The Cup Of Obedience
Finally, the third component of the “cup and baptism” is the matter of
obedience. Again we see Jesus going through this cup graciously. We see Him showing
any one who would follow after His own order, the path unto becoming all that God
has purposed him to be. Though we have several examples in other men in the Bible,
our Master’s example is the standard. It is the yardstick. Let us examine Him closely at
this training of His obedience.
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest; but it was
He who said to Him; You are my Son, to day I have begotten You.” As
He also says in another place, You are a priest forever according to
the order of Melchisedek. Who in the days of His flesh, when he
had offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and
tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard
because of His godly fear; though He was Son, yet He learnt
obedience by the things He suffered; And having been perfected,
He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
Heb. 5: 7-9 (NKJV).
Let us note as a primary concern that all authority “exercisable” whether
in heaven or on earth belongs to God. Power belongs to God. Every man who would
bear any measure of authority would only be a delegate. For a man to stand in a place
to exercise spiritual authority over others, it will only be delegated to him by God. The
essential pre-requisite qualification for a man to be appointed a representative delegate
of God is this proven submission and absolute obedience. Rebellion is defined as a
desire to break away from an authority, that is a quest to become “an authority” in
oneself: a personal drive for self independence. Adam’s sin, which pushed him out of
God’s garden of service, was the sin of rebellion. It was a desire to be ‘god’ himself
and not to take instruction from God again. It was also a desire to know things in
himself and by himself without recourse to God who created him and placed him over
His creation. Since the fall of man, the seed of rebellion or rather the spirit of disobedience passed on to every man born of a woman. Our redemption actually is unto obedience of Jesus Christ.
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through
the sanctification of the Spirit, unto
obedience and sprinkling of the
blood of Jesus Christ” 1 Pet.1: 2.
“Chosen and destined by God the
father and sanctified by the Spirit
for obedience to Jesus Christ and for
the sprinkling with His blood.”
1 Pet.1: 2 (RSV).
Unbelievers are called “the
children of disobedience.” The
nature and character of the natural man is disobedience. He is known daily, not just by the acts
of disobedience he performs, but by his life, which is the life
of disobedience. Disobedience in a man is not just a refusal
to obey certain instructions; it is the desire, the instinct and
tendency to refuse authority in life. A man may perform acts
of obedience while yet bearing about the life of disobedience.
He obeys quickly in order to be free to be left alone. He
demarcates boundaries. He insists on who can exercise authority on him and who cannot. He may obey one and disobey the other in the same place and at the same time. The sin
of rebellion in the heart of man is the manifestation of disobedience. It may be manifested in: “ reluctance to submit”;
frowning even at duty, a quiet demand of reward and recognition for services rendered; a persistent self defense, argument about one’s position and insistence on one’s will. Disobedience sometimes hides
under the matter of “reason”. Disobedience insists
on doing only the things that
are reasonable to him. He
keeps asking, “Why must
I do this? Convince me
on why this is what I
The entire concept
of self-life is the spirit of
disobedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience in a
measure. Pressurized obedience is disobedience
needing an external push. Disobedience will appear to be
obedience when it tallies with the self will. Every time you
seek to do your own will (even if no one challenges it) it is the
life of disobedience in action. Disobedience sometimes is a
bargained obedience or conditional obedience. Each time God
looks at a man in consideration for spiritual leadership, He
checks how much of the life of disobedience has been removed! “A broken and a contrite heart, which trembles
at My Word” is the man He looks unto. This is nothing but
a life that is emptied of the spirit and life of disobedience.
Disobedience does not bear a broken heart. It does not tremble
at God’s Word. It rather prepares to resist, to argue and to
remain firm at its own choice and course of action.
Authority cannot be delegated to a rebel at heart.
Leadership is a delegated authority to serve others. It cannot
be vested on a man who is set in his own ways. He cannot
suspend his own knowledge to adopt, embrace and adapt to
another person’s knowledge. This is why very few persons
are qualified to bear genuine authority for God among men.
Though Jesus was the Son of God, once He took
upon Himself the form of a man, and had appeared in human
nature, it became necessary for Him to learn obedience, to
prove obedience and to perfect obedience. What made Him
different was not His dressing. It was not His miracles. It
was His obedience. Even when obedience was not rational,
He obeyed. Obedience for Jesus meant submission to God’s
authority and all delegated authority in everything. It meant
waiting to be told where to go, what to do and what to say. It
meant He would never speak His own word. He never moved
or acted from His own personal will. He acted only upon
instructions, as He could of His own do nothing.
The question God immediately asked Adam in Eden
was “Who told you?” Who is the source of your knowledge and information? Who told you to do what you have
done or are doing? This question
of “who told you?” is still the question God asks each time a man acts
independently of Him and of His
Jesus in all His earthly life
was able to say …
“For I have not spoken of Myself;
but the Father which sent Me He
gave me commandment, what I
should say, and what I should
And I know that His commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the
Father said unto Me, so I speak.” Jn 12:49-50.
