1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Who would have thought that doing things for the Lord would get you in trouble? Saul certainly found out the hard way. The challenge for Saul was that he did for the Lord what the Lord never asked him to do; and did not do for the Lord what the Lord had asked him to do. Obedience is not the process of finding the best way to please God. Instead, obedience is simply following the Lord’s word.
Burnt offerings and sacrifices were never meant to show that the people kept their end of the bargain. However, they were meant to show that the people would rather follow the voice of the Lord than something else. One of the ways you can test if you are walking in obedience is to find the passage of Scripture that supports that action (in context of course). If there is no Scripture, repent, because you are going the wrong way.
The more we get into God’s word, the better equipped we will be to know how to live. Charles Spurgeon notes, “He that obeys God, trusts God, and he that trusts God, obeys God[1].”
Will you walk in obedience today, or will you do what you think will please the Lord?
[1] Elliot Ritzema, ed., 300 Quotations for Preachers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).