A word about our obedience to God: I believe that each act of obedience reverberates throughout eternity. I believe it does so for the simple reason that it is God who is at work within us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. By His power He moves us from obedience to obedience; and because He is eternal, each act of obedience has an eternal effect, its very essence being a part of His mystery, which is Christ in us.
I believe that no act of obedience should be thought of as insignificant. Every time we speak a kind word, or put a shopping cart back in its proper place, the Light of the world shines in darkness and the powers thereof are forced to acknowledge defeat. In each obedient act, from opening a door for our wife, to praying a critical prayer for a brother or sister at death’s door, the kingdom of God finds expression in the earth.
Jesus said the one who is faithful in the small things will be put in charge of large things. I believe He said this because love and respect are best exemplified in the small things in life. Obedience in a small area resounds with responsibility, commitment, and sincerity; it resounds with respect for God and with working together with Him. And every act of obedience (large and small) inherently proclaims that Jesus is the Christ and that by the power of His love He transferred us into His glorious kingdom, where His name is not only spoken, it is honored.
Dear friends, because of His great love for us Jesus offered Himself up, a pure sacrifice for sins, and, in so doing, He disarmed the rulers and authorities; that is, through the shedding of His blood He rendered powerless and ineffectual the weapons that had been used against the children of Adam since the Garden of Eden. In His obedience unto death the scripture was fulfilled, ‘No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.’ And now we who believe in Him may proclaim, “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Him.”
Whosoever will may now forsake the futile ways of our forefathers and partake of the inheritance of the saints, and walk obediently with God through faith in Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death, and we are no longer bound to the selfish idiosyncrasies of the old nature, but are free to put on the godly virtues of the new. And as we consider ourselves dead to the world and alive to God, we find that He, in turn, works within us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure; His kingdom comes, His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We who have been so fortunate to taste the mercies found in Jesus, and have received this great salvation, should be living proof of these eternal truths. Through the blood of His cross we should follow our Lord’s example and continually offer ourselves to His Father and our Father, becoming living sacrifices in all things; to the end that the kingdom of God might find expression in us, and bear fruit in the earth. We should be as branches grafted onto a vine, who, having no sustenance in and of ourselves, now receive our lifeblood from the obedient One who loved us to the uttermost.
As disciples of Jesus we are to testify of Jesus; that is, we are to bear witness that God raised Him from the dead and gave us life in His Spirit. We bear witness to these truths in our obedience; for each act of obedience speaks of His blood of the covenant, giving evidence before the principalities and powers, and before all creation, that it is both powerful and perpetual; it is both effectual and eternal. From everlasting to everlasting the blood of Jesus flows from triumph to triumph in the actions and reactions of those who hold the testimony of Jesus. May we be found in that flow, bearing witness to its efficacy in all things, both the large and the small.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant