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Episode 203: How Performance is Keeping You From Obedience pt. 2

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Blessed and Bossed Up Podcast. Last week I talked about how we mustn't slip into performance-based, faith as people who are called to the masses. I told y'all I believe that everyone who's called to the show is a powerhouse so it's people who are called to be powerhouses.

Whether it is to the masses or your neighborhood or your household, we must be constantly in a position where we're moving with the Holy Spirit and one of the things that get us out of that position is performance, and a lot of times that performance is unintentional. So that's why I wanted to go over that last week so we can identify the behaviors that get us to that place so that we can make sure that we remain in position and do what the Holy Spirit is always instructing us to do because he is our guide.

Last week or yesterday, we talked about performance a lot but today I want to talk about obedience because I need you to fully understand the difference between the two. If we go to 1 Samuel 15:22-23, I’m going to read it in the message version. It says, “Then Samuel said, ‘do you think all God wants are sacrifices, empty rituals just for show?’ ‘He wants you to listen to him, plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production, not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult.”

Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors; because you said no to God's command, he says no to your kingship. I like to read in the message version sometimes because if you ever want to get smacked in the face a little bit and it's like that dagger being stuck in you and it twisted some. That's how the message Bible will be getting you, it really makes things very clear and it's dramatic to me but sometimes drama is needed for us to truly understand.

But I like the way that this broke this down because last week I told you that a lot of us get into performance and we perpetuate those same toxic behaviors that kept us out of the church by being so self-righteous and worried about what everybody else is doing. And that makes us get into performance as opposed to steadily staying in a position to obey God and in this scripture, it says that not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors and because you said no to God's command, he says no to your kingship.

So, this is why we need to maintain a level of self-awareness and not just be perpetuating like I said those same toxic behaviors that kept us bound. We have to make sure that we are obeying God; God sees you saying no to him as worse than all of the stuff that you're pointing the finger at everybody else about. You're worried about what somebody else is doing, you're judging how the kingdom should be or how this person should pray or why this person ain't doing that, you're worried about the wrong thing because your disobedience is worse than all of that according to this scripture.

I want you to understand that and the reason why I talked about performance is that performance is what keeps you out of obedience. And as I was reading this, it just truly drove the point home for me why obedience is so important and why on this show I really want to one, identify the things that get us out of obedience and I take it very seriously to make sure that I’m modeling obedience. That's why I tell you guys the story of things like the retreat and how much warfare went on, on the back end or how when God had us go on tour, I had no clue how that was going to get paid for but I did it anyway.

Or telling you how I felt about changing the podcast and how insecure I felt; I share so many aspects of my journey because I want us to understand that obedience can be hard, most of the time it is hard, obedience is scary but we have to obey God. We have to do what God tells us to do and that's why I give you tools like keeping God's track record because if you continue to remind yourself of what he's brought you through, it'll make the next yes that you give him that much better.

People thank me all the time through like events and stuff like that, they always say thank you for your obedience and I appreciate that but thank me for my obedience by you continuing to be obedient. If you were to come to me and say “Tatum, because of your obedience I did this, I would obey God, I didn't want to but I heard what you said so then I decided to say yes to God, and then this is how it's worked out,” that's what I want to hear. Because to me, that's what truly being effective is about; we give ourselves these influencer titles but I want to influence you to obey God.

I want to influence you to get at your father's feet, I want to influence you to pray and to fast, I want to influence you to get in position so that you can get into your promised land. I want to influence you to slay every devil that tries to rise against you and the things that cause you to do… that's what I want to see. That's what I want to encourage you to do and so I hope through us talking about performance yesterday that you guys can understand some of the things that may keep you out of obedience.

And more importantly, course-correct those behaviors so that you can make sure that you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit's voice and you're doing what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do. I love to talk about Abraham’s obedience; in Genesis 22:18 and I’m reading it in the English Standard Version. It says, “In your offering shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham’s descendants, us, are blessed because he obeyed God's voice.

