Author - Mike Curtis
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Do you recognize that line from a classic movie? Inigo was searching for the six-fingered man and was wanting to extract revenge for the death of his father when he was younger. It isn’t the main idea of the movie, but it definitely contributes as a theme throughout the film. In the end Inigo finds the six-fingered man and draws on this promise that has become his life in order to survive the fight and overcome.
We have a promise to draw on as well. Peter mentions it at the beginning of his Epistle where he writes in 1 Peter 1:2 that God chose us and made us holy with the result in verse 3 that we obey him. We don’t obey him to become holy, but because we are holy. He goes on to tell us that we’re born again, that we have a priceless inheritance, that we’re saved through the ransom paid by the precious blood of Christ. We obey because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. (1 Peter 1:21).
But what about Jonah? Jonah didn’t obey until God got his attention. We see that obedience here in the 3rd chapter of Jonah. God gave him a second chance to obey, and as he did so many in the great city of Nineveh put a stop to their evil ways. Was this because of some special words that Jonah spoke? Or because he brought a pile of his latest book with him? Or maybe his relentless media campaign? Not at all – it was because their hearts were changed. They believed God’s message (Jonah 3:5) and were not destroyed. Jonah’s second chance at obedience had far-reaching consequences when he finally obeyed.
Even Jesus’ parable of the seeds and soils shows this same theme. Not everyone obeys, their hearts are not ready for the message. Some have the faith to obey, others do not. Where does this faith come from? Not from something we generate ourselves, but from the Holy Spirit instilling it in us. That faith, Jesus tells us, has far reaching consequences as well. It is the faith that allows us to proclaim the great things Jesus has done for us, it is the faith that heals us, it is the faith that brings us to life spiritually, it is the faith that defeats Satan, and it is the faith that causes us to shine like a lamp that lights a dark room.
In David’s life, it is that faith in God and his obedience to God’s command that causes him to win the battles that God puts before him. He is able to lead his armies to defeat the enemies of God and build the Kingdom. Interestingly, one of those enemies was a six-fingered giant of a man (1 Chronicles 20:6).
How do you obey? Why do you obey God? What happens when you obey? Is that obedience because you want something from God? Or is that obedience because of what God has done for you. For Peter, Jonah, David, and those who heard Jesus it was all the latter – God had done so much for each of them the only option was to obey. The reality is that God has done much more for us. He brought us out of darkness into light, and he caused us to have an amazing faith. He saved us from sure and certain death, he built us up in his promises so that we can draw on faith in our lives. The result is that we are able to obey him, and that we must obey him.
Where are you not obeying God? Is it that the Gospel needs to become more real in your life so that you can obey? Is it that you need to pay more attention to Him? Or is it that there is some area of your life where you are holding out and seeking your own way and not God’s? My prayer for each of us is that we can obey in faith because of God’s mercy to save each of us from sure and certain destruction!