Obedience by the Spirit
(week 11/01)

Olubi Johnson

Obedience by the flesh or by the Spirit? 

Are you doing the Word of God by the Spirit or by the flesh?

It is possible to do the Word by the flesh; for instance Abraham having a son by Hagar was trying to fulfill God’s promise to him by the flesh or natural human ability:

Galatians 4:22-23 (KJV): For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Observe here that Ishmael, Hagar’s son was born after the flesh; a result which was obtained by Abraham’s fleshly effort. A son was born; but it was not pleasing to God and could not fulfill God’s purpose for Abraham’s life.

Isaac on the other hand was born by the power of the Holy Spirit working supernaturally in Abraham’s and Sarah’s natural bodies.

The promise of eternal life was made manifest in their physical bodies causing them to supernaturally conceive and give birth in their old age when it was naturally impossible for them to do so.

In the same way today, our doing of the Word of God should be by supernatural ability of the promise of eternal life working in our souls: mind, will and emotions and our bodies and not just by our natural human ability alone.

We should do the Word of God by faith in God’s promises, which will release eternal life: the supernatural life and power of God to work in our natural bodies.

I John 2:25 (KJV): And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Romans 8:11 (NIV): And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Philippians 2:13 (NIV): for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

So it is God who should be working in us by His life through His Spirit to will and do His good pleasure according to His Word.

However, so many times we, like Abraham, do the Word by the flesh and not by the Spirit because we do not consciously, efficiently and consistently exercise faith in the Word of God to release eternal life to do the Word by this supernatural ability of the Holy Spirit.

Doing the Word by the Spirit

How then do we consciously, efficiently and consistently do the Word by the Spirit?

The Word of God reveals that this has to be done by faith:

Romans 10:6-8 KJV: But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 KJV: For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

The operation of faith basically involves believing in the heart and speaking with the mouth to release God’s power. This principle is described by Jesus in:

Mark 11:22-23 KJV: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Unfortunately, the great majority of the Church has majored only on using faith to get financial, material and physical blessings; while this is not wrong an overemphasis on using faith only for physical blessings keeps the Church in captivity in spiritual Babylon: a place of carnality and spiritual immaturity.

The end or the goal or purpose of our faith is actually to save our souls: the mind, will and emotions, to produce diligent obedience to God’s Word and the perfection and fulness of Christ.

We save our souls by using the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith to cleanse out the satanic nature from our minds and emotions to produce in us the mind of Christ, the fruit of the spirit and consequent perfection and maturity in Christ.

1 Peter 1:9 KJV: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:9 NIV: for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Hebrews 10:38-39 KJV: Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

In our next article, we will see how to use divine creative faith for obedience.