The secret of success: Choose and yield to God’s will.
God has given us a free will, but to be successful for Him or even as happy as He would like to make us, we have to continually yield that will to Him. We have to find out from Him what His will for us is—what He knows is best for others and us—and then choose that.
Once you have found and chosen God’s will, He will reach down and take ahold of you and move you where He wants you to go. Everybody has their place and job for the Lord, like the pieces on a chessboard. Chesspieces have no will of their own. When a player picks up a chesspiece and moves it to another square, the chesspiece doesn’t protest; it yields and goes where it’s sent, right? Well, you’re in the hands of the Master Player and He’s going to put you wherever He wants you, so trust the Lord.
You don’t have to make all the decisions; you only have to be yielded to His moves and let Him do the thinking and the choosing. You’ve got very limited vision, but He can see the whole game, the whole chessboard and all the pieces. It’s wonderful to let God decide, because He always has our best interests at heart and He knows what’s best.
It’s wise to “wait on the Lord.”
You’re never going to accomplish much for God if you try to do things yourself in the energy of the flesh. This is a problem that most of us seem to have. We jump to conclusions, make hasty decisions, or simply push ahead in our own strength, doing what seems natural or logical, without really praying and making sure that’s what the Lord wants us to do and how He wants us to go about it.
You need to learn to stop and pray, “Now, God, what do You want me to do?” Seek the Lord. Don’t just lean to your own understanding, even when a course of action seems obvious. Ask the Lord and make sure (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Remember, God is hardly ever in a hurry. The greatest works of God take time. It takes God time to make a baby or grow a flower or even to paint a sunset. So when you haven’t yet made certain that a thing is God’s will, the best thing to do is to wait on the Lord until He reveals it to you one way or the other.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (Psalm 27:14). “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
Obedience comes before the anointing.
You don’t get the anointing to obey; you get the anointing because you obey. Look how much the Lord hinges on your doing what He asks, just because He says so. Even if you don’t know all the whys or wherefores, you’ve just got to do it. But once you do, it will usually become clear why He asked it of you, or He will explain.
Jesus commanded His disciples to wait together in Jerusalem until they were “endued with power from on high” to carry the message of God’s love to the world (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5,8). After ten days of obedience, there came that final tremendous explosion on the Day of Pentecost when they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. It was such an explosion that thousands gathered to see what in the world was going on, and three thousand people got saved that day (Acts chapter 2).
If you’ll believe God’s Word, He will give you the faith to take that first step of obedience. The moment you obey by faith, you get the anointing to carry on. The test is to see whether you’re going to obey or not, but as soon as you do, God steps in and does His part without fail.
“To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22)
A lot of people try to go ahead in their own strength and their own wisdom and do what they think is God’s will and God’s work, but we can’t serve God unless we obey God. We can’t just do what we think is right, no matter how good it might be. Our best isn’t good enough; it takes God to really do the job right. Our best, your own human strength or supposed wisdom, is not sufficient.
Do exactly what the Lord tells you—no more and no less. King Saul thought he could do better than that, and he lost his job. He had God’s anointing and blessing as long as he obeyed and waited on the Lord, but when he started going his own way and disobeying, he lost it (1 Samuel 15:1-23).
There’s no “little” disobedience to God. Any disobedience is a big one. Nothing short of right is right. It’s either all or nothing at all with God. You’re either obedient or disobedient. God’s Word says, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
Wait and obey. That’s one of the most valuable lessons you can ever learn about serving the Lord!
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Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
–1 Samuel 15:22
To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God.
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