Obedience That Leads to Possession

Did you know that there is a prostitute in the lineage of Jesus? More on that soon.

The Holy Spirit led me into a clear direction this week: obedience.

As a family we just finished up going through the book of Romans after our suppertime meal. There were times where I had to stop reading and re-read a verse. Or I looked at my wife, Katy, and said, “um, that’s new, or I never heard it that way.” So I decided to take up Romans in my personal study time.

Even before I began a verse-by-verse study, I had to answer some background questions like who is Paul? How was he called?

Getting into Paul’s story astonished me. People were living the obedience of faith all around him. Even before God began Paul’s ministry. So, I began with Saul of Tarsus experiencing Jesus on his way to Damascus. The Lord broke Saul over what he was doing to Jesus and the church. The Lord needed to send someone to heal Saul, to bring Saul into God’s purposes. Ananias. Jesus told him to find Saul and lay hands on him to restore his sight. Ananias got past what he saw with his own eyes in the seen realm, the fear of who Saul was and the fact that he was probably going to be arrested by Saul. Ananias believed the truth of the unseen realm, of Jesus’s plans for Saul. Ananias stepped out in obedience in faith. He believed the words of the Lord that Saul is a chosen instrument of God. So, Ananias found Saul, laid hands on him and Saul’s sight was immediately restored. So back to why there is a prostitute in Jesus’s lineage.

31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

We have a prostitute in the Faith Chapter of Hebrews! She did not perish with those that were disobedient, because she lived by faith. Doesn’t that fly in the face of what we tend to believe? Don’t we tend to put a harlot into the camp of those in disobedience? Rahab bought into the weightiness of the word of God and believed!

9 “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 12Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign 13 that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” Joshua 2:9, 12-13

She believed the word of the Lord more than most of the Israelites did! She asked to be treated the same way that she treated the spies. She was told to place red cord in her window so that her family would be spared. She did so and during the battle her family was spared. Pastor Davis had a very powerful line in his message: “The fruit of our obedience starts with obeying God.”

Look at the fruit of Ananias’s obedience. It ended up leading Saul back to sight and being baptized; Saul becoming Paul. Saul the Pharisee lived intentionally in opposition to Jesus. Christ transformed Saul to Paul. Paul lived life intentionally to serve Jesus. The fruit of obedience in Ananias and Paul led to Paul’s entire ministry, gifting us with much of the New Testament, the foundation for our faith. We look at the fruit of Rahab’s obedience. By faith, Rahab believed in the word of the Lord for the Israelite nation when many of them did not believe. By faith, she hid the spies. By faith, she tied red cord in her window. The fruit of her obedience in faith led to her family being spared and as a prostitute and Gentile she is in the lineage of Christ. The fruit of her obedience brought her into Christ’s family. Faith and works of obedience go hand in hand. It is to show that we are intentionally in agreement with God and His purposes.

25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? James 2:25

The fruit of obedience in faith leads to preservation in Christ, rescue in Christ, grafting us into Christ’s family, promise of inheritance, empowerment to live life by faith in the Spirit, and to possessing the inheritance He promises.

What, by faith, do we need to step into obedience in? What fruit does God desire to grow in us by obeying Him? Where are we intentionally not in agreement with God and His purposes?