Kathy — Sometimes the only failsafe between godly obedience and religious obligation is discernment. Heb.5:14, Amplified — “But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.”
Kathy — Obedience should be the truest expression of submission, respect and honor in a mature son. Satan offered Jesus a quick way to the kingdoms of this world. Jesus was a mature son and so intent upon obedience that He couldn’t be tempted by success on an easier path. Satan could not get Jesus to focus on what He could do instead of who He was. That is mature character. Jn.10:18
Kathy — Obedience is not about being super-spiritual. No one has to be perfect to walk in purpose. Who can do what they were born to do solely out of their own abilities or strength or merit or worth anyway? We need the Lord and He is in reach. Psalm 84 tells us that God is there to give us grace (enabling) for now and favor for the future. Our part is simple obedience in response to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. That is the key to a harvest of God-results this year. Invest in that harvest through obedience and prosper.
The tiny cloud the prophet sent his servant to look for was not visible the first six times he walked four miles to look for it (1K.18). But he was right in his obedience to look the first six times as well as the seventh. Too often we back off too soon and see too little. (2Co.5:7)
There is an indirect teaching in the foundational beliefs of many Christians that whatever God asks us to do will always be very difficult. Therefore, the measure of obedience can become how much we don’t want to do a task. If it is what I hate to do or what I would never want to do or if it is a mandate that is obviously impossible, then that must be what God wants me to do, right? So, people set themselves to callings and tasks they were never meant to accomplish and then end up confused and hurt, feeling no one supported them in their efforts. Or, they are plagued by unbelief, doubting they recognize their Father’s voice thereafter. Or, they sink into suffocating disappointment and fear of failure. —Kathy
Faith will cause us to act on the Word of God. Obedience will cause us to be true to the Word of God rather than giving in to our emotions and disappointments. Endurance is just a lot of work and there is nothing at all easy about that. (Gal.6:9)
We dare not expose our obediences to sabotage with our doubt and unbelief. I mean, even after the fact, we can go away analyzing and criticizing and speculating for months about its success to the point of concluding it was a failure or worthless effort. Unfortunately, the harvest crop can be tall and to the point of the ears forming or being almost complete, but our conclusions were all the thief needed to kill, steal and destroy. It takes as much trust with the after effects as it does to obey in the beginning, so let’s rest in the confidence that He will always be Lord of the harvest. —Kathy Gabler
The enemy knows that if he cannot kill your dream, it will do him damage. The Egyptians made the Israelites’ lives “bitter with hard labor” and the “Egyptians used them ruthlessly”. (Ex.1:14) Pharaoh also came up with a plan to abort the possibility of deliverance. His plan for the midwives was to slay all promise and even hope of deliverance. He wanted them to stay at it, be vigorous, don’t let up, slay them all. I am reminded at this point of Jesus’ words “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (Jn.10:10).” The enemy quietly made a deal with the midwives to go about their destruction as quietly as possible – hopefully unnoticed (cf.Ex.1:16). The devil wants you to die in quiet desperation, preferably completely away from spiritual help and fellowship. He wants your dreams and visions to die unshared, unvoiced and most definitely…. unfulfilled. Just as a sheep is ever searching out life-sustaining grass, it seems that we are ever searching out God’s will. God’s plan is ever to reproduce Himself in us. That’s why He gives us dreams and visions. He puts a “bullseye” out there, aims us at it and desires we move in obedience toward the center of the target. (From Marty Gabler’s book “Why Sheep Have Short Legs”.)
It is not easy to be redefined or repositioned when there is no model for it. Without a model, there is no guarantee that the upheaval in our lives is worth it! We are much more secure when we have a contemporary model to go by, but when God is building a model, it might start with you! You might be the one building a boat before anyone even grasps the concept of rain or flooding. You might be the one climbing out of the boat and walking on water. That means you are the one who must be willing to make mistakes or face the criticism and ridicule that reformation requires. (Ninth excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)
MARTY GABLER brings us this series of devotions called Beside Still Waters.
This one is titled: “Don’t give up, don’t be impatient” Psalm 27:14, TPT –
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.”
