In the Air Force, my wife and I lived on a strict budget. Whenever we incurred some major or unexpected expense, we had to wait for the next payday to take care of it. The other option was to fix whatever was broken ourselves. On one occasion, the car’s carburetor malfunctioned. We could not afford a new one and did not have the funds to have it rebuilt. So I did the next best thing, I decided to rebuild the carburetor on my own. In retrospect, it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made!
As I disassembled it, I discovered that a carburetor has many small parts. When reassembling, I failed to follow the instructions on how to rebuild it. For that reason, I ended up with more parts than when I started. A few weeks later, I took the car to a carburetor specialist. After working on it, his first question was, “who worked on this carburetor?” He was amazed that the carburetor was working with so many missing parts. After all, God takes care of fools and babies!
The reason my attempt to rebuild the carburetor failed was because I failed to follow the instructions. When you fail to follow instructions you will fail at your assignment. According to Proverbs 13:13, when you don’t pay attention to advice, you are looking for trouble and when you don’t follow the instruction or command, you will not succeed. “People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed.” (NLT)
The widow was successful in keeping her sons out of slavery because she followed the instructions that Elisha the prophet gave her:
“Elisha said to her, ‘What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ And she said, ‘Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.’ Then he said, ‘Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few. And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these vessels, and you shall set aside what is full.’ So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing the vessels to her and she poured.” 2 Kings 4:2-5 (NASB)
Notice that the widow did exactly what the man of God told her to do. She collected many large empty vessels, closed her door and then she poured. There are times when the man or woman of God gives us instructions, and we partially obey. We believe that we will experience success even with partial obedience. Remember, partial obedience is disobedience. Don’t be like King Saul who failed to obey all of the given instructions.
“Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey…But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless that they utterly destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:3, 9 (NASB)
Remember that only full obedience to the instructions will lead you into success!
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