Posted by Bishop Keith A. Butler on April 3, 2012 | 2 Comments
God has made it abundantly clear that we can choose blessing or cursing. Jesus understood this. He said that he didn't go anywhere or say anything unless His Father told Him to do so (see John 5:19, 30; 8:28). He lived a life of constant, full submission to the Father.
As a leader, you, too, need to have a lifestyle of obedience. You can't be obedient only when you see the payoff; no, you have to be in submission to God's will all the time—when you think you understand why He's asking you to do something, and when you don't understand. You must make a decision to obey God in everything you do.
A Real-Life Test of Obedience
One time an internationally known minister approached me about going to a certain country that's known for being hostile to Christianity and to the Gospel. "Isn't that where two American diplomats were killed just three weeks ago?" I asked. "And isn't that the place where they shout 'Down with Americans!' and kill people for being Christian?"
"Yes, it is," she replied. "Now let's go!"
My head said, "Let her go if she wants to—by herself. The Lord hasn't called you to be an evangelist; He called her. Don't put yourself in that situation."
The minister told me to pray about going, and I did. The Lord said, "Go." I answered by saying, "Praise you, Jesus!"
I told my wife what God had said and asked her to pray for me. She looked at me and said, "Where you go, I go."
We got our affairs in order, because I knew that if I had missed God, I was going to be in trouble. Ministers from all over the country called us and asked us not to go, as they were afraid we were going to lose our lives. But the blessings listed in Deuteronomy 28 are for those who diligently and continually do what God says to do, even when one's natural mind doesn't agree or understand.
I released the people who were traveling with me, saying, "You have wives and children; so you don't have to put yourself in harm's way. But I have to go because God told me to go, and I choose to obey Him."
To their credit, they all said, "We're going with you."
We flew to the country, and as soon as we stepped off the plan and went into the buildings where our bags were supposed to be, guys with high-powered rifles met us. Immediately, the devil said, "I've got you now. You're as good as dead. You're not getting out of here." Before we could get our bags, we had to walk through a large crowd of people who grabbed us and started going through our pockets. I was thinking, "I've obeyed God, and this is where it's gotten me!" People got in our faces as they talked to us, but I decided that I wasn't backing down from the devil!
The minister who had invited me didn't back down, either. She advertised the meeting in the front page of a newspaper, declaring that Jesus was Lord in this country.
Before the meeting, while praying in my hotel room, I said, "Lord, I have a wife and three children. I am responsible for the churches I pastor." But as I was praying, the Lord said to me, "Being in my will is the safest place you ever could be." That's when I relaxed!
We had a tremendous meeting, and thousands were saved, healed, and delivered. Whatever we touched was blessed! A year after that initial meeting, we went back and had the largest gathering ever in the history of that nation. More than 70,000 Muslims were saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost. Blind eyes opened; cripples walked; and deaf mutes heard and spoke. Friends, those are the rewards of obedience!
Today I oversee sixteen churches in that country, and they are all prospering. God knew that these people needed Christians to help underwrite the Gospel in that country. Every month we send money to keep the doors open and the pastors preaching.
Whatever you're dealing with is not an impossible situation for God. God will prosper whatever you do, wherever you go—if you'll hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord your God and obey Him—day after day, month after month, year after year. You must choose to life a lifestyle of obedience to bring blessing and hope to those who are without God.
This article is written by Bishop Keith A. Butler
In his signature line-by-line style, Bishop Keith A. Butler travels the world teaching the Word of God without compromise. Bishop Butler is dedicated to teaching believers how to live their faith. He is the founder of Word of Faith International Christian Center and the Senior Pastor of faith4life churches in Round Rock and Dallas, Texas.
As Bishop, he oversees 14 ministry operations in the United States. Bishop Butler has also established several international ministry works. The Word of Faith Ministerial Alliance is a fellowship of ministers and Christian leaders who have received Bishop Butler as their spiritual father and/or mentor. Through its companion website, faithleaders.com, ministers and Christian leaders can find valuable resources to aid them in their ministry callings.
Bishop Butler has a nationally televised program on the Golden Eagle Broadcasting Network called “Live your Faith”.He is the author of over 24 books with such titles as Living Life on Top, The Art of Prayer, God’s Not Mad at You and God’s Plan for Man. With the support of his lovely wife, Pastor Deborah L. Butler, and their children: Pastor Andre Butler and wife Tiffany Butler (granddaughters Alexis, Angela, & April), Pastor MiChelle, and Minister Kristina Butler Bishop Butler continues to plant churches worldwide.