Obedience Reveals Miracles
When you obey God, you open the door for God to work a miracle in your life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends, how in the world are you? Well, I’ve just been praying that God would put His love, and His blessing, and His truth, and His power into every word that’s said. Even though you and I have never met and probably shall not meet until we get to the glory, there’s something that the Holy Spirit of God can say in these moments that will just meet your specific need. I pray that that may be so. We’re looking at the Gospel of John, Chapter 9. Last time we got together, I was commenting on the fourth verse. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work.” There’s no substitute for character that drives a man, there’s no substitute for work that works for God, there’s no substitute for dedication, doing what God wants, and there’s no substitute for urgency. You can’t just sit around and sing yourself into sanctified senility and expect to get anything done for God. Urgency. Do it. Do it. Do it now. “The night cometh when no man can work.”
I think some of the saddest things that have come to me in pastoral work through the years, I was a pastor full-time for 18 years before I went into Youth for Christ and into other ministries. But some of the saddest things that have come up in the sad statement of people who had opportunity to serve God and then found that the opportunity was gone; health failed or business failed or whatever and the chance wasn’t there any longer. Bob Pierce told the story of the refugee whom he met in a southern refugee camp in South Korea. Turned out to be a man who had been a prosperous merchant in Seoul before the war started. And he told the story of having been invited to take part in the evangelistic activities there in Seoul, and he had said… He told Dr. Pierce, he had said, “Count me out fellas. I’ve just been married. I’ve promised my wife I’d build her a new home. I’m so busy, I just can’t do it. Count me out.” He was a Christian alright, and here was an opportunity for him to engage with others in a great soul-winning crusade. Well, the crusade came and went and then the invasion, and one day he said his trusted servant came ashen-faced to him and said, “Your foreman at the shop has just gone to inform on you to the Communists.”
And he said, “You better run for your life.” And so the man told Bob Pierce, he said, “I took my new wife and a few possessions and headed for the hills.” He said, “A couple of weeks later, she died of pneumonia. Died in my arms and cursed me with her dying breath. I dug a shallow grave and buried her body. And then I headed south, traveling by night and hiding by day and living on roots, and bark, and berries. And now, here I am in this refugee camp.” And then Bob Pierce looked at him, dressed in rags and tatters with windings of old cotton rags around his feet instead of shoes. And then the man just burst into tears and he said, “Oh, if I’d only, if I had only served God when I could. I can’t now.” Sad, isn’t it?
And while dramatic and graphic, yet it’s a picture of what happens in so many lives. If I only had served while I could. When you were strong and able to get around and now arthritis has anchored you and you can’t move. When you had money to invest in the Lord’s work, now the money’s gone. You don’t have anything. When you had opportunity and people were willing to listen to you and now, nobody seems to want to listen to you. Boy, that’s sad. And so you and I who do have opportunity and who do have the full use of our facilities, we better be careful to work for the Lord while we can. Good idea? You think about that and pray about it and then get to work for the Lord. Somebody says, “Well, what shall I do, Brother Bob?” Well, you could go to your pastor and say, “Listen, give me a job. Let me do something to help you.”
And I think every pastor would be glad to have somebody showing up to volunteer to help. You may end up painting a Sunday school room or doing some other kind of labor that doesn’t seem very religious, but you’re helping. Or you may end up making some calls here and there. I don’t know what the pastor will have for you, but listen pastors, don’t ever turn a person away who wants to help. Somebody comes to you and says, “Let me help.” And you immediately think, “Oh, he can’t teach Sunday school or she can’t sing in the choir.” That isn’t the only thing that people can do. You can take them with you when you make your pastoral calls, and they’ll get blessed in the process. You can put them to work doing some things around the church that people simply can’t afford to have done but volunteer labor can do it. You can send them out calling door-to-door and advertising the church, leaving a little brochure at each home that they stop at. You can do so many different things, pastor. Always respond when somebody is willing to go to work. And you, my dear friend, you get to work for the Lord today. There’s no substitute for urgency because today’s opportunity isn’t gonna be there tomorrow.
Now, we come on to the next verse in John, Chapter 9. We’re looking now at this man who was born blind. The Lord Jesus said, “The reason for all of this is not anybody’s sin, but God has a plan to do something in this man that the works of God might be made manifest in him.” Word “manifest,” I think, is a Greek verb that means in a person. Let me just look it up while I’m talking to you. Look it up in my Greek New Testament. “That the works of God might be made manifest in Him.” Well, this thing’s wearing out, I’ve had it for so many years; but then that’s a good kind of wearing out, isn’t it? “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents. But that the works that might be manifest, the work of God in him.” “Phaneroo” is the verb and that means packaged. The work of God packaged, showing out, shining out of a human package. That’s the idea. You wanna let the Lord do that for you today? Boy, what a glorious thing to realize that God is doing something through your life.
