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Wise parents often forewarn their children before granting them their wishes by saying: "Dear! Put your toys nicely away; and then you will get some ice-cream." Or, "Honey! Finish your homework, and then you may go outside to play." Etc.
Similarly, God is forewarning us - who became his children by inviting Jesus into our heart - also, declaring that if we pray, or wish for a specific blessing; we have to obey him first. For, blessings follow obedience!

But what does it mean to obey?

It means to do as someone told us to; follow someone's recommendations; listen or give in to someone's orders; submit, or surrender ourselves to another's wishes or commands.
These definition however, seem to indicate that obedience requires humility. For, in order to do as someone told us to; listen or give in to someone; and submit or surrender oneself to another's wishes; we have to admit that the other person is more powerful than we are because he has the power to fulfill or deny or desire. He is also wiser. Therefore his recommendations are trustworthy because he knows what would happen if we obeyed or disobeyed. Thus, understanding all these may humble us to the point that we may gladly obey.

Now, let us examine a few Biblical examples on the importance of obedience preceding blessings:

1. Repentance and confession of sins must precede forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9 (KJV) we read: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." No other way! In other words, a person who doesn't believe that he is a sinner and never confesses his sins to God; will remain a hell-bound individual. For, without repentance and confession, there is no forgiveness!
2. Belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and Savior must precede salvation, or eternal life. Once upon a time a jail keeper asked Paul: "What must I do to be saved?" "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall't be saved." - Came the reply. (Acts 16:36KJV) While Jesus declared the same idea to Nicodemus saying: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life." Furthermore, "He that believeth in the Son, hath eternal life..." (John 3:16 & 36 KJV) Thus, without faith in Jesus there is no eternal life! Yet, many people believe that if they try hard enough to live a morally upright life, they will earn a place in heaven. But eternal life can not be earned! It can only be obtained through an obedient faith in Christ's deity! According to God's Word, there is no other way! We either prepare for eternity by obeying the Lord's request or end up in hell!
3. Faith in God must precede answers to our prayers. For, according to Hebrews 11:6: "...without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Furthermore, we need faith to receive our requests even for Scriptural desires. For, according to James 1:6-7 "...Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord."
4. Total and continuous yielding of our body, mind, spirit, and all; must precede a powerful, God glorifying, Soul winning Christian life; else the indwelling Holy Spirit will not be able to continuously rule, cleanse, and use us. As a matter of fact, even in the life of the yielded powerful Christians, obedience to God's instructions has to precede the fulfillment of their God given destiny or call. For example, Mrs. I. F. once testified that living in Budapest, Hungary during the 1956 revolution, God told her to get out of her homeland and he will use her for a world-wide ministry. The instruction was scary and the promise sounded impossible. For, she didn't think that she had any special talent, which God could use world-wide. Yet, after much prayer and discussion her whole family decided to escape. Then after a couple of years living in a foreign land, the Lord called her into a Hungarian Literature ministry, with which she was able to reach Hungarians all over the World and - based on the feedback - provide tremendous blessings to many hungry souls. Then, later she was called into other ministries too. "But if I was not going to obey God's guidance, he could never have entrusted me with such blessed services!" - She said later with a thankful heart.

Then, in the Bible we also find some people who needed to obey first, before they received God's blessings. In 2 Kings 4 we read: (KJV) Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying. Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. The he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon they sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. The she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay they debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
This woman went to the man of God, or the prophet Elisha for advice. He gave her a strange advice. Thus, the woman could have said: how could I fill so many pots with my little oil? It does not make sense. But instead, she obeyed and as a result, received abundant blessings. For God rewarded her obedience to the point that he not only provided for her debt, but also for the whole family's future. Such is our God! He abundantly rewards obedience! Yours and mine too!
Then, at another time, the people of Israel and Juda were fighting against Moab. But there was no water for the army nor their animals in the field. They too went to Elisha for help. He said: "Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts." (2 Kings 3:16-17 KJV) In this case the people had to first obey, by digging many ditches. Only afterwards, did they receive water, or God's blessings. In other words, once again, God heard their request, and supplied their need. But only after they obeyed!

Only after obedience can we expect blessings! - We mentioned and proved from the Bible and from our everyday life. Then, let us pose the questions to ourselves: What kind of a blessings do I desire and pray for? For eternal life, forgiveness of sins, answers to prayers, a victorious, soul winning life, the fulfillment of my destiny, or something else? Whatever they may be, do I obediently fulfill God's requirements in order to receive them? Then, if we find out that there were quite a few instances where we didn't obey God; then let us start to obey him right now, so that his blessings may continuously follow!

How wonderful the Lord is in all His acts!
Glory to His Holy Name!


Jesus is my life, strength, peace.
Jesus is my companion, my joy.
I trust in You. You are the Lord.
I do not have any fears any more because You live in me.
I do not have any fears any more because You live in me.

Jesus lives! Halleluja! Maranatha!

Translated by Eva Varga


Soften my heart

Words and music Graham Kendrick

Soften my heart, Lord soften my heart;
from all indifference set me apart
to feel your compassion, to weep with your tears
come soften my heart, O Lord, soften my heart.


"I will sing to the LORD all my life;
Iwill sing praise to my God as long as I love."
(Psalm 104:33)

Some experience with ill people by Istvan Gazdag

Edit by Rozalia Makai

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