It’s one thing to respect someone, it’s another thing to have the “audacity” to obey.
Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary gives this definition of the word AUDACITY: “boldness or daring; recklessly brave; fearless; without restriction to prior ideas.” By definition, your obedience to God should not be ‘robotic’. “Respecting God with the Audacity to Obey”, means to be fearless in your obedience, without restriction to any prior ideas of previous outcomes; bad experiences of the past. That comes from your “Fear of God”.
Several years ago I gave a Sunday message titled “Making Choices In a Place Called “there”.” It was based on Elijah’s fear and respect of God and his responses in obedience while he was in God’s “Boot Camp“, called “there“.
I Kings 17:2-3, “And the word of the Lord came to him [Elijah], saying, Go from here and turn east and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan.”
With God’s command comes a promise; “You shall drink of the brook…the ravens to feed you there.” verse 4.
We see next, Elijah’s response in verse 5, “So he did according to the word of the Lord…” Elijah “respected” God and “trusted” God’s promise by “obedience“; he had the Audacity to Obey, even in a “place called there”. There was boldness and fearlessness in his obedience. Have you ever found yourself in the same kindof place? A place called “There”?
The missing “what if’s” in Elijah’s obedience.
Elijah said, “I BELIEVE You will provide for me Lord”, then went to Jerusalem and bought a wagon load of supplies. NO WHAT IF’s HERE. Elijah had the audacity to obey. There was no “what if’s” for Elijah. He took the Nike slogan on before there was a Nike. “Just do it!” We see the results in the next verse:
I Kings 17:6 says, “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” We see here that because of his audacity, his fearless boldness to obey and trust God, Elijah didn’t have to eat crow! The Ravens brought him sandwiches twice a day. Elijah’s experience fulfilled God’s promises and because Elijah had The Fear of the Lord, his faith in God’s reliability gave him the confidence in”Boot Camp”; in a place called “there”.
Six Men who had The Audacity to Obey
NOAH in Genesis 6:12-15 [READ].
I love it when unbelievers of the truth of God’s word, scoff at and in your doings in obedience. They might say to you, “You really think, that all that stuff in the Bible about Jesus coming in a cloud and angels blowing trumpets, you are going to get out of the mess that’s going on…?” YEP! I believe what God says in His word. Noah faced the same criticisms. There wasn’t any rain on earth at this time and because Noah had the audacity to obey because of the fear of God, he builds this wooden box or ark, that was 450 ft. long x 75 ft. wide x 45 ft. high. Did the ungodly people around him have any influence on his actions? God’s word doesn’t say but I think that Noah was so intent in his obedience, he never wavered. Enoch had warned these disobedient people (Jude 14, 15); Noah had preached righteousness to them (II Peter 2:5); God’s Spirit had been striving with them (Gen. 6:3) yet they did not have “The Fear of God” in their lives. There was no obedience on earth except in one man and his immediate family. I remember a Kingston Trio song in the 60’s called “Where have all the flowers gone?” Where has all the “obedience” gone; our “audacity” to obey God’s word, no matter what other people might say? Always consequences will come, when our own children disrespect us as parents and haven’t any restraints. If you find yourself in a bondage to people, there will be no respect for God and consequences will come. As our Pastor said in his Sunday’s message, “always seek wise counsel in knowing God’s will for your life.” I say also, be care of the fools who are around too.
ABRAHAM in Genesis 22:1-2; 12 [READ]. His audacity to obey.
WOW! God sends Abraham and his young son to a place called “there” (the region of Moriah). Out of trust and obedience to God’s word (verse 5), telling his servants that he and his son will return; ‘”I’ll be back”. Then we see in verse 12 that Abraham had passed the test in Boot Camp!
“And He [God] said, Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear and revere God, since you have not held back from Me or begrudged giving Me your son, your only son.”
Abraham’s obedience in surrendering his one and only son brought him more than he could have ever known; of THE Blessing. Remember that old hymn that we often sung years ago in church? I know, I am dating myself but I love what Justin Van de Venter and Winfield Weeden wrote together. No, I am not Dutch. I just live in a Dutch community.
“All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
ISAIAH had “the Audacity to obey” Isaiah 20:1-3 [READ]
Isaiah 20:2, “At that time the Lord spoke…saying, Go, loose the sackcloth from off your loins and take your shoes off your feet. And he had done so, walking around stripped and barefoot.
Naked as a baby just out of the bath tub. Would you or I have the audacity to obey the Lord, if He told us to strip down naked and walk around town in your nakedness? I don’t know about you but Iwould have to hear a loud and clear voice for me to be obedient! Now if you are thinking, “Not me, I would ‘just “do it”. Good for you. AND Isaiah spent all of his time in this naked condition for…?
Isaiah 20:3 says, “AND the Lord said, As My servant Isaiah has walked [comparatively] naked and barefoot for three years, as a sign and forewarning concerning Egypt and concerning Cush (Ethiopia).”
I will stop here for you to meditate on what God has to say to you in the first three men’s examples of The Fear of God is, “Respecting God with the Audacity to Obey. “Read “it“, rehearse “it” and then release “it” in your place called “THERE”.