The Limitations of Obedience
September 19, 2010
The Limitations of Obedience
Learning – Learning the Kingly, entrepreneurial mindset and coming out of poverty is an amazing journey for all of us. We come from a theological paradigm that places a premium on obedience and service, and we don’t have a practical grasp on how to be God’s friend.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 NIV
Servants know how to obey. They are great candidates to have a job, do what they are told, and never learn to embrace a personal dream or create wealth. They view God as a “guidance giver” and themselves as faithful followers who are good at hearing revelation and obeying. They resist their own will as carnal, and have little room for exploring the desires their own hearts. They are left without personal initiative, a major key to the Kingdom and being Kingly.
Friends “relate” to God in a way that makes them comfortable exploring the desires of their own hearts. That’s where they find the will of God. Instead of revelation and obedience, they have a better balance of revelation and wisdom. They are willing to make wise decisions without requiring a revelation from God.
Example – I’m a trader learning from two mentors, along with hundreds of other Christians. Learning to day trade is a multi-year process that requires patience and commitment. What I’ve noticed is that most of us start the process treating the mentors like pastors, and wanting to relate out of an obedience dynamic. That sets up a conflict – traders expect the mentor to represent God, predict the future, and tell them which direction to trade. The reality is that even the mentors are never sure which way the market will move. They simply teach how to observe price action and take trade set-ups. “Servants” are inclined not to hear the training. They just listen for hints for what the mentor is doing, and try to obey. The result is bad – although they thought they heard the mentor, they just got a bias for up or down, and missed the seeing the price action and setups for themselves. Many never grasp the entrepreneurial mindset of thinking for themselves and using “wisdom” to make decisions. They can’t get away from obedience.
That “bias” premised on obedience to the mentor is, in fact, a perception of God’s expectation for us; a belief that we should obey ‘our false perception’ of God’s rules, which is embedded deeply in our conscience. Rule #1 is “obey God,” and if He’s not providing direction, then obey His representative… pastor, mentor, etc. Obeying a perception in our conscience is not easy to overcome, and it has to be purged before we can stop the dead works and poverty… and then relate to a living God and experience abundant life – pretty amazing when you think about it. We have to think and take initiative – not just live out the expectations of others (including those expectations we ascribe to God in our conscience).
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:14 NASU
Becoming entrepreneurial – Creating wealth is a scriptural promise of maturity available to every believer. All those “ask whatsoever” verses are hinged to our ability to have desires, take personal initiative, and make wise decisions. That level of relationship spawns creativity, industry and innovation that create wealth and result in ministry. That is the definition of personal freedom.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:3-4
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Ps 20:4
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:13-14 see also Jn 15:7-8, 15:7-8, 15:15-16, 16:23-24
Prophetic revelation, personal discipline, and character qualities are wonderful and necessary ingredients of a serving disciple. But, they are not sufficient to be Kingly, entrepreneurial, and creative. We are being invited to “friend” in some practical ways:
1. Transition from servant to friend by exploring the desires of our own heart
2. Once we are freed from the expectations of others (including our mental opinion of God’s rules), we are positioned to “relate” to the desires in God’s heart.
3. Once we can relate to God in terms of His and our desires, we can connect with the desires of others and find the synergism of Kingdom multiplication.
4. Liberation from the obedience-only theology opens the door to take initiative and make decisions on the basis of wisdom and common sense.
We were all created to be Kings whose dreams come true. Service and obedience doesn’t describe the level of freedom and creativity God has in mind for his “friends.” We are here to bless the nations and fill the earth with His glory.
…the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed… brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Rom 8:18-21 NIV
PS: You may also enjoy the video version of this newsletter.
John and Sue
Newsletter – If your newsletter comes incomplete (filtered), you can always catch the latest version in our archive along with nearly 200 others. 1400 people from around the world get Kingly encouragement from our weekly newsletter. Invite a friend to subscribe – they will be blessed.
How to Start a Small Group – Kings are increasingly getting involved in Bible study or mentoring groups to facilitate their “Release.” Here are some helpful suggestions www.Releasing-Kings.com/Starting-a-Group.html. We’ve also updated our Vision Brochure with graphics show how to become a King and how your can help Release Kings.
French Translation – Releasing Kings is now available in French thanks to the efforts of Cees Bakker and Support Ministries in the Netherlands. In France, copies can be obtained from Editions Menor or Librairie Chretienne CLC. The Title in French is “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”. Cees is also the guy who made the Dutch translation possible – available through his website. He can be contacted for Releasing Kings conferences in France and throughout Europe.
Facebook – I’m starting to post more information on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/john.garfield1
PS: I want to recommend some follow-up reading.
Who is God by Harold Eberle provides the best explanation of the open view of God. It’s must reading that connects our perception of God with everyday life.
Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace takes that foundation into marketplace ministry and the entrepreneurial nature of Kings. Fruit in the marketplace naturally springs out of sound doctrine.
Desire to Destiny – Takes the foundation and marketplace ministry and puts them in the context of seven practical keys or stages of growth you can apply in your own life.
You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.
1.The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.
2.The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.
3.The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace and occupy the Seven mountains of: business, media, arts & entertainment, education, family and government in addition to the church.
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at