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Pray and Obey

All too often in life, without realizing it, we lean unto our own understanding.(Prov. 3:5) Now I am not referring to those obvious moments when we just strike out on our own, but rather those times when we think we are doing God's will but in fact are only paying Him tribute in our actions.

     And what is the harm in "not coming up to the mark" so to speak in doing all of God's will for our lives? After all we are but human... Is it such a big deal not to pay attention to all of God's will for our lives?

     Consider this: It is impossible to please God without obeying His word. His Word says so when It tells us it is impossible to please Him without faith.(Heb. 11:6) And what does this have to do with following His instruction and not ours? Everything. God does not need our help being God!

The Lesson of I Samuel 15

This Chapter starts out with the Word of God from the prophet Samuel to Saul;

(1) Then Samuel said to Saul, "The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the Lord.

The operative word in this verse is listen.

Then in verse (3):
'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him...'

Notice God's instruction, Saul was to destroy all that Amalek had and he was not to be spared.
But what does Saul do?

(9) But Saul and the people spared Agag (king of the Amalekites) 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.

And what was God's reply to Saul through Samuel?

(16) Then Samuel said to Saul, "Wait, and let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night..."
(19) "Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord?..."

And Saul tried to rationalize his actions and said;

(21) "But the people took some of the spoil (notice he said some), sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal."

     Saul was concerned that God's plan was insufficient, so he took it upon himself to bless himself and his people.

Pray and Obey

Let's listen to Samuel's reply and Saul's reaction and realization;

(22) And 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.
(23) "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 rejected you from being king."
(24) Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.

Yes, Saul acted out of fear, the opposite of faith in God, and God called it idolatry. Idolatry! Why? Because he chose himself as the highest council over God, predicated on fear not faith and trust in God's plans.

      Yes, once you have prayed and heard from God, then obey completely to the letter His instruction to you, regardless of the circumstance, least you too fall into the same sin as Saul - the sin of idolatry through disobedience. The idolatry of following your plans with the thought that God's are insufficient, thus unknowingly participating in self-worship!

     For it is His one, great, divine, perfect plan that matters, and only He can direct and orchestrate us in it through His will, something we could never do.

So the next time you are at a crossroads in life and indeed every day, just pray and obey!

In His Service

Don Judd

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