I talk to you guys all the time about Deuteronomy 28 and how in the beginning it talks about blessings for obedience so I’m going to read them out just in case y'all haven't opened your Bibles and gone to it; in Deuteronomy 28 and I’m going to read it in the message version. It says that “If you listen obediently to the voice of God, your God and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God will place you on high.” “High above all the nations of the world, all these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the voice of God, your God. “God's blessing inside the city, God's blessing in the country, God's blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks, God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl.” “God's blessing and your coming in and God's blessing and you're going out, God will defeat your enemies who attack you, they'll come at you one and run away on seven roads.” “God will order a blessing on your bonds and workplaces, he'll bless you in the land that God, your God is giving you God will form you as a people holy to him just as he promised you if you keep the commandments of God, your God and live the way he has shown you. “All the peoples on earth will see you living under the name of God and hold you in respectful awe, God will lavish you with good things; children from your womb, offspring from your animals, crops from your land, land that God promised your ancestors that he will give you.” “God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule; that's a whole word, and bless the work you take in hand on schedule.” Like, I can't get off of his on schedule; “God will throw open the doors of his sky vault and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand.”

So, for a lot of you guys, you've been being obedient, you've been seeking God and you've been doing the things that he's told you to do and you feel like “Tatum, I hear you, you talk about being obedient, I’ve done that so where is my promised land?” “Where are these blessings that you speak up because I don't see them right now,” but this scripture says that God will throw open the doors of his high vault and pour rain on your land on schedule. So, what I want to tell you in response to that is that he is going to do it on schedule. Your blessings are on schedule; it says “and bless the work you take in hand” so your blessings are on schedule.

Whether you see it or not it's on schedule, whether you have the tracking info or not it's on schedule so don't allow your impatience with God's timing to take you out of obedience because you don't want it to get lost in the mail. You don't want it to disappear or you don't want it to get returned to sender is a better example; you don't want it to get returned to sender because now you've allowed your impatience to take you out of position.

The scripture goes on to say that “You will lend to many nations but you won't always have to take out a loan, God will make you the head and not the tail.” “You will always be the top dog and never the bottom dog as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God that I am commanding you today.” “Don't swerve an inch to the right or the left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other Gods, don't swerve an inch.” I know people have told you that if you were to just give this one business intuitive session that will allow you to kind of see where God is doing in your life that is a lie, don't swerve an inch.

An inch is not that big, remember I talked about in the last episode that disobedience comes one compromise at a time? This scripture says don't swerve an inch to the right or the left. So it doesn't matter what the spiritually fluid try to tell you what you can still do, do not swerve an inch to the right or the left from the words that God is commanding you. Don't go off following and worshiping other Gods because you think they're going to get it to you faster; it's on schedule. It's on schedule, don't self-sabotage because of your impatience, it’s on schedule; verse 15 says, “Here's what will happen if you don't obediently listen to the voice of God, your God” and this is where it gets real. This is what happened when you swerve an inch to the right or to the left or when you go off following and worshipping other gods.

This is where it gets real and I'm going to read it in the Message version because the message version hit a little different; this is where it gets real, this is what happens when you are disobedient. Verse 15 says, “Here's what will happen if you don't obediently listen to the voice of God and diligently keep all the commandments and guidelines that I’m commanding you today.” “All these curses will come down hard on you; God's curse in the city, God's curse in the country, God's curse on your basket and bread bowl, God's curse on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flock.”

“God's curse in your coming in and God's curse and you're going out, God will send the curse, the confusion, the contrariness down to everything you try to do unless you've been destroyed and there's nothing left of you all because of the evil pursuits that led you to abandon me.” Savage; “God will infect you with disease wiping you right off the land that you're going to possess;” goodness gracious, “God will set consumption and fever and rash and seizures and dehydration and blight and jaundice on you, they'll hunt you down until they kill you.” “The sky over your head will become an iron roof, the ground under your feet a slab of concrete, from out of the skies God will rain ash and dust on until you suffocate.”

I’m scrolling down like wow! In verse 47 it says, “Because you didn't serve God, your God out of the joy and goodness of your heart in the great abundance, you'll have to serve your enemies who God will send against you.” Life will be famine and drought, rags and wretchedness and then he'll put an iron yolk on your neck until he's destroyed you.” So this is the Old Testament and I like reading The Old Testament because it's savage, I like reading it because it reminds me that there are still consequences that disobedience comes with consequences. Also, it makes me appreciate the fact that God loved me so much that he gave me another opportunity not to have to deal with this level of savagery for lack of a better word.

