Obey God

…”Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV)In this passage the Lord gave Saul very specific instructions on what to do when he attacked the city of Amalek, but Saul spared the king and kept the best of the livestock, thus disobeying God. When Samuel asked him why he had not done as the Lord commanded, he replied that he’d saved the fine livestock to sacrifice to God. Verse 22 was Samuel’s response. God wanted obedience, not sacrifice. Obedience in itself is a form of reverence and worship to God, but rebellion, verse 23 says, is “as the sin of witchcraft.” For Saul’s transgression, God rejected Saul’s kingship.God’s call to full-time ministry in 2006 was very clear to me, and even though I had plenty to say about that, His command eventually overrode every one of my objections. My husband was even on His side! I was hesitant and downright fearful at the onset; