In I Samuel 15, Saul is tasked with wiping out the Amalekites. No animal, child, woman or man is to be left standing. The king of Israel goes out and half-way completes the order that is given to him. He takes the king of the Amalekites, Agag, prisoner and takes the prime livestock as a sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel confronts Saul. The mighty king of Israel starts making excuses. “It’s the people’s fault!” Samuel tells King Saul that “obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken better than the fattening of rams.”
This portion of Scripture has been rolling over and over in my mind since Monday night. We will sometimes get a word from the Lord, but there is always a cost. Sometimes, if it is something that we don’t care for anymore, we gladly let it go. “Bon voyage!” However, when it is something that we have invested in, such as my blog, then it becomes a bitter pill to swallow. “I will, but….” That conjunction wipes out all the previous words. For example, I owned a gaming console and television. One morning at church the Lord spoke to me and said that I needed to get rid of both and do “x” with the money. I left church that morning unsure of what to do. Did I hear from the Lord? Finally, I prayed and told God if it was His will then help me sell it with no issues. About an hour later, I had sold these items. I took the money and did what the Lord told me to do.
A couple of months later, I bought another console. Then I sold it again, and months went by and I continued to buy and sell consoles. Finally, I relinquished my grip on the gaming consoles and my life has been better for it. My pastor often quotes the Scripture that says to “lay aside all weights and sin that doth so easily beset us.” I am not saying that gaming consoles are bad, but in my experience, I could not control myself. Therefore, it was a weight that became a sin. I had to let it go, and when I did God blessed me.
Obedience is the game changer for the Christian. The devil will never tell you to let go of things that hinder you. However, he will give you every reason why you should not let go of the things that God wants you to relinquish or even to worship. Some of the reasons include but is not limited to: “People are watching! They will think you are doing it to show off for the evangelist. Do you have any idea how dumb you will look if you leap for joy? Run the aisle if you want to fat boy, you will die if you try it! What does the pastor know? What he doesn’t know won’t hurt you!”
There is a time and a place for sacrifice, but we should never sacrifice when God tells us to do something else. When Samuel was finished chastising Saul for his disobedience, he hacked Agag to pieces. While praying, this thought occurred to me: “Sin should never be embraced, it should be rooted out and completely destroyed.” If the Lord tells you “not right now” it is not the same answer as “no.” Perhaps, it is a matter of timing or positioning. Either way, if the Lord has sent a word to us, we should accept it. Acceptance of the word should be followed with implementing the word into our lives. We should not only hear the word but do what the word instructs us to do. If we do this, we will be successful in our walk with God.