Obedience — Still the Champ

The passage of scripture that contains the phrase “Obedience is better than sacrifice” is found in I Samuel 15. Its context is where Samuel confronts Saul about his less than total obedience to God’s command. Saul was to completely destroy the Amalekites including people and animals. Instead, he spared their king and kept their best livestock for himself. When he runs into Samuel, Saul boasts about how he has obeyed God’s words. Samuel completely busts Saul by asking “Then what’s this bleating of sheep I hear in my ears?” 

With a nod toward Saul’s example of attempting to convince himself and Samuel that he had obeyed God, I decided to look at my own life to see where I may have confused obedience and sacrifice. What did I learn? 

I sacrifice by going to church for a couple of hours on Sunday.
I obey by living Christ’s example through the week. 

I sacrifice by giving my tithe to the church.
I obey by understanding everything I own came from God and by asking him how it should be used. 

I sacrifice by volunteering where I am needed.
I obey by living the mission Christ gave me. 

Most of all I learned sacrifice is launching away from the safety of the shore, while obedience is stepping out of the safety of the boat. 

Sometimes I hear the bleating of sheep in my own ears. It’s the sound of an area of my life I’ve not sacrificed to God. When I hear that familiar ring, I know God is calling me to give more of myself to him, to obey rather than merely sacrifice. I’ve still got a lot of work to do on that. 

How about you? Hear anything? 

Live The Mission,
Greg

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