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The Many Forms of Disobedience – Part 6

Good Morning, and praise the Lord.  We are wrapping up our series on disobedience.  I pray that this has helped you to recognize how crafty the enemy is, and as we see it in our lives, that we would have the heart and mind to repent before the Lord.  Please turn with me to Colossians chapter 3.

Colossians 3

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

So here is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church at Colossi, giving them instructions from the Lord.  Basically, he is letting us know that if we say that we are Christians, then we need to act like we know.  We should stop acting like we’re going to live forever, and setting ourselves up like all of this, meaning the current state of affairs, is permanent.  The word of God says that Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His word will stand.  We are dead to the world, and our lives are hidden in the Savior of our souls.  When Jesus comes back to take His bride away, if we live right, we will appear with Him in glory.  Praise God!

The hardest thing for us as humans to do, especially those that name the name of Christ is to crucify our flesh.  You see, we are sensuous beings, not in the sexual sense, but think of the five senses, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling.  The bible warns us against committing acts that are clearly against God, like having sex outside of marriage; a dirty mindset which includes inappropriate jokes, and you can fill in the blanks for that one; love for things and people that aren’t good for us in the grand scheme of our lives; plotting and planning evil things either for or against folks in the spirit of revenge, or just for the sake of trying to get over; and idolatry, which means to set up people, places and things in the place of Almighty God in our lives.  We’ve already talked about this, so I’m moving on.

I’m going to segue for a moment regarding the next verse, because I find it interesting, given yesterday’s horrific storm in the southern portion of the United States, and I want you to follow me on this.  Verse 6 says for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.  Now hear me clearly, because I’m trying to make a point.  For the last year, we have had some uncharacteristic weather patterns that haven’t occurred for most of our lifetime, unless you’re over 50 or so.  The meteorologists stated about yesterday’s hurricane that a category 4, which also produced tornadoes, hasn’t happened since 1969.  I was 3 years old then, so I obviously wouldn’t remember that, and I have lived in the northeast region of the United States for 99 percent of my life, and we’ve gotten some pretty historic storms in New England.

So after watching the news this morning, and listening to Good Morning America’s best weather team talk about how catastrophic and almost apocalyptic the damage was, it brings me back to this verse.  When things like natural disasters happen, and people die, they want to question where God is in all of this.  He is where He’s always been, on the throne.  The Creator of the universe isn’t sleeping or unaware of what’s going on in our neck of the woods.  As a matter of fact, because of our favorite bad boy and girl couple, Adam and Eve, and their singular act of disobedience, listening to that wretched enemy, speaking through the cursed snake, it threw our future into chaos.

Do you think that the evil going on in the world today is going unnoticed?  Now, this is just my opinion, and I may be wrong, so please forgive me if I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I believe that the wrath of God is coming on the children of disobedience, i.e., the world, and I might add that it includes us, because our hands aren’t clean, through the weather, and other things.

Uncharacteristic things have been going on recently.  Murder, drug overdoses, suicides, random attacks and sexual assaults have been on the rise.  Now this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the usual suspects like lying, cheating, stealing, and much more.  You may be asking me by now, Sherri, what in the world are you saying?  I’m glad you asked!  Let me make it plain.

I want you to see the signs of the times.  The return of the Lord can happen at any moment, and there are people who haven’t heard the gospel as of yet.  You do not need to be a part of the five fold ministry in order to witness to someone.  You can get creative and fulfill the Great Commission.  As long as Jesus is preached, the presentation doesn’t matter.  If we’re not doing anything, then we are being disobedient.

It is the enemy’s job to make sure that we’re too busy to be the watchmen on the wall.  The lie that we tell each other and ourselves is that we have time.  My brothers and sisters, we really don’t.  If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  The old has passed away, and we’re dealing with the new.  However, creation is waiting on us to spread the word of God, and we’re too busy thinking about whether the Red Sox, the Bruins, the Patriots or the Celtics are going to go all the way this season.  Yes, I mentioned my home teams, because we do win in Boston.

Seriously, though, if you’re hung up about whether you’re qualified to spread the word of God, please understand that it doesn’t matter what your nationality is, whether you still have issues that you’re struggling with after accepting the Lord, what part of the planet you came from, whether you work or not, but know that our Redeemer lives inside of us, and will enable us and equip us, whether we go to bible college or not, to do the work that is needed in the kingdom.

On another note, we need to learn how to forgive.  It is staggering how many Christians who aren’t perfect want to ask the Lord to pardon us, yet we can’t get over what our friends and family members did to us decades ago.  Stop it right now, and get over it, with the help of the Lord.  I know that it’s not easy, especially if you were deeply hurt, but do you really want to risk not making Heaven because of holding a grudge?  If you can’t say amen, then say ouch.  Remember, we are called to love, and if you aren’t, you are being disobedient.

Spend some time in prayer and devotion before the Lord on a daily basis, as much as possible.  I promise you that it will help you before you start or end your day, and you really will feel better about yourself and your life situation.

Everything you do, whether you’re working, cooking, doing arts and crafts, writing, practicing an instrument in order to continue to play skillfully, or whatever it is, please do it unto the Lord.  You have no idea what doors can be opened just by you committing your all to Him in every area.