Because sin always has to be atoned for, it's always life for life so to speak and so because God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, now we don't have to deal with a lot of the savagery that is in The Old Testament. But the principle remains that there are curses, there are consequences for disobedience and I love to read it because it keeps me in check, it reminds me that God loves me but there's still wrath of God and I don't want any smoke at all.

It also reminds me again like I said how much he loves me, that he changed his methods when he sent Jesus. I want to go back to Abraham for a second because Abraham is one of… I personally, really enjoy reading about Abraham and his obedience because the way he responded to God is what I aspire to do so I’m going to read Genesis 22 and I’m going to start at verse 22.

It says, after all of this God tested Abraham, and before this, this is when Abraham’s wife was barren, she wasn't able to have kids; they wanted a child, it was a huge faith walk for them, she was able to have his son Isaac. So, after all of this, after everything that they went through God tested Abraham; it says, God says “Abraham,” “Yes” answered Abraham, “I’m listening” and I have this highlighted on my notes because, for me, this is how I want to answer God. I want God to say “Tatum,” no matter what I’m doing, no matter how exciting things may be, no matter how bad things may be. No matter how regular and just normal or mundane things may be, I want God to say “Tatum” and I say “yes, I’m listening;” that's what obedience is all about, that's where I’m trying to get us to with these episodes. I want to get us to the point where God can say “hey,” insert name here, and you say “yes, I’m listening.” So, in verse 2, I’m in chapter 22, I started at verse 1 but in verse 2 he said “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah, sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.” So, God says, “Hey, you know that thing you prayed for, you know that miracle that you love so much, that's so dear to your heart?” “Go sacrifice it as a burnt offering, go kill it.”

I'm going to blunt “go kill it” and then Abraham in verse 3, Abraham got up and when I read this I am always like okay, I got questions, I want to talk to Abraham and be like “alright, so listen when God said to go take Isaac and sacrifice him, what were you thinking?” “How did you feel?” Because it doesn't tell us that context, it just said what he did and he got up but I think that's also a testament to how we should act; it didn't mention how he felt because how he felt didn't matter, what he did matter, his response to God's call is what matters. A lot of us, we got a lot of fluff in between verse number two and number three, we’ve got a lot of fluff in between the instruction and the action.

“Oh, I feel this way, let me procrastinate; I'm going to wait, maybe God didn't say that, I'm going to ask for confirmation 50 million times.” It said Abraham got up, he didn't even question God; that is miraculous to me because I would have had a little lip, I’m not going to hold you, I would have had a little lip like “God, so you talking about Isaac, Isaac?” That would have been my question like “you talking about Isaac, Isaac; the one that we prayed for, the one that you blessed us with, the miracle Isaac?” No, no, no; surely you ain't talking about that Isaac; there must be another Isaac around here, maybe one of the sheep named Isaac?”

That would have been my response because surely, that ain't who you talking about, but it doesn't say any of that. It says Abraham got up, I aspire, I told you I got lip, I aspire for this type of obedience to where between the instruction, there's nothing else but “I got up;” that God said “Tatum” and I say “yes, I’m listening.” He gave me the instruction and I got up, that's where we all need to get to. So, it says Abraham got up early in the morning, he saddled his donkey, he took two of his young servants and his son Isaac. He had split wood from the burnt offering; he set out for the place God had directed him.

On the third day, he looked up and saw the place in the distance; Abraham told his two young servants “stay here with the donkey, the boy and I are going over there to worship then we'll come back to you.” And I highlighted this in my notes because this made me think about a few things; God told him to go sacrifice his son, so he told him to go kill his son, he didn't say what the outcome was going to be. He didn’t say that I was going to bring him back to life after he killed him so why did Abraham tell the servants that he brought with him that we’ll come back to you, who was he talking about?

Did he know that he and Isaac were coming back because if we were just going off of the information God tell him he was supposed to come back by himself so this sticks out to me a little bit? Nevertheless, Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac, his son to carry, he carried the flint and the knife; the two of them went off together. Isaac said to Abraham his father, “Father” and Abraham said “yes, my son;” Isaac was like “hey dad check this out, we got flint, we got wood but there's no sheep for the burnt offering.” Because Isaac started putting two and two together like what's about to happen here?

