"In the selfsame day, as God had said unto him" (Gen. 17:23).
Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Every time God calls us to any duty, He is offering to make a covenant with us; doing the duty is our part, and He will do His part in special blessing.
The only way we can obey is to obey "in the selfsame day," as Abraham did. To be sure, we often postpone a duty and then later on do it as fully as we can. It is better to do this than not to do it at all. But it is then, at the best, only a crippled, disfigured, half-way sort of duty-doing; and a postponed duty never can bring the full blessing that God intended, and that it would have brought if done at the earliest possible moment.
It is a pity to rob ourselves, along with robbing God and others, by procrastination. "In the selfsame day" is the Genesis way of saying, "Do it now." --Messages for the Morning Watch
Luther says that "a true believer will crucify the question, 'Why?' He will obey without questioning." I will not be one of those who, except they see signs and wonders, will in no wise believe. I will obey without questioning.
"Ours not to make reply,
Ours not to reason why,
Ours but to do and die."
Obedience is the fruit of faith
; patience, the bloom on the fruit. --Christina Rossetti
We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood
"Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days" (Dan. 10:12, 13).
We have wonderful teaching here on prayer
, and we are shown the direct hindrance from Satan.
Daniel had fasted and prayed twenty-one days, and had a very hard time in prayer. As far as we read the narrative, it was not because Daniel was not a good man, nor because his prayer was not right; but it was because of a special attack of Satan.
The Lord started a messenger to tell Daniel that his prayer was answered the moment Daniel began to pray; but an evil angel met the good angel and wrestled with him, hindering him. There was a conflict in the heavens; and Daniel seemed to go through an agony on earth the same as that which was going on in the heavens.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers… against wicked spirits in high places" (Eph. 6:12, margin).
Satan delayed the answer three full weeks. Daniel nearly succumbed, and Satan would have been glad to kill him; but God will not suffer anything to come above that we "are able to bear."
Many a Christian's prayer is hindered by Satan; but you need not fear when your prayers and faith pile up; for after a while they will be like a flood, and will not only sweep the answer through, but will also bring some new accompanying blessing. --Sermon
Hell does its worst with the saints. The rarest souls have been tested with high pressures and temperatures, but Heaven will not desert them. --W. L. Watkinson
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