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If parts of the old models become extinct or inactive during fresh obedience, it is likely they were already successfully completed or they were only temporary in purpose. I believe we will find that many details of former models will fall into the category of facilitation rather than essential purpose. The mud Jesus put on the man’s blind eyes did not need to be preserved and kept as a holy tool. It was simply facilitation for an obedience, a means to an end. Many of the acquisitions of our past examples are not to be carried into the next chapter of purpose. Facilitation must keep a secondary role of support as we move ahead in fresh obedience. (Sixth excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)
It is possible that fresh obedience will bring such radical results that it will be tempting to get caught up in revolution rather than obedience! That is a warning to the wise. If we become revolutionary through passion rather than wisdom and obedience, the results will not be the same. Making changes for the sake of change is about passion. Expecting or demanding immediate change can be about impatience rather than obedience. Nevertheless, fresh obedience will be revolutionary. (Fifth excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)
Beside Still Waters with Marty Gabler
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Reading the Word of God and prayer.
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Fresh obedience is doing what we see the Father doing today (Jn.5:19). That could be as radical as healing a woman in the synagogue on the sabbath, in the presence of those who think the time and place are totally inappropriate. That could be as revolutionary as taking over the weather and stopping a storm in order to complete a specific mandate on the other side of the lake. (Fourth excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)
Beside Still Waters – Delivered From Captivity (Marty Gabler)
Ps.18:36 – “You’ve set me free from captivity and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more!”
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We all have paradigms and they are in our mental files and they affect our choices and our expectations. So, the challenge is to realize when our examples and typical patterns need adjustment. That realization does not come by focusing on the pattern, but rather by following the Holy Spirit. The adjustments will come and we will build newer models as we walk in fresh obedience to the Holy Spirit. Fresh obedience will never contradict God’s principles nor His character, but it may reach past known borders and it will not bow to former limitations. (Second excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)
What have our children heard? Have they heard blessing like the voice of blessing of Abraham to Isaac and the voice of Isaac to Jacob? Have they heard words of honor around the house and words of life, words of productivity? Are we just repeating in our home what we experienced when we were growing up or are we determined that our children will see the faithfulness of God in their generation? “As for me,” God says, “this is my covenant with them: My Spirit that I’ve placed upon you and the words that I’ve given you to speak, they’re not going to leave your mouths nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your grandchildren. You will keep repeating these words and won’t ever stop.” (Isa.59:21, Msg)
Self-government (Gal.5:23) is a FRUIT of the Spirit, not a GIFT of the Spirit. Self-government is not something one gets by a dove dropping down upon one or by a chill-producing experience in an altar service or prayer line. Nor is self-government something we wait for to take us over. It is, rather, a moment-by-moment, circumstance-by-circumstance willful aligning ourselves with God’s Word. Self-governing serves to prevent our returning to the entanglements and yoke of bondage that we have once been freed from (v.1). Christ has set us free by the unsurpassed provisions of His superior Government, and because we have His Spirit of power dwelling in us, we are enabled to walk in a manner which displays the fact.
Our traditions can be excess baggage that we have to unpack for the journey through a new gate. We need to unpack passionless pieces and old seasons and expired obediences, those acts that were once a mandate but lost their effectualness as times and circumstances changed. Israel had many parameters for sacrifice. They were all teaching-tools and types to anticipate and understand the coming Messiah. All their animal sacrifices were blood that was shed for an exemplary nation until the Christ would come to shed His blood for all mankind. An expired obedience would be to continue the ceremony after the type had been fulfilled. That translates in our day as expired legalisms that want to impose on us the traditions of men instead of the freedom of Christ, like trying to breed a red heifer or build another temple or enforce religious calendar activities again. When God provides a gate, expired goals won’t fit through it.
(This is the fouth excerpt [under the heading “New Gates”] from Kathy’s article “Gates In Our Fences” in Volume 16 Issue 4 of Marty & Kathy’s ministry magazine, SEEC Magazine.)
New Gates Are Not Optional (by Kathy Gabler)
While prophesying to a lady, I saw her as a bird in a gilded cage. The door was open on the cage, but she would not fly out. Instead of leaving her captivity, she decorated it, but the golden captivity was still captivity. We can comfort ourselves with former revelation, with blessings already received and with testimonies of past obediences, or refuse to move and just focus on quests that everyone would call godly, but God’s designs are always moving beyond the past and even beyond the now. When He builds a gate, He is not presenting options; rather He is giving direction. That gate will lead to growth, increase, maturity and change. Purpose beckons us beyond our current fence line. God is faithful to build the gate, but it is up to us to choose to go through it.