Having Our Own Stubborn Way

1 Samuel 15:20-23

 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.

                Many of us are familiar with story of how Saul was given instruction from the Lord to totally annihilate the Amalekite nation and leave nothing alive because of their gross wickedness before the Lord.  Saul had a little better plan; he kept the best of the livestock and the king of the Amalekites alive to sacrifice before the Lord. 

                Has God ever given us a direction or task and somewhere along the way it got altered from His way to our way?  Oh, we probably had the best of intentions and it seemed right and good in our eyes, but it wasn’t exactly what He said to do.  Don’t we do this in everyday living when we know what the Word of God says and what the will of the Lord is in particular circumstance in life, but it doesn’t quite fit with what works best for us or where our heart is?  I’m probably a classic example; I get so task oriented and get it in my mind how it should be done that, right or wrong that’s the way I’m determined to do it.  It is stubbornness and when it is in opposition with the will of God, God says that stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  He says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.  It doesn’t matter that I have put my blinders on and that I have justified it in my own mind and thinking.  God says I’m off course.  I may have the best of intentions and may think this is even a better way than what God revealed.  Even Saul said to Samuel, “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way the Lord sent me…” Many of us are far more like Saul than what we would like to admit.  We start out in the general premise of obedience but then we alter it as it suits us and then we think, “well, I’ll just put a little more in the offering to make up for it, or I’ll do this for God to make it okay.”  This is a pretty clear example that such reasoning and justification doesn’t fly with God.  Samuel speaks the Word of the Lord to Him, “Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”  Are we carrying out the whole counsel of God in our lives or are we compromising it to appease our flesh and our own desires?  Think about all of the areas that we as the church, the bride of Christ have become like the world we live in and contrary to what God has called us to be; “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9). 

                This situation and incident with Saul was like the final straw that brought the judgement of God.  Samuel tells Saul, “Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.”  This is certainly not the Word we would like to hear at the judgement seat of Christ.  When we surrender to Christ, it is not an 80/20 split where God gets 80% and I can keep 20% for me.  He gave all for me and He requires that I give no less of myself to Him.  Today, you and I need to examine our lives and see in what ways we have become like Saul, justifying living much of our lives our way instead of His.  We will never know His highest and His best for us in this place of self-will, stubbornness and rebellion.  As we can see with Saul this is a place of offense to God and the Holy Spirit.  Let us ask Him today to speak the truth to us and really show us our hearts and where we are compromising and disobeying the His Word and the particular Word that He has spoken into our lives for our life’s direction.  “Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Blessings,

#kent

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