But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22
Samuel told King Saul that God gave orders to destroy all the Amalekites! No one or no thing was to be spared. Every living being, animal or human, was to be killed. Saul didn’t follow through with the whole mission. He spared the king and saved the best animals for sacrifices. He disobeyed God and lost his kingdom to David, a man after God’s own heart.
One lesson I learned a while ago is that blessing follows obedience to God. Obedience NEVER follows blessing, period! Get that in your head and heart right now. Listen up. The name it and claim it group are sadly mistaken. The blab it and grab it group are sadly mistaken. The sloppy agape grace group are sadly mistaken. There is only way God’s blessing comes into your life, and that is through obedience! Period! Get it, learn it, and don’t forget it!
You may think that cutting corners or doing only 99.9% of what God tells you will bring blessing, but sadly you’d be wrong. The truth of God’s word stands forever whether we like it or not. There is no getting around some things. Let’s just make this personal for a moment. Do you think you’d be enjoying the blessing of salvation right now had Jesus prayed, “Father take me away from this mess. Why do I have to die?” and walked away from the cross. He could have, he was innocent and sinless.
No! Instead, “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me [what Jesus the person wanted]. Yet, I want your will [going to the cross as our propitiation or payment of sin] to be done, not mine.” He struggled with this for more than hour until he burst capillaries in his head and dropped bloody sweat to the ground and prayed this not once but thrice! His full obedience to the death on the cross brought us the ultimate blessing – eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So again I ask you, “Obedience, or sacrifice?” “Blessing or cursing?” The choice is yours to make. God set the process and pattern in motion; it’s up to you to follow through. Jesus also said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Ouch! That’s talking about obedience being tied to our love for him. Are we doing what he says? Do we really love him? Test yourself to see if you are of the faith. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” Elsewhere John said, “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him,” and again he said, “We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.”
Obedience is better than sacrifice! Submission is better than the fat of rams! Obedience to his voice is what pleases him!
Father, thank you for once again pointing out to me the life of no compromise. That the mantra for me and what should be for every disciple is No compromise, no return! That is no compromising my stand for you nor my love for you or my walk with you, and there can be no return to the life of sin in which I used to live. I’ve died to the flesh that I may walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lustful desires of the flesh. I want to demonstrate to you and the world that my love for is genuine by my keeping your commandments of love –> to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. If I do those, I’ve kept your commands and will have been obedient and will reap the blessing of being obedient to you. Not my will be done, but yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.