This is the extent of His own life of obedience; total
acceptance to be subject and submissive to God. It is the
release of His own personality to only further the course of
God. He put aside His own ideas and only executed regularly
and always (not just occasionally) the thoughts and will of
His Father. He did it joyfully and with deep conviction. He
said, “And I know that His (My Father’s) commandment
is life everlasting”. He accepted God’s wisdom as final and
good for life. He did not obey with grudges and murmurings.
Disobedience manifests itself through murmurings. A murmur is a reaction of the heart, challenge of the authority
where you are not bold to openly challenge or walk contrary
to it. It is equal to rebellion; as if you picked a gun to shoot
at the man who is insisting on your doing what is not from
your heart. He did not open His mouth.
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He
opened not His mouth: He was brought as a lamb
to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was
taken from prison and from judgment…”
Note this very well. He did nothing to warrant such a
treatment. He was only being trained in the life of obedience.
Many suppose they are obedient because all they are asked to
do is reasonable and rational to psychology. It is glorious, it
attracts human applause. But disobedience will be obedient
to anything it sees will be of profit to it. It will obey gladly
whatsoever can so highlight his own ability.
“…Because He had done no violence, neither was
any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to
bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief…”
Isaiah 53:9, 10.
Can you imagine this? Yet despite His holiness, despite His past obedience and submission; it pleased the Lord
to bruise Him; it pleased God to put Him to grief. Why? God
was training His obedience, so He can qualify for the highest
name that must be obeyed in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth. Obedience is submission even if there is
reason not to do so! It is accepting to be used to boost the
ego of another, even at the expense of personal convenience.
Jesus went all the way in obedience, unto death, even the
cruel death of the cross, just for God to satisfy Himself and
fulfill His own pleasure, and to prove a point. A point that “I
have a Son who would obey Me implicitly and completely,
even if it means dying just to do My will.” He declared at
the point of the cross:
“…for the prince of this world cometh; and has
nothing in Me. But that the world may know that
I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Rise let us go hence.”
This is His own obedience; He learnt it. He grew in
it. He perfected in obedience, as He had to go through different facets of it. The training in obedience is to prove Satan
and the rebellious wrong. It is to confirm that God can be
our God, not because He cajoled us to submit by the good
things He gives us. Not also that He threatened us into submission by the force of His power. Jesus had all the rights to
defend Himself. He could have demanded for legions of angels to fight for Him and they would be at His beck and call.
But He chose the path of obedience and released Himself to
be molested by unworthy hands. He said to Peter “Put thy
sword back into its sheath: the cup which My Father
hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11 KJV).
“And behold, one of them, which were with Jesus
stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and
struck a servant of the high priest’s and smote off
his ear Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword
into his place; for all they that take the sword shall
perish with the sword.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my father,
and he shall presently give me more than twelve
legions of angels?
But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that
thus it must be? Matt. 26:51-54.
He saw it as the cup of obedience. It is when you
voluntarily lay down your right to defend yourself and get
exonerated from the treatment of an impostor especially when
you sense this is “the Father’s will”. He would not even
indulge in the opportunity of prayer to evade what was clearly
written concerning Him in the Scriptures. His own resolve
was to fulfill all that God had written and designed concerning Him, even if it meant suffering. He picked Judas Iscariot,
though He knew him to be a traitor, just to obey His Father
and to fulfill every Scripture. He would not drop Judas, though
he stole regularly from the purse, lest it made obedience unto
the death of the cross less possible for Him
It was not just one or several acts of obedience that
God looked for in His Son. He looked for a life of continuous, continual and perpetual obedience; obedience unto God
in anything and everything, in any place and at every time.
This is still what He looks for to see in every man He brings
into leadership position. The height and scope of leadership a
man can stand and walk in, is dependent on the “perfection
or maturing of the life of obedience” that he has attained.
Paul spoke of when your “obedience is complete”. It is
clear that God is looking for total, complete, matured and
universal life of obedience: obedience to the great and yet
obedience to the least of saints, whom God has given a ministry to discharge towards us. A man’s ministry is the authority God has delegated to him. Receiving ministry from
such of His least men may just be a test of our own obedience. He may not stand out here to receive and collect our
obedience. If He does, most of us will rush to give Him more
than what He demanded. But several times He delegates His
authority to ordinary folks. He seems to say “the obedience
due to Me, carry it and give it to that man or woman,
who will receive it and use it for men.” True obedience
does not look at the face, the height, and the status of the
recipient. He only submits to all men in the fear of God.
It may be your husband or just a young man in the
fellowship. They are mere delegated recipients of our obedience. When we lift up our hands to the invisible but immortal
God in adoration, but we shrugged our shoulders in resistance to
a brother or sister who has been given a ministry in our lives we
do nothing but mock God! Jesus proved obedience to all.
This is an excerpt from the PDF book Obedience By Bro Gbile Akanni.
If you want to Download it Kindly CLICK HERE.