Obedience includes the humble and sincere acceptance of the authority and will of God. It’s not only conforming, but also demonstrating our devotion through our thoughts, words, and deeds. Luke 6:46 Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not what I say?” We can ask God to forgive our past, and today we can also make the choice to develop a determination to obey Him in all things.
Most of us remember a man in the Bible by the name of Elijah and we see that he was a person who knew something about the power of obeying God. I want us to look at a time in his life where God told him to do something and even though it seemed impossible, he did not hesitate to follow God’s instructions. In I Kings 17:1, he had just prophesied to king Ahab, that it would not rain for the next three years. The Lord then told Elijah to hide in the mountains by a stream of water and that God would send ravens to bring him meat and bread — and they did. This shows us that if we will simply listen and obey, God will take care of our needs.
In the following passage, we find that the brook finally dried up from the lack of rain, so the Lord told him to go to a certain city and there he would find a poor widow who would supply him with food. When he entered the town gate, he found the woman and asked her to bring him a drink of water and a piece of bread.
We pick up the story in verses 12-14, “As surely as the Lord your God lives, she replied, I don’t have any bread, only a handful of meal in a barrel and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die. Elijah said to her, do not be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first, make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The barrel of meal will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”
Remarkably, she did as Elijah said and even though no meal or oil was ever added to the containers, there was an endless supply. This was an amazing miracle, however, it’s also not the end of the story. After a while, the widow’s son became very sick and eventually died. Of course, the mother felt like God’s judgment had for some reason fallen upon her and she was very upset. Elijah felt bad for her and asked God to please bring the child back and the boy came back to life! In James the first chapter we are reminded there is no substitute for obedience and that possessing knowledge about what the Lord wants us to do is not the same as doing it.