Making God Smile
1 Samuel 15:11, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from Me and has not carried out My instructions.” 1 Samuel 15:22, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
Have you ever started strong and then faded fast? Maybe you joined a gym and worked out every day – for a week – and then never returned. Or, you began a school project with great intentions and then ended up cutting corners to get it done at the last minute. You may have even committed to parenting your kids consistently and then gave in because you were too tired to fight the battle. It happens to the best of us.In this passage, King Saul boldly obeyed God and led the Israelites into battle against the Amalekites. He took a step of faith and God came through! But then, He decided to disobey God by keeping the best animals for himself. His excuse? Rather than killing them, he saved them to offer as a sacrifice to God. Even if he meant well, he still disobeyed. And, God was grieved. It saddened His heart because partial obedience is disobedience. Starting strong doesn’t matter if we don’t finish strong.When we choose our way instead of God’s way – even with good intentions – we are choosing disobedience. He wants our obedience from beginning to end, from the first to the last. He wants us to flourish. He wants us to walk in the light of His glory. This means we can’t live half in and half out of God’s will. We can’t stand in partial darkness and expect to be blessed by the Light.Let’s all live in a way that makes God smile, not part of the time, but all the time! Because total obedience leads to total blessing!
Today, meditate on the phrase "partial obedience is disobedience." Replay it in your head throughout the day, and ask God to remind you of any areas where you need to focus on finishing strong.
Dear Lord, I want to obey You completely. Bring to mind any truths that I need to recognize and help me to address any areas of "partial disobedience" that are keeping me from living out Your best. In Jesus' name, Amen.