Reality 7: Obey and Experience God
1. We experience God through obedience.
Obedience is an outward expression of your love for God.
John 14:15 (NIV) “If you love me, keep my commands.
John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
• Jesus’ response to our obedience is to dwell close with us in relationship.
1 John 2:3-6 (NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
• If you have a problem knowing and experiencing God’s love and loving God in return, you may have a trust and obedience problem.
Obedience requires humility and surrender.
Philippians 2:8 (NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
• Our model for obedience is Jesus, who willfully put Himself under the Father.
o -Obedience is our moment of truth. What will we do when God invites us to join Him?
o -Obedience is good for us.
Jeremiah 7:23 (NIV) but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.
• Embedded in God’s plans is what is best for us.
Psalm 91:14-15 (ESV) “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
2. As you obey, God works through you and you get to know and experience Him more.
• There is much more about knowing and experiencing God than we initially think.
Exodus 3:11-12 (NIV) But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
• So often when God invites us to join Him, we want a sign from God before we will obey.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
• God will straighten things out as we follow Him.
Exodus 7:1-6 (NIV)
• It’s was an unconditional command – God wanted everything
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV) Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
• Understanding and knowing God comes through abiding in and obeying Him.
3. Power in perseverance
*Luke 9:51* (NIV) As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Mark 14:32-36 (NIV) They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
• It’s not always easy, Jesus experienced great distress as He obediently responded to the Fathers will.
-Why is perseverance so important? It builds your character. Philippians 2:13
-As you obediently follow God’s leading, others are watching.
Exodus 34:10 (NIV) Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.
Discuss in your life group this week.
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