God’s Recipe for Obedience.
Hebrews 4:2 “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
The Word….not mixed with faith….
My Grandma had a recipe for gingerbread….which had to be done in a certain order….exactly like she showed me….or….poof…all the ingredients and work was for nothing….it would fall….and be ginger-goo.
Obedience is more than just doing….
….if it was just that, God would have been happy with the many sacrifices Israel made….while they were cheating their neighbors…..(Jeremiah 7:21-23, Amos 8:4-7)
Obedience is willingly doing what you are told….and that is a matter of the heart, mind, and will….the whole of us, serving the Lord wholly.
John 14:15, 21 “If ye love Me, keep my commandments.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”
When the writer to the Hebrews says…”the word preached did not profit them,”……he meant it did not benefit them…it was not useful to them….for they did not “mix it with faith”.
Instead they “mixed” His Words with doubt and unbelief….
So it was in Nazareth, when Jesus came back for a visit….
Mark 6:1, 5-6 “And He (Jesus) went out from thence, and came into His own country (Nazareth); and His disciples follow Him.
And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.”
This tells the same recipe……unbelief hindered the “mighty” works of Christ….the works of spiritual reality….though He could still heal some of the people.
Our unbelief limits the outflow of God’s grace….for faith is the open door to God.
When faith in God and His Word is “mixed” properly with circumstances….things happen according to God’s blessing….we begin to make the things which God has said would be,….our own….and enjoy them.
We all have particular weaknesses. And without faith to hold on to Christ….we will fall under them.
The particular weakness for Nazareth….
Mark 6:2-3 “And when the sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by HIs hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary,………And they were offended at Him.”
They thought the “mighty works”, were the healing by His hands….
……but God thinks “mighty works” are believing in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.
In Luke it says, that He shows to them that He is the Messiah:
Luke 4:17-19, 21 “And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
But they hindered faith…..refused His grace….and were not obedient to His Word.
They had known Him before, as the carpenter……and they refused to believe what they heard….though they said, “what wisdom is this!”
And they refused to believe what they were seeing……”He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.”
So, by unbelief “the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”.
How often our unbelief limits the grace God wants to give….and grace is the unmerited favor of power….or the ability to do what He requires.
If our faith is weak, or lacking….our obedience is limited….for the power of God is lacking through it.
We may be “going through with it”….but unbelief stifles the Spirit, and hinders the blessing.
A limited obedience prevents us from enjoying what God has for us….and when we are not enjoying the things God has for us, then we experience discouragement, and discontent.
(We are discouraged….without courage. Faith gives us courage to stand with and for God….but without it we are not standing for anything.
Discontentment leads us to look somewhere else for satisfaction, than in the Lord’s Word to us.)
So what is the recipe for Obedience?
We need to “mix” faith with His Word to us…
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is substance….it is real. It is not “I wish, I wish, I wish”…..
….faith grabs our heart, mind and will….and fills them with the knowledge of God, and His mercy and might.
But we have to yield to it…
Faith gives evidence in our lives that we belong to Christ….by leading us into believing obedience.
God’s recipe for obedience is to use the faith He has given us, by His Holy Spirit……and hang on to His Word.
Lean heavily, if necessary, on Him….He can carry every weight….but keep believing in Him…
Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”
(If you will read Hebrews 11, the faith chapter,….person after person continued in faith….and received the blessing of God.)
We all have weaknesses….but faith is given us, to lead us out of them….into the joy….of God’s Will done, in me.