Alright. “When Jesus had thus spoken, He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay and said, ‘Go wash in the Pool of Siloam,’ which is by interpretation, ‘sent’.” That’s the name that means something. “He went his way, therefore, and washed and came back seeing.” In this epigrammatic, almost telegraphic story, not very many details there. Jesus said, “Do it.” The man did it, he came back seeing. Period, end of sentence. What do you make of this? The Lord Jesus oftentimes used ordinary things to illustrate profound and eternal truths. He talked about farmers, and seed, and planting, and harvest, and sparrows, and springtime, and all the rest. Talked about things people knew about, didn’t He? Here He’s doing something that is a very mundane ordinary thing. He’s making a little homemade clay and putting it on the eyelids of those blind eyes, He says, “Go wash that off.” Now you know, don’t you? That He could have simply said a word and healed the person.
He did that in the case of others, those whom He met just outside of Jericho. They said, “Lord, that we might receive our sight.” And He healed them that very hour. This wasn’t done because it had to be done, it was done because He wanted the man to do something. Remember now, “The purpose that the works of God might be manifest in Him.” Part of the work of God is giving you something to obey. Had you ever thought of that? Part of the work of God in your life is giving you something to obey, in order that it might be the door to miracle. When you obey God, you open the door for God to work a miracle in your life. Jesus said, “Go wash that off at the Pool of Siloam.” He went, and washed, and came back seeing. Now in that one verb “went,” “He went his way.” Verse 7, “He went his way, therefore.” In that one little phrase is wrapped up an awful lot of human nature experience. Remember now, He lived in a culture where blind people, like other handicap folk, leprosy folk, poor folk, widows, people who didn’t have anything; they were considered to be in the way.
And here he is feeling his way along the narrow streets, getting in people’s way, cursed at, shoved out of the way, but persevering. Can you see him? Even falling, perhaps, sometimes as he stumbled, but determinedly going in the direction toward the Pool of Siloam. He went his way. That is the obedience that God is asking of you. You may not see all that’s involved, he didn’t. You may not be very comfortable in the process, he wasn’t. But you’re on your way to something that God has ordained as a means of doing a miraculous thing in your life. Beloved, you know down deep in your heart of some things that God is whispering to your own heart, by way of obedience. You know some things you ought to do to obey God, don’t you? Many times I’ve tested a congregation on this, I’d say, “How many of you know at least one thing that you ought to do if you were gonna obey God? Lift your hands.” And all over the audience, hundreds and hundreds of hands would be lifted. You know some things to do to obey God, don’t you? Now, why don’t you get at it? So that God can do some miracles in your life. That’s His way. It’s not by chance that the old song writer wrote, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” You commit yourself to Him in faith and then you obey what He tells you to do so that He can do what only He can do.
“He went his way therefore.” Are you willing to obey God on something today? Now, it doesn’t have to be something hysterical or extravagant. That isn’t what God is asking you. Just some simple thing that He’s been working on you. I remember the lady who got up to give a testimony, many years ago now, in one of my churches. On a Wednesday night, she said, “You know I’m a busy housewife and the only time I have to myself is after the children are in bed at night. The dishes are done, and the house is quiet, and the children are in bed, and I crawl into bed, and I read the evening paper.” You Philadelphians are familiar with the slogan that has been used for many years, “Nearly everybody reads the bulletin.” And so she said, “Well, I crawl in bed and I read the bulletin.” [chuckle] And she said, “I read until I get sleepy and then I fall asleep.” Now this was a young Christian. She hadn’t been saved very long and she astounded me by going on to say this, “But recently,” she said, “God has convicted me about using the last few moments of my day to read a paper.” So she said, “I’ve been laying the paper aside and reading my Bible as I close the day.” “Oh,” she said, “It’s been wonderful.”
Now nobody told her about that and certainly, there’s no sin to read the daily paper, is it? But you see, God was working in her life. And as she obeyed Him, He did something very precious for her. He revealed Himself to her in a new way. Obey God on something, will you today? So that He can start working miraculously in your life.
Father God, today, may we obey Thee so Thou canst do the miracle in our lives. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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