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Obedience – the Highest Call

1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

In this passage, the prophet Samuel is rebuking King Saul.  He had disobeyed a direct command of God for “religious” reasons.  Saul said that he was going to give God a sacrifice instead.  In his rebuke, Samuel gives us a principle that we would do well to remember.

Obedience to God is always better than any sacrifice we can make.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re putting money in an offering plate or offering up a “sacrifice of praise.”  Obedience trumps sacrifice every time.

The reason is that sacrifice can be manipulated.  It can be motivated by self-will or arrogance.  Obedience, on the other hand, honors God by putting Him directly in the center of what we’re doing.  Usually, total obedience to God can only be accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  Not only is God the focus, but He is also the One who strengthens us.

A good example of this is Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.  As He cried out to God He said, “If it is Your will, take this cup [dying on the cross] from me.”  Then He told the Father that it was not His own will that was important, but the Father’s.  The Lord’s prayer that day was in accordance with the principle of Samuel.  What Jesus wanted didn’t matter – it was the Father’s will that was supreme.

Our “cup” and God’s will are two totally different things until we allow the Lord to merge them.  Our highest goal should be to know God’s will and obey it.  More than any other part of our lives, this is our highest call.

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Proverb – Disgrace or Wisdom?

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

We all want to be a success.  Solomon, who wrote these nuggets of wisdom, understood what it took to be successful.  He gives us advice that is timeless – as true today as it was the day it was written.

In this proverb, he gives us two contrasting truths, one negative and one positive.  The first deals with pride.  Please understand, we all need a healthy amount of pride to be able to function correctly.  Taking pride in your work is what helps you to advance.  This is not the pride he is talking about here.

The pride that hurts me is the view that I’m better than everybody else.  I guess it could best be described as arrogance.  The rejection of any help from others is a symptom of this condition.  After all, why would we need help from this rabble – they all need our help.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it leads to disgrace.  What that word literally means is that your opinion is largely ignored.  Have you ever noticed that people who act like they know everything, are rarely gone to for advice.  Solomon tells us that quickest way to being ignored is through arrogance.

Humility is just the opposite.  It understands that there are people you need to go to for advice and help along the way.  There are those who know more than you on certain subjects.  As you listen to them and learn from their experience, you start to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

Eventually, people start seeing those same qualities in you.  They come to you for advice.  Humility is the road to advancement in the kingdom of God.

We all have the choice.  Do we want disgrace or wisdom?  The road we take determines our destination.  If you want to be a person who influences the lives of others, then choose the path that leads through humility – it reaps the best rewards.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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