Obedience is Still Better Than Sacrifice
I was reading 1 Samuel chapter 15 yesterday when God spoke to me about obedience. In this passage, the prophet Samuel told Israel’s first King, Saul, that the Lord said to go attack Amalek and utterly destroy all they have – including women, children, and animals (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul gathered his troops, attacked them, but he didn’t kill their king Agag or any of the best animals.
When asked, Saul’s excuse was that they planned to sacrifice those animals to God and that’s when Samuel says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22). Back in verse 11, God regrets making Saul King and says that Saul has not performed His commands. In verse 28, God tore the Kingdom from him.
Something I noticed during this study that I’ve never seen before. Even though Saul acknowledged his wrong (1 Samuel 15:24-25, 30), he seems to gloss over it and asks Samuel to pardon his sin, come back, and honor him in front of the elders and the people so that he may worship. Saul was still more concerned about the display – he didn’t sincerely repent or seem hurt by the fact that he had disobeyed.
Sometimes we don’t even realize the magnitude of our rebellion. We do what seems best in our own eyes despite what the Lord says. 1 Samuel 15:23 says, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”.
Obedience Protects Your Anointing
We cannot fully operate in our calling when there are things we refuse to kill! We can’t allow our flesh or mindsets that are not of God to live.
This was Saul’s mistake. He was to utterly destroy everything and when he refused, he lost it all. He ended up struggling with mental illness, fear, envy, and paranoia all while he held his office (1 Samuel 18). He had the job but was incompetent and weak. That is a scary place to be, Team. Obedience will save us a lot of trouble in the long run.
Are we constantly asking God to reveal purpose and strategy when there are things in our spirit that have gone unchecked?
God is more concerned with your spiritual development and relationship with Him than using you. Truth is, if you’re not mature in Christ, you will likely blow it anyway. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that when we get to the next level, our foolishness will stop. What we do is only a manifestation of what’s already in us. Everything in the natural has its origin in the spirit. Kill it now!
I want to encourage you all that if you have been disobedient, stick with God and continue to pursue Him. Earlier in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 12, Samuel is telling Israel about the sin they committed by asking for a king. In verse 1 Samuel 12:20-22, he tells them “Look, it’s okay, you messed up, but don’t turn away from God because He will not forsake His people. God says if you turn away, you will go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver.”
Sometimes when we are disobedient, we can spiral out of control by trying to get ourselves out of it or by covering it up and living double lives. We can unintentionally take over and begin doing our own thing which can lead to further devastation. So, let’s be sure to get back in the wagon sooner than later.
So, What’s the play call?
- Heed the voice of God and obey His instructions – save yourself some trouble.
- Feed yourself the Word of God – it will take root in your heart and produce the fruit of righteousness.
- Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands”. Our commitment and love for God are best demonstrated by our obedience.
- Struggling is okay, but never turn away from Him – keep fighting the good fight of faith.