Abraham said “Son, God will see to it that there's a sheep for the burnt offering” and they kept on walking together and I highlighted this too because going back to my question of why did he tell the servants that we’ll be back when God told him to go kill his son. And in this response, he says “God will see to it that there's a sheep for the burnt offering,” I believe that Abraham might have known that he was being tested. Maybe, I don't know, I’m just assuming but I’m thinking maybe Abraham might have known that he would be tested or he might have trusted God so much to know that God wouldn't do something like that.

God wouldn't just have him go kill his son for no reason so maybe it was him having some type of hope and maybe it was him having some type of trust; I don't know, I’m just assuming here, I’m just assuming like how he felt. But what I know is what he did and what he did was he got up; so then in verse number nine it says, “they arrived at the place to where God had directed him.” Abraham built an altar, he laid out the wood and then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood; Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son.

Reading this after just having a son in similar circumstances like, having this blessing and from not being able to have that before, my prayer is that God gives me the faith and obedience that Abraham did to go and take my son to sacrifice him. This one moves me personally on my heart a little bit differently and I know for you guys listening who are parents, this hits different; this tests your faith differently. I did a video on my YouTube channel about my scariest leap of faith and I talked about shutting down my business.

That hurt but if God was to say take my son, I can't imagine and I just pray because I don't even want to know but I just pray that this is the level of obedience that I can have, and reading stories like this in the Bible, I believe this is why it's so important to get into the word.

Reading stories like this, the stuff we go through we act like the world we live in now is so much harder than it was in Biblical times, it's not; it's not; to take your child, the fruit of your womb, your child? And for me as a woman, the one that grew inside of me that I felt a kick, that pushed, all of these things, to take him and go kill him and then I got to take the knife out; no, that's next level obedience and it's such a model of trust in God so let's see how the story ends. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son; just then, an angel of God called to him out of heaven “Abraham, Abraham;” again he says, “Yes, I’m listening.”

I would assume that this “yes, I’m listening” was a little easier because he was probably waiting for somebody to stop him but he says “yes, I’m listening;” the angel says, “don't lay a hand on that boy, don't touch him.” “Now I know how fearlessly you fear God, you didn't hesitate to place your son, your dear son on the altar for me.” Abraham looked up, he saw a ram caught by his horns in the thicket, and Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering of his son. He named the place God Yara, which means ‘God sees to it,’ that's where we get the saying ‘on the mountain of God he sees it.’

The angel of God spoke from heaven a second time to Abraham, he said, “I swear God, sure word because you have gone through with this and have not refused to give me your son, your dear son, I’ll bless you.” “Oh, how I’ll bless you and I’ll make sure that your children flourish like stars in the sky, like sand on the beaches and your descendants will defeat their enemies, all nations on earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” This is an awesome word to hear from God but he didn't hear that when God said Abraham in verse one, he said “yes, I’m listening” and God gave him the instruction, the scary instruction to take your dear son whom you love and sacrifice him.

Remember the scripture we gave the last episode in 1st Samuel about obedience being better than sacrifice? Nothing that you sacrifice for God is more important than obedience, even something you love so much. So, you could insert Isaac for whatever it is that is important to you but when God tests you, are you going to pass the test? Is he going to be able to say insert name here and you say I’m listening and then he gives you the instruction, the scary instruction that doesn't make sense that you can't quite figure out? Are you going to get up or are you going to stay there or do you need to hear verse 15 before you do verse 3?

It doesn't work like that, we are blessed because of Abraham’s obedience, and then right after that, Abraham went back to his young servant's verse 19, they got things together and returned to where they came from. I'm not about to do this word with y'all and then it says, “After all this, Abraham got the news, your brother is a father and it just went on to all of the descendants now so he got to see. He didn't see it all because we're still descendants, his blessings for his obedience are still unfolding. We talk about wanting to leave a legacy, we talk about wanting to have generational this and generational that, are you going to get up or do like I said?

Or do you need to hear verse 15 when he tells him the promise of the reward before you do verse 3 which was get up? So again, you guys, I cannot stress enough the importance of obedience; I don't even need to say much else because I believe the word of God speaks for itself. It speaks for itself and I pray that through these last two episodes that you just understand that we are to obey God. Don't allow any performance-based instincts or any of your characteristics to allow you to drift off into performance to where you get out of position to obey God.


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