Archive for Obedience

Day-by-Day Obedience

Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Rom 1:4-5 ESV

Obedience is synonymous with the idea of surrender: we choose to yield our wills, desires, and goals to the control and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Obedience is driven by the desire to please our Heavenly Father through our attitude and actions. We value the leading, guiding and directing of the Holy Spirit more than our personal preferences and opinions. Obedience not only involves acquiescing to the direction of our Father, but also involves delighting in his purposes for us. We acknowledge that God’s Word is true and always trumps our our selfish wants and wishes.

In the experience of conversion you have yielded to the limit of your capacity at that point, in faith, and you have received Jesus Christ as your sovereign. But the faith which yields to Him at conversion, if it is genuine, will always be followed by obedience; day-by-day obedience to the indwelling Spirit, who sealed you at the moment of your conversion, who baptized you into the Body of Christ, into the Church–and from that moment onwards the genuine evidence of your salvation will be that you obey the Word of God. Every step of faith and every act of obedience only enlarges your capacity for more of Him. That is what it means to know a progressive experience of the fullness of His indwelling.

Alan Redpath, “Full of Faith . . . Grace . . . Power,” Keswick Week 1957 (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1957), 155.


Brokenness: A Heart Yielded to God

Brokenness is the Beginning of Personal Revival (Chapter One)

“My way or the highway” is what I say to myself since I do not have the audacity to say these stubborn words to God. My fallen nature wants to be first, go first, and to be thought of as first. My selfishness is my biggest problem: I want it my way. Everyone should center their lives around my needs and desires. What I want, what I need, and what I like: all my demands should be everyone’s concern.  However, Christ died to change my motivation from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. Christ changed my heart and made me a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Cor 5:14-15 ESV).

After my conversion, when I yielded my life to Christ at the foot of the Cross, the Holy Spirit changed my motivation. When my Lord Jesus Christ became God incarnate in human flesh (Phil. 2:3-11): my Lord became a servant, my Lord laid down his rights, my Lord did not retaliate, my Lord became my substitute, and my Lord took my punishment (Mark 10:45). Christ lives in me, therefore, he will live the same selfless life in me that he lived on earth (Col. 1:27). Christ has conquered the root of my selfishness, but self-centeredness can still pervade avenues of my thinking and control areas of my heart. Sanctification, Christian growth, is the Holy Spirit working through people, circumstances, and the Word to address the selfishness still resident in my life. Therefore, the Lord sovereignly puts me in places of weakness that I would depend solely on him (Heb. 12:5-11).

By nature we are so strong, so able to think and plan and do, and God must bring us to the place of weakness, the place where we cannot think or plan or do apart from him.

[Watchman Nee, Changed Into His Likeness (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1987), 128.]

The Lord works in my heart making it pliable and open to his will. Brokenness is a heart yielded to God; ready and willing to obey the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever He directs. When I yield my heart’s desires to him, a sweetness of the Holy Spirit begins to pervade my life.

The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor (John 12:1-8). Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness.

[Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Fort Washington, Penn.: CLC, 1985), 281.]

If I want an anointed ministry, then saying “yes” to the Resident Boss, the Holy Spirit, is a requirement.

Emptiness, yieldedness, brokenness-these are the conditions of the Spirit’s outflow.  Such was the path taken by the Prince of Life to set free the flood-tide of Pentecost.

[Lilias Trotter cited in They Knew Their God, Vol. 1 by E. Harvey and L. Hey (Shoals, Ind.: Kingsley Press, 1974). ]

In chapter one of The Calvary Road, Hession calls on us to yield everything to Christ:

If, however, we are to come into this right relationship with Him, the first thing we learn is that our wills must be broken to His will. To be broken is the beginning of Revival. It is painful, humiliating, but it is the only way. It is being “Not I, but Christ” (Gal 2:20), and a “C” is a bent “I.” The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through until the proud self within us is broken. This simply means that the hard unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to God’s will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights and discards its own glory – that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all. In other words it is dying to self and self-attitudes.

[Roy Hession, The Calvary Road (Fort Washington, Penn,: Christian Literature Crusade, 1950), 21.]

The path to joy, fulfillment, and freedom in Christ is brokenness.

And whoever does not take his cross and  follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matt. 10:38-39).

Lord, we pray, change our hearts and transform our lives that we might reflect the selflessness of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Supernatural Ministry: A Sermon on Psalm 23

On Saturday, October 18th, 2008, St. Michael’s Seminary, Central Gulf States held it’s first session for the course, Christian Preaching. As a teaching method, I preached a “model” sermon to illustrate principles taught in Bryan Chapell’s book, Christ-Centered Preaching. My sermon addresses a need in every believer’s life: how can I have a ministry that affects lives and changes hearts?

Supernatural Ministry:

Life-Transforming Ministry to a World Scarred and Marred by Sin:

An Exposition of Psalm 23

Canon Glenn E. Davis

Proposition: What is supernatural ministry? What constitutes a vibrant personal ministry? Specifically, how can I have an effective ministry that changes lives and gives hope to the hurting?

Fallen Condition Focus: We all struggle in ministry: What do we say? How do we say it? Can we say anything that would change a life? Yes, we can meet Christ and through us, He can change lives.

Illustration: Johannes Tauler was broken by God of his arrogance and pride; as a result, become a vessel for God’s use: a life poured out without reserve to God.

‘Master Tauler,’ he [i.e., Nicholas of Basle] said, ‘you must die!’ ‘Die,’ said the popular Strasburg preacher, ‘what do you mean?’ The next day Nicholas came again and said: ‘John Tauler, you must die to live.’ ‘What do you mean?’ said Tauler. ‘Get alone with God,’ said Nicholas, ‘leave your crowded church, your admiring congregation, your hold on this city. Go aside to your cell, be alone and you will see what I mean.’ His plain speaking at first offended Tauler, and his resentment only proved how accurate was the diagnosis at which Nicholas has arrived. Tauler was a long time coming to the end of himself.

Johannes Tauler cited in J. Gregory Mantle, Beyond Humiliation: The Way of the Cross (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Publishers, 1975), 143.

Definition: Brokenness is a heart yielded to God; ready and willing to obey the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever He directs. Brokenness is a work of grace achieved by the Cross and established by the Holy Spirit. “By nature we are so strong, so able to think and plan and do, and God must bring us to the place of weakness, the place where we cannot think or plan or do apart from him.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Watchman Nee, Changed Into His Likeness (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1987), 128.

Definition: Consecration is the abandonment of my life without reserve to the loving purposes of God. A conviction held deep within my being that my life is God’s. I do not reserve from Christ’s Lordship any rights, gifts, possessions, relationships, or privileges. “The whole man must make the decision before the heart can know any real satisfaction. God wants us all, and He will not rest till He gets us all. No part of the man will do” (Phil. 3:7-9).

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1984), 107.

Testimony: In my own life, the Holy Spirit brought me to a place of utter and complete surrender. After years of being in trapped in dread of people and events, the Lord brought me to the end of myself. The Lord spoke, “Do you love me more than your fears” and that night I came to Christ. I knew that I could not go on being in bondage to fear.  He gave me grace to overcome my fears and live for him. At that moment, I surrendered and met Christ as my Shepherd-the warrior king of my heart.

When the Holy Spirit brings us to that place of utter surrender, then and only then, are we able to understand the truth of supernatural ministry found in Psalm 23.

Read the entire sermon here: supernatural-ministry-sermon .