Getting back to marriages and the family; we as wives must submit to our husbands as unto the Lord.  I just talked about this last evening, but it bears repeating, because it was important enough to revisit in another chapter and verse.  I won’t say too much more about it, because a lot was said in the previous study.  If you missed it, watch the video in the group, or I will share the written version.  Suffice it to say, if we can get past the failures of what our father did or didn’t do, as well as the men we encountered before we got married, the Lord will help us to be a blessing to the man of God.  Yes, I’m talking about your husband, who is a man after God’s own heart, and should be viewed as such.  Why not?  Don’t we want to be viewed as the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31?

Husbands, love your wives, and don’t be bitter towards them.  My God, that is a mouthful!  If your honey burned dinner by mistake, and you have some extra money, take her out for dinner.  It’ll make her feel better.  If she accidentally overdrew the account for a good reason, like paying a bill or getting groceries for the house, take a deep breath, look towards Heaven and thank God for your frugal spouse.  She’s trying to take care of the home front, just like you are, and doing her best to create a happy, healthy and haven of rest for you when you get home from work.  It may not be Leave It To Beaver, where she gets to stay home all day as a homemaker, but I promise you that she’s covering you and your children in prayer while she works that 9 to 5.

I don’t think that we have any kids within the ministry, but I will still mention this verse that talks about children obeying their parents, because it pleases God.  Let me go down this road for a moment, because this ties in with the next verse about fathers not provoking their children to anger, so they won’t be discouraged.  There are a lot of absentee fathers for a number of reasons.  If I strike a nerve, I apologize in advance, but I believe the Lord wants the truth to be told.

  1. If a man meets a woman, and only wants to hook up, with no real responsibility or commitment, then he is not father material;
  2. If a man meets a woman, and she only wants to hook up, with no real responsibility or commitment, then she is not mother material;
  3. If a man meets a woman, and a relationship develops, take six months to determine if they like each other in order to continue; six months to seek God about their feelings for each other, and decide whether they are in love with this person; six months to seek God and ask for His will for the relationship, as in if this is leading to marriage. If so, then take six months to plan the wedding;
  4. Once married, take six months to establish the household, and another six months to determine if they are ready to start a family, or if they want to take a couple of years to enjoy their time alone;
  5. Before they decide to start a family, have a heart to heart with their parents to see how they made it through;
  6. When the happy news is given about a pregnancy, spend a lot of time in prayer and communing with the Lord for His guidance on how to be a parent, and covering the unborn child in prayer, asking God to protect the baby, as well as beginning to download purpose and destiny to them, even before they see the light of day.

I want you to understand that this is my advice, but if parents, especially fathers would do this in advance, it would save some heartache.  Now, ladies, if you are a mother, I’m coming down your street now, because there are some things that we need to learn as well.

  • First of all, stop having a list of requirements in the natural for the man you want to marry. Do you think that a man walks around with a pen and a piece of paper, checking off things that he thinks might be good in a potential mate? 
  • How about we check ourselves before we wreck ourselves? In other words, do self inventory.  You must know that God wants an intimate and personal relationship with you, and if you don’t have one with Him, then you need to inquire, accept and establish it.
  • Next, if your heart’s desire is to marry, you have to ask the Lord to prepare you as an individual. Just like I said yesterday to the men, you should be chasing the Lord so much that He has to get your attention in order to see the man He has created for you to spend the rest of your life with.
  • If you find that you didn’t follow my suggestions that I mentioned before, and you got married out of the will of God, keep in mind that if you are a Christian and he isn’t or vice versa, you may want to have a heart to heart talk, and get on the same page. Oil and water don’t mix, and the word of God is clear about marrying an unbeliever, because what does light have to do with darkness?
  • With that being said, if your spouse is content to live with you, then you need to stay in the marriage, and don’t look to get out of it. Out of your disobedience, the Lord can still have mercy on you after you repent, and your spouse may hear the word of the Lord, and his or her, for the guys, heart can be transformed so that they will accept Jesus as their personal Savior.  You may have to go through some things, but as long as they or you don’t walk away, and you have sincerely given your marriage over to God, watch Him work.
  • Finally, be wise. Do not accept any mistreatment from your spouse, and don’t you treat them badly, either.  In this day and time, women place impossibly high expectations on men, asking to be treated like a queen, but you’re not willing to treat him like a king, and I’m talking within the marriage covenant, not boyfriend and girlfriend.  If you display love to your spouse, he will do anything for you and your children, because not only does he want to please the Lord, but you as well.

Fathers, when little Johnny comes home with a bad report card, don’t go off.  Sit down with him and ask what happened, and see if you can help.  Don’t demean him with words that you can’t take back.  When your teenage daughter comes home with a boy who you already know isn’t good for her, speak softly to her, and be the example of a man, so that she knows the type of guy who can approach her in the future, a God fearing, law abiding citizen who has love and respect for her, just like her dad.  This is how you don’t frustrate your children, and cause them to look to the streets for validation.

I’m going to end with a prayer.  Father, in the name of Jesus, we come to You, first of all, asking for forgiveness for our blatant and subtle disobedience.  We should know better, but we are without excuse.  Please cleanse us from all unrighteousness, so that we can be pleasing in Your sight.  Help us to not be like Saul, doing only a portion of Your will, but then doing our own thing when you were specific in what you wanted us to do.  Help us to steer away from having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.  Let us be and do who we say that we are in You, not misrepresenting the kingdom, but being salt and light into a world that doesn’t know who Jesus is.  We thank You and praise You for Your grace and mercy, and we don’t take it for granted.  Lord, be in our midst at all times, and when the inevitable trouble comes, help us to stand therefore, not turning to the left or the right, but looking unto You, the Author and Finisher of our faith, in Jesus name, Amen.  May the Lord bless you.

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