REMINDER THAT DISOBEDIENCE BRINGS DEATH
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President of Thread of Hope, Inc.
“For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’” -1 Kings 13:9
There are stories in the Word of God that we need to stop, meditate on, and keep as warnings. This is one of them. This prophet has no name. Just that he was told to go to Bethel, give a word, and return back home a different way. He wasn’t supposed to stop, socialize, eat, drink, talk, or sight see.
The man went and did what God commanded. The King invited him to the palace to eat at his table. The man told him just what is written above and left. He passed the first test. Imagine refusing the invitation of the Queen of England. Who does that? Great job, Mr. No Name Man.
There was an old prophet living in Bethel. When he heard what took place he went after him to bring him to his home. Mr. No Name Man told him the same story as written above. “But the old prophet answered, "I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’” Mr. No Name Man got up and went with him completely disobeying the command of the Lord. Perhaps he saw the old man as a “seasoned” prophet. The problem was the old man was lying. Catch that! He was lying.
Mr. No Name Man is now at the home of the old man, “while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.” Ouch!
This story sends chills up my spine because too many people are fooled into believing lies. I have a rule. It’s an easy one, and I want to share it with you. God does NOT tell anyone what you should do and not do until He tells it to you. Once God tells you something it should be a done deal. Often, I get so many messages. Can you pray for me? So I do. Many times God shows me what’s going on. Sometimes, God tells me, “I’m showing you what’s happening because you're praying. I’m hearing you but you cannot say anything. Wait!” So, I do what God tells me and I write it down for proof later on down the line. I wait for God to show the person, and then the person tells me. I only serve as a confirmation. Other times, God gives me specific warning to tell someone. The point is God doesn’t tell you something and then sends another to tell you the total opposite.
Ending to Mr. No Name Man. “the man of God started off again. But as he was traveling along, a lion came out and killed him.” What a sad ending to a prophet who just went to deliver a word. By the way, King Jeroboam heard him speak against the Temple at Bethel. He raised his arm to have him arrested. His arm froze that way. The king begged him to ask God to heal him. Which God did. This Mr. No Name Man obviously knew God. God was with him. So why make such a huge deadly mistake?
I believe because he put confidence and showed respect to the older prophet. Here lies the problem. We cannot put anyone above God. I mean nobody. I don’t care how much they know, who they are, or what they carry. You are responsible before God for you. You are responsible to obey the Lord your God. You are not fit for the things of God if you listen to everyone but God. God needs to be your stopping point. Opinions don’t matter. Oftentimes, there not of God.
Let me share a brief story. Two weeks ago, we were all packed to go somewhere for the weekend. This was something that Justin had been waiting for a wonderful honor and a respectable goal of his. The car was packed, and we were in the driveway ready to leave. All of a sudden, “Mom, I don’t get a good feeling.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I was upset, downright angry. I felt embarrassed by canceling. These people were not people to joke with, and they were higher than me. I stormed into the house. My green eyes no longer green, but as Justin described them as red later on. I was boiling mad. Get the picture?
Justin and Ellianna followed me back into the house. I had my hand as a stop sign. “I do not want to hear one word. Not one word, Justin. You better go into your room and get on your knees and find out from God what is happening. While I went to call my friend, Justin came back about 15 minutes later, “Mom, God is saying not to go.” I had him make the call to those who were expecting us. They weren’t happy, and neither was I. I sent Justin back to his room to ask God. Now that I think about it, I feel a bit foolish and ashamed for doing so. My spirit was saying, “Stop! Listen to Justin. You are not to go.” However, I was too wrapped up in pleasing the people. Justin came back and said, “Mom, God is saying, 'No!' He does not want us to go, and I don’t know why?”
Justin made a second call and told the people we were not going, and therefore, was forfeiting that which he was to receive. My son was upset, too. He didn’t understand why. That night, I went to bed upset. As I was laying in bed, God began to speak to me, more like rebuking me, “How dare you punish Justin for obeying me? You have no idea what I saved you from.” Just as God said that, I got a call from a great friend whom I highly respect. He said, “Teresa, what is going on? What happened?“ I told him. I thought he would say something else. Imagine my shock when he said, “My Spirit is saying Justin is right. Justin heard very right from God.”
That was Friday night. The plan was we returned on Sunday afternoon meaning we would be arriving home a little after midnight. What nobody knew or expected ahead of time was two storm cells that appeared out of nowhere caused havoc from New York to Massachusetts. The very road we were to travel had two major car accidents. The highway was backed for God only knows how long. Lighting was severe. People were asked to evacuate the vehicles. Hail and winds up to 70 mph and 5 inches of rain fell within about 2 hours. We would have been caught in the middle of all that in the dead of the night with restaurants and rest areas closed. One of the hospitals had to be evacuated and lighting had hit transformers causing power outages, and we would have been smack in the middle of that. It didn’t stop thundering, lighting, and heavy rain didn't stop until about 2 a.m.
My kids and I learned a hard and valuable lesson, one that I feel my son needed to learn as he is a theology student in seminary school. It doesn't matter who gets upset and who thinks you're wrong. Mr. No Name Man died because of his disobedience to a command the Lord gave. A lion met him and tore him to pieces. I’m glad, proud, and grateful my son stood up to me his mother and to those who were expecting him. It’s ok that he didn’t receive that which he wanted. He obeyed God, and God will bless and open greater and better doors.
People know the voice of God and obey that which He tells you. Man can never replace what God said for you to do. You can miss the will of God, His purposes, your destiny, your calling, your job, your future spouse, your house, or worse your life. Remember this this story. Don’t be a Mr. No Name Man.
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