Call to Obedience
CALL TO OBEDIENCE is a monthly letter to challenge you to live a godly life. Subscribe today to receive your free monthly copy, and don't forget to click to our archives to read past issues of the Call to Obedience. Below is our current issue for this month.CALL TO OBEDIENCE #427
"How Much Can God Trust You With?"
By Reimar Schultze
When it comes to the work of the kingdom of God, have you ever noticed that God never consults human intelligence? Yet unfortunately, too much of everything the church has ever attempted to do has been the fruit of human intelligence. The church is always looking for brighter men and more intelligent men, but God is always looking for broken and obedient men, who will trust Him with all their hearts. Therefore we have: The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory (Ps. 64:10), and: It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Ps. 118:8).
So God has never chosen His servants by what they had in their heads, but by what was in their hearts. Do not be intimidated if you lack worldly education because that is no hindrance to God when He wants to use you. The cry of God has always been: O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! (Deut. 5:29).
Only an obedient heart can be a trusting heart. The stronger and more consistent your obedience, the stronger your trust. God is looking for men who will follow Him in blind obedience, men who will not be distracted by the wisdom of the earth. Friend, you do not need to see when the One you are following sees all things, knows all things and can do all things. God is looking for such a people to work His kindom in them and through them. Therefore, we have the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
Again, God does not need human intelligence to accomplish the work of His kingdom. The Bible tells you to not even lean on it, meaning that you should not have the slightest reliance upon your intelligence. Man wants to go by reason, but God wants you to go by revelation. Moses was a man with a tremendous intellect and first tried to deliver God’s people from Egypt by using his reason and human wisdom. The best he could do was to kill an Egyptian and to make himself a fugitive for 40 years in the wilderness. God could not use Moses’ intellect; He needed Moses to trust Him, to learn that God’s ways are higher than man’s ways and that they are past finding out (Rom. 11:33). He needed Moses to abandon his intellect and plug into the intellect of Almighty God for all things.
Reason took Moses into the wilderness. Reason always takes us into the wilderness. It always makes us miss what we are here for. But after 40 years, Moses was ready to give up reason and exchange it for revelation. From that point on, God led him marvelously for the next 40 years. Those years were so sweet and so intimate with God that it says that Moses spoke to God as a man speaks to a man. Moses was so godly that at one time God planned to destroy the whole nation of Israel and just make a new nation out of Moses alone, as He had done out of Adam, starting from scratch.
Moses was a towering figure of the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul was his New Testament counterpart. But neither Moses nor Paul became so because of their brains, but because they went by revelation. All Scripture was given by revelation, not by human intelligence nor scholarship. It was given to broken men whose hearts were locked into a life of: ...Speak; for thy servant heareth (1 Sam. 3:10).
Paul had great religious accomplishments before he was converted (Phil. 3:5-6). He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees and a student of the famous scholar, Gamaliel. But when this “doctor” became a disciple, he felt that all of his intelligence was like rubbish (Phil. 3:8). He had to become a trusting servant before God could do anything with him: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God... (1 Cor. 3:19).
You ask, “Does Christian education have any value in it?” Yes, it does when it leads you to have a humble, obedient heart that is willing to accept the ridiculous, the silly and the incongruous which will make you look like a fool and a laughing stock to the world and to the church. Because this is true from a natural perspective, anything God ever told men to do did not make sense and could not work without a miracle. Whenever God speaks to you, shut down your brain and open up your trust. God requires you to respond in blind obedience to His commands because He knows all things.
Take Abraham: God told him that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars. This was ridiculous because his wife was past child-bearing. Yet, Abraham believed and even when she was in her 90’s, he went around telling people that he was going to have a son (no doubt some thought he had dementia). Then when Abraham finally had a son, God told him to sacrifice him like the pagans did. Foolish! But Abraham shut down his brain and prepared to obey, trusted God and a miracle followed!
God told Moses that, with only a stick, he could set God’s people free from an empire. Ridiculous! He had already tried when he was a somebody. But since he had changed after tending sheep in the wilderness for 40 years, he shut down his brain and went to Egypt and did it. In addition, Moses knew the Sinai desert and that taking all those people out there would mean the annihilation of God’s people. But he did not go by what he had in his head but by what God said. Revelation always takes us into the humanly impossible and the unreasonable and the miraculous.
When God told Gideon that he could not conquer with 32,000 but must take only 300 men with him, that was ridiculous and made no sense! But Gideon shut down his brain; he believed, obeyed, followed and conquered (Judg. 7). Jehoshaphat sent a white-robed choir out ahead of Judah’s army against a great multitude (2 Chron. 20). Ridiculous! Again, God’s ways are higher than our ways. Man’s intelligence is a stumbling block preventing the accomplishment of the supernatural. Intelligence will not let the supernatural happen.
God wants the church to go by revelation. He wants you to walk with Him by revelation. Do you believe that God can pull 5000 loaves of bread out of a boy’s five loaves (Matt. 14:17-20)? Shut your brain down when it comes to the things of God! How far, my friend, have you gone down the street called “all things are possible to those who believe”? Have you gone a block on it or two? Or have you rented an apartment on that street?
God wants you to go by revelation and not by reason. That is why He gave us the Holy Spirit. Going by revelation is a distinguishing mark of the Christian (Rom. 8:14). Jesus went by revelation and total reliance upon His Father every day, and the same Holy Spirit that dwelt in His body will dwell in your body if you will obey God, for it says: ...the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him (Acts 5:32). The Holy Spirit takes you out of a mundane, boring life into a supernatural life of thrills, romance and adventure. He does not need your ideas. You always see only a tiny picture of what is going on, but He sees the whole picture in the light of eternity. Trust Him.
Yes, Jesus said: ...Except ye be converted; and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). To get through the door of the kingdom, you do not have to pass an intelligence test, but instead, you must pass a test of brokenness, of humility and utter dependence upon God, giving up all of your ways and allowing God have His way with you at all times. At one time Jesus rejoiced: ...I will praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure (Luke 10:21 NIV).
The kingdom of God is very different from the kingdoms of this world. In the kingdom of God: the last are the first, the poor are the rich, the blind are the seeing, the humble are the mighty, the nobodies are the somebodies, the weak are the strong and every servant is a king.
All those who walk in the kingdom of God go by revelation and by: Speak: for thy servant heareth. All of them and this simply means: God is looking for a people who will be all for Him so that He can give His all to them. We must become like little children or we will miss the kingdom. Yet, we try to become grown-upssomebodies. We try to figure everything out. We try to explain everything and discover the answers to everything. That was part of the sin of our first parents. They wanted to figure out what would happen if they ate of the forbidden tree of knowledge. God did not want them to eat of that tree. He wanted them to trust Him and man has been in a battle with sin ever since.
God is looking for a people who will trust His word, rejoice in it and do it although it invariably violates natural law and social and cultural expectations. Will you be one of those who dares to go out on a limb for Jesus? If so, God will do something with you and the angels will clap their hands as you do it.