Activate my obedience
For my whole life, whenever I am told to do something, there rises up within me a violent revolt!
It reminds me of the story of a young mom with a little girl at the grocery store. As she pushes the cart the child stands up. The mother asks her to please sit down so that she doesn’t get hurt. After this happens several times the mother becomes increasingly frustrated with her young daughter. Then she does what every mother through the centuries has done, she gives “the look“!
The daughter sits down but, very loudly proclaims, “I’m sitting down on the outside but standing up on the inside!”
I am so like this daughter!
It is difficult to obey, especially when one is as strong-willed as I am! Yet, God calls us to surrender ourselves fully to him. It is in this humbling that our flesh cries out, “no way!”
Saul found out that God is not pleased with disobedience, especially when He gives direct instructions.
Saul was sent out with a very explicit mission.
‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ I Samuel 15:3
Saul followed some of the instructions but not all of them.
He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. I Samuel 15:8-9
Did you catch it? He captured the king and kept some of the best of his belongings.
When he returned Samuel had some strong words with him.
and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?”… I Samuel 15:18-19
I always wondered what the big deal was! Saul did most of what God asked him to do and his heart seemed to be in the right place. After all, he was going to offer the animals as a sacrifice to the Lord.
“But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.“For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” I Samuel 15:21-23
Saul’s sin was that of not trusting the Master’s plan. He took things into his own hands which ultimately angered God and resulted in a missed blessing for Saul.
Obeying God fully means that we
- surrender our will for His
- trust Him completely
- recognize that He is God and we are not
This woman needs God to activate obedience within her because I am not sure that I can obey Him fully on my own.