
-Seek God for further instructions. God will always tell you what you should do next. But be aware He doesn’t give you step 1, then 2, then 3. He’ll give you step 1, then step 4, then back to 3. Because God speaks in part sometimes like Abraham you don’t know why or how or what. You just should know yes. Sometimes all you have is a word from God. Sometimes you are doing something God told you to do not knowing why. That is a part of faith and obedience as well. Having faith that it will manifest and being obedience to whatever God has told you to do even though you don’t know how they relate. A big part of faith is simply not knowing but trusting.
-Disobedience equals denials. I know I say this a lot. Let me explain. Yes God will deny you. Remember Saul, God removed him and put David in his place. Moses was replaced with Joshua. New Testament examples include the story of the virgins. Matthew 25:1-13, Matthew 15:14-30 the story of the parable of talents. Mark 11:12-14 Jesus cursed the fig tree after it was not bearing fruit. Matthew 20:1-16, Matthew 22;1-14 There are other examples but this should get you started.
-Yep there is no indication that disobedience will always result in delays. Often times disobedience can result in denials. Now God is merciful God. He doesn’t deny us as soon as we make a poor choice or sin. God’s denial is dependent upon your level of maturity and disobedience. Most times when a person is in rebellion He will keep warning them over and over again. The warning could be repetitive over years of time. God will keep saying, “Don’t do that, leave that alone, stay away, move away from, I see what you’re doing, stop it, don’t go there”. He’ll keep speaking to you over and over again. He’ll send a prophet and people of spiritual maturity to warn you. But God always repeats Himself. He doesn’t just up and deny you. He also looks at the heart, if you’re caught in a stronghold but your heart is right He won’t deny you. For example maybe you suffer with low self-esteem that prevents you from moving forward but your actively praying and asking God for deliverance. Remember there are some deliverances that happen overnight and there are some that happen over time but come in the process of getting to know God. It is when you don’t heed to the God’s warnings, which He then will say, okay I am taking the mantle off of you and putting it on another. He is so merciful He will still let you stay alive but deaf to the purpose and plan God intended for your life. His will will come forth just not to whom it was intended. So when you hear the voice of God obey. When David heard from the prophet He repented. When Saul heard from the prophet he denied any wrong doing. Even up until the last minute before He says time up I am moving the mantle He will still give you time to repent. Literally up until the very end He will say to you or use someone to warn you saying. “You’re getting ready to lose the mantle God has called you to walk into, if you don’t make a decision etc”. Up until the very last hour! This is how merciful God is. Right before He gets ready to expose you He will warn you. A person who is still in disobedience and rebellion is in a bad place. This is where their heart have really turned from God to serve some kind of idol(sin). God is a just God and gets no pleasure in embarrassing anyone or not releasing anyone into their prophetic destiny especially when He before the beginning of time planned your life out. This is not a decision He takes likely but it is a decision He will and DOES make.
-Your level of obedience on one level releases you to increase to another level. (Note: I am using the word level to bring about understanding God deals in dimensions and spheres of influence. But for now to bring about clarity we will use the word level) When God can trust you He will release more to you.
-You have to know His voice in order to obey. So if you are having faith, but not having faith over God’s words that He spoke to you, you are still wasting your time. For example if someone prophesies to you, thus sayeth the Lord XYZ and you have all kinds of faith towards that word but the prophetic word was not from God then your faith means nothing. God will not sign off on what He never started.
-Faith and Obedience is not the same as positive thinking to bring something to pass. The world uses this all the time. There some basics truths if you believe something positive it will happen. But that is not the same as faith and obedience. Positive thinking doesn’t really require anything of you. It doesn’t require holiness, or the building of character. There is a woman who believed that she should would win the lottery. She wrote down the number of millions she wanted to win and shortly after that she won with the exact amount she wrote down. But she didn’t have to obey God. God would not have told her to play the lottery which is wrong. He is so rich He has multiples ways to make you rich other than sin.
-Faith and Obedience means being willing to allow God to perfect your character, heal you from your past, develop your character. Turn you from being Jacob the trickster to Israel the mighty man of God. After faith and obedience to God you can then handle what He releases to you. It’s not about money it about blessing. This is why you have celebrities who have fame and fortune but still have drug demons and depression spirits. Because they have fame and fortune without the character building that only Christ can do. There is a difference between fame and fortune that the world gives and fame and fortune that our Lord and Savior releases us to.
-So in simple terms what will God require of you. How do you know the specifics? The only way you know the specifics is to seek God. He will give you a plan. Again He will only give you parts of the plan. It is your obedience to one part of the plan that will get you another piece to that plan. I encourage you to pick my book entitled: No Promise Without A Process The Makings Of A True Prophet. Depending on the specific plan God has for your life, will determine what He requires of you. For prophets He requires them to have seasons of intense aloneness. For people called to healing ministry He may require pain. For some He will require school. He will require from everyone holiness, separating from people He has not ordained for your life. One of my requirements like Abrahams was to move from my home of origin. Another one of my requirements was to be healthy and so on.
Remember there is an already set appointed time for your reveal. It is your passing of the test that releases you to the ministry. There is a difference between your assignment and your ministry. Your assignment may change but your ministry will not. For example when you are in school you professor gives you specific assignments that are related to the class you are taking. It is not until you graduate and are working in our field of study that you can implement what you did in the classes although you completed many assignments throughout your matriculation. That is what your ministry is when you have finally completed the work and have graduated and are now working in your field of study otherwise known as your ministry. While in college you must pass the test and turn in your assignments in order to be able to take the next class, have the next test and completed the next assignment. Although you are taking a difference class, have a different assignment and have a different test your major or course of study is the same. You are studying and preparing with a specific goal in mind.
Remember there is a beginning, middle and end prior to graduation (your manifestation into your ministry). In college you can change your course of study(major) prior to graduation in the kingdom you do not. Your assignment is based upon the specific task God has you working on in this season that can and will change with the next season He has you in. Your ministry is when you are released and are working in the area that you have been processed into (studied, prepared, tested and tried) graduated from and are doing what God has specifically assigned (prepared) for you to do. Your ministry is not going to happen until God releases you; you have to complete the assignments and pass (ALL) the test. Your specific assignment will change, you will have an assignment as long as you are in Christ. Even before your ministry and during your ministry you will have a specific assignment. The assignment before God releases you is for your preparation into your ministry. The assignment you have after God releases you into ministry is for you to begin to develop and be used to bring healing, deliverance and restoration to someone else. He will use you to act as a midwife to someone else who is waiting on the manifestation of their promise.
Remember Faith and Obedience go hand in hand. No matter how hard you shout. No matter how much scripture you know. No matter how many spiritual experiences you have had. No matter how God has spoken to you. Faith and Obedience are requirements to fulfilling your prophetic promise. I am convinced that if the saint’s had true faith understood the real consequences of disobedience they wouldn’t be so quick to disobey God. That is why I believe God has me talking about requirements and process in this season. He wants to see His saints develop into mature and honorable vessels so that He can manifest His glory on the earth. Remember our assignments and divine purposes are not about us. We have nothing to do with it. That’s why God will use another if you decide you don’t want to be faithful and obedient. Our divine assignment is not about how we will be blessed is it about how we will be a blessing and advance His kingdom for His (not our) glory.
James 2:22-24 (NKJV)
22. Do see that faith working together with his (Abraham) works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
24. You see then that a man is justified by works, NOT by faith only.
Samaria Maria Colbert
Samaria Colbert © 2011