1 Samuel 15:22
...to obey is better than sacrifice...
There was a hymn written in 1887 by John H. Sammis with the following words as the chorus; ”Trust and obey, for there’s no other way; to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey”. These words capture a timeless truth; you can’t be happy in the place of disobedience; and conversely, you will know happiness when you obey Him.
While this statement is true, it could be misinterpreted, to cause the individual to believe that God is some sort of tyrannical figure, demanding certain acts to be performed, enabling us to prove our worth, to please Him. The individual could get tied up in knots obsessing over what they do and don’t do, and the knowledge of the Father heart of God could become lost.
The words of the scripture verse that we read at the beginning can provide a real source of help and encouragement for us. The word for ’obey’ can actually be translated as ‘to listen’. Strangely, listening to God can become the lost art in the life of his followers. We can obsess over the words that we speak to Him and sometimes neglect to take time to still our hearts before Him to listen. When we listen to Him in our hearts, His word (The Bible) confirms the truth of that voice, and our circumstances often bring confirmation too.
Hearing from God brings us in to alignment with His heart and desires. Our acts that follow then spring forth, not as performances of obedience to attain that position and alignment, but rather as outpouring of passion because we have captured something of His heart within our own, and we are already secure in our position in Him. Often, His voice reassures us of that loved, cherished, and valued place, in which we are held by Him.
One other key word from today’s verse is ‘sacrifice’. Everything that has been said already is better than this! What sacrifice could we ever make, that would compare with the sacrifice that He made for us, at the cross of Calvary? It’s ALL about Him and the sacrifice that He made. That’s the rock upon which you stand today. If you ever feel that you are not enough, or that you are not doing enough; remind yourself that He is enough, and that He did it all on your behalf. The knowledge of this should liberate you into joy and freedom. You’ll find that it will propel you into purpose and joy, and best of all, in to intimacy with Him.
Am I trying to please or impress God by what I do? Am I trying to climb the ladder into more of Him, by the performance of deeds and tasks?
Thank you Lord for the cross of Jesus. Thank you for all that He accomplished for me there. Thank you that because of that I am forgiven and made whole. Thank you for the joy of knowing You and walking through life with You. Let your voice continue to to lead me on the journey.