“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.” 1 Samuel 15:22
There are some areas of my life that are currently in a state of flux and transition. Things that were sure and stable have become unstable and iffy. And because of these changes, I came to a crossroads where I needed to make some major decisions.
So, as all Christians do (or should do), I began to pray and ask God for direction. And just as He promised in 1 John 5:14-15, he began to respond and answer my petitions. The first time I heard the answer regarding one specific situation, my response was “ummm…really?” That answer was NOT AT ALL what I was expecting, and it wasn’t something that I had a desire to do! So I proceeded to ignore that answer and kept praying.
Well, God is certainly a persistent God! As I continued to pray, the same answer kept coming, but from different sources…multiple people who had not spoken with one another, passage of Scripture, and just a still, small voice that continued to speak to me. These different sources served as confirmation of the original message, but also reminded me that God will not back down when I say no! I will admit, I waited a few months before heeding the voice of the Lord, but finally I stepped forward in obedience.
Ponder this quote from Henry Blackaby, author of several works, including Experiencing God:
The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to equip you for what you’re not going to do, so if you’re in rebellion against Jesus and refusing His right to be Lord, He doesn’t need to send the Holy Spirit to equip you for service. And, tragically, you miss out on the joy that He brings.
So let the Holy Spirit deal with anything that’s keeping you from obeying Christ
As hard as it is to admit, for that time I did not obey the voice of God I was in rebellion! Listen to what Samuel said to Saul when confronting him about his disobedience:
“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.”
Witchcraft??? Wow! Ok, God, I hear you! The good news is, once I put aside my will and took that step of obedience (and it was a hard one for me), I immediately felt a sense of contentment and peace. I knew this was what God wanted and I began to rest in Him, knowing that He controls the outcome of my obedience. Even though I have no idea what God is going to do as a result of this leap of faith, I’m trusting that He knows best (and He does, since He’s omniscient, and His ways and thoughts are higher than mine).
So, I’ve asked God to forgive me for my rebellious spirit, and I’m moving forward. And I’m waiting in great expectation for what God is going to do in my life. Stay tuned…I sure am!