After an individual asks God into their life there is something that they must begin to do – they must begin to devote serious effort and energy learning to walk in obedience! The walk of obedience is the - SAFE ZONE! To walk in the safe zone, we must want God to be in control of our life! And we must be willing to lay down our entire life at the feet of God! In other words, we need to be willing to die to self! You see we cannot just say a quick prayer and assume that in one single moment everything has been taken care of and we are ready to pass through the pearly gates and ready to walk on streets of gold! There is far more to it than that! Here is why. Jesus had to learn many things as He walked this earth! Jesus had to learn to walk in obedience! And If Jesus had too – Why don’t we?
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV)
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. I John 2: 3-6 (NIV)
“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV)
Here is an important fact: At the moment of what is called the Rapture if those who have said what is referred to as a sinner’s prayer and have not started a true transformation process on earth and if they have not continued that process with God while here on earth - there is no way, it can be completed in the “twinkling of an eye”! (Romans 12: 1-2)
Here is why: When we asked Jesus to come into our life, we entered a Covenant with God! What many people do not want to realize is this: after inviting God into our life, we have work to do! We now must begin what is called THE WORKING OUT OF OUR SALVATION OR IN OTHER WORDS THE BECOMING OF WHO GOD CREATED US TO BE!
NOW, having committed our life to God IF we just go on with our life and do what WE WANT TO DO! OR IF WE GO ON THINKING WHAT WE THINK WE SHOULD DO IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! AND IF WE go to church, read our Bible, and go to lots of Bible Studies and gain a great deal of head knowledge and declare we spend time with God without REALLY spending time with God - we are on the wrong road!
Here is the issue: if we can sit in a movie theater for two hours watching a movie or sit in front of the television watching a two-hour movie or simply watch TV for hours! Why can’t we sit with God listening to His precious Holy Spirit speak to us? After all, didn’t Jesus tell us the following:
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” John 16:12-15 (NIV)
Now, in addition, many individuals who have said a sinner’s prayer believe that no matter what we do even if it is wrong in the eyes of God all they HAVE to do is say they are sorry, and God will forgive them - with NO questions asked! WRONG! By the way saying SIMPLY we are sorry is - NOT REPENTANCE! If we have done something wrong God wants to talk to us about it! Why? Because He wants to explain to us in detail why we did what we did, and He wants to teach us how to handle the same type of situation if it comes up again! If we know what we are doing is a sin towards God and we keep on doing it – we are not walking in the SAFE ZONE! The Bible says the following: “For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26 (CJB) If we do this this is called “Sinning with a High Hand!” In other words, this is the same as making a fist towards God!
If we do not allow God to help us in all areas of our lives – we are operating on our own and we are NOT changing! Man forgets that the Covenant we entered comes with a - PLEDGE of Obedience to God each moment of every day! When Jesus was on earth, He set the example we are to follow, and Obedience is at the top of the list!
If Salvation were as free in the manner people believe today that it is – everyone on earth past present and future would be in Heaven or on their way there!
“Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a HARD ROAD that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 (CJB)
Example: I have used this example many times: In the days of Noah: there were thousands and thousands of people who were living on the earth at that time. When God looked down on the earth during the days of Noah He was grieved and felt great pain at what He saw! Putting it plainly God was sorry He had made man and He declared He was going to destroy man! Even though God was so angry at man in His mercy while the Ark was being built, He was merciful! He gave the people 120 years to repent! (Genesis 6:5-8 (NIV) The people living at that time were warned! Noah’s generation heard him warn them that - they MUST repent! The day the Ark was complete and everything God had told Noah to prepare was accomplished – Noah was 600 years old!
Please allow me to be specific once again: out of thousands of people only eight were saved! Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives! Eight individuals out of thousands!
Example: Remember the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt? There were thousands and thousands of people (some have said millions) of Jewish people who left Egypt for the Promised Land – the journey should have taken less than a week to two weeks. However, out of the original group of people and after 40 years of wandering due to their disobedience only two families went into the Promised Land! Joshua and his family and Caleb and his family!
“For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. Numbers 26:63-65 (NIV)
Example: When Jesus was in the process of choosing disciples, He chose twelve.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” Luke 10:1-4 (NIV)
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God. Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.” John 6:66-71 (NIV)
“Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as He made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked Him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
“He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But He will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from Me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed, there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last". Luke 13:22-30 (NIV)
FROM SEVENTY-TWO – TO TWELVE!
“To obey is the one thing required! Obedience is the one thing that decides Man’s Destiny!”
Pastor Andrew Murray
Author of Absolute Surrender
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