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11/5/21-OBEDIENCE OPENS YOUR EYES, WILLFULNESS CLOSES THEM

Picture a petulant adult or a pouting child, an angry teenager stomping off and slamming the door. Now take a look at your last response to God’s silence in a situation that you thought by now He would’ve taken care of. After all -you have been praying, you have done everything right. You’ve been tithing and faithfully attending church. You’ve even started volunteering in your community, being a “good” Christian. After all- faith without works is dead. So I’ve been working. Why isn’t God answering me?


We humans never look at ourselves, we always look at someone else. The first finger pointing took place in Eden, and who did Adam blame? Not Eve, who fell prey to Satan’s scheme, but God Himself.


“Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”Genesis‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Disobedience always looks for someone to blame and tries to absolve itself of any wrongdoing. It blinds us to the responsibility of placing the blame where it belongs. Disobedience is a spiritual issue. It takes place primarily in the heart. Whenever we begin a statement with “I will” without even opening our mouths, it’s a slippery slope. God is taking too long, so I will. He’s not coming so I will. I need that now so I will. Satan coined that phrase from earth where God had placed him to be responsible for the created things at that time. He lost his position to Adam because of those words.


“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:12-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


God’s delay may just be a testing of our character and our hearts towards Him. Sometimes we’re passed over for a promotion that we may be qualified for, but don’t have the integrity for. There are times when the delay is more of a growth and development plan of the Father for us, than Him withholding blessings from us. By being willful and complaining we’re proving the Father’s point. We’re petulant children. We’re not ready to handle what we’re asking for. If you’re struggling to pay your rent and bills, You cannot handle a mortgage successfully. If you can’t find money to afford public transportation, you can’t handle a car note. In order for the Lord to release financial blessings to you, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you’ve messed up and help you come up with a plan to be a better steward of what He has placed in your hands.


More finances isn’t the answer. Good godly perspective on money management is. Before God can bless us, He must be able to trust us. How are you at taking care of what belongs to someone else? What do I mean? How are you as a renter? How are you as an employee? How are you as a borrower of someone else’s stuff? How are you a blessing to others? All these questions factor into how we are positioned to receive from God.


“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:10-12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The Father isn’t keeping things from us but for us. He’s waiting for our obedience in the last thing He instructed us to do. I recall a time when we were down to zero dollars. I found twenty and offered the Lord half. Instead He said to sow it all. I was shocked, but I obeyed. Those of you who have been reading these messages have read that testimony. I’ve not been without food in my refrigerator or cupboards since. We needed that twenty dollars, but it was a seed. Sowing it brought an endless supply, keeping it would’ve bought one meal. We had such a fear of lack, that God had to allow us to get to a place of total reliance on His ability and willingness to provide. Obedience opens our eyes, willfulness closes them.


The Lord spoke these words to Israel which is true still today. The Word never loses its integrity, its Truths endure to all generations.


“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:2-6, 18-20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


If we are not experiencing the Lord’s fullness, it doesn’t always mean we’re living in sin. It may just be ignorance in the way we’re living our lives. Debt is a thief. Especially credit card debt. I shared in the message “ How do you measure financial success? August 17, 2020. There are some great messages in the archives. My son has made them easily accessible so check them out. That it’s more about what God can get through you than to you, that makes the difference in our giving. If we would trust the Lord with money, Instead of thinking it’s ours, He would teach us not only how to acquire it, but how to spend it as well. He showed me how to budget, how to get out of debt, and how to give my children a debt free wedding. You’d think I have a hefty bank account, I don’t. But the wisdom of God surpasses the wealth of man. Obedience has given me open eyes. Willfulness, and doing things my way almost ruined me. I’ve seen God do some amazing things with my little that became much in His hands.


Everything we do is in some way tied to finances. We live in an economic world. Spiritually, physically and financially. It’s all connected. Tithing is spiritual. I lost you. It’s connected to your heart. Matthew 6:21. Just think about it, you’ll get the revelation. Money isn’t bad, it’s just in the wrong hands most of the time. If you’re spiritually minded, you’ll never have a love for money. Here’s what moves God to give wealth and why:


“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Remember God And support His Work. If you won’t give Him a dollar off ten, you won’t give Him a hundred off a thousand. Answered prayer is met through obedience. You’re always looking for ways to please Him from the heart, not through coherence. We can’t impress the One who says “Let there be light” but we can please Him by obeying His Word. If we try to force His hands we end up superimposing our will into our situation and start sounding like Satan. “I will!” It never works. To obey is always better than sacrifice. Ask king Saul.

Jesus said this about “will.” And we should too if we want answered prayers, an open heaven and abundant life.


“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”John‬ ‭6:38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭5:30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


“Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”John‬ ‭4:34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Three different verses and He never made it about what He wanted. It was all about His Father’s Will. Jesus was a big fan of obedience, it kept Him walking in discernment and kept Him full of the Holy Spirit and power. That’s what being obedient and walking in the Spirit of the written Word produces in us. Open eyes. But a willful, disobedient heart causes spiritual blindness.


Go deeper: Genesis 22


Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

November 5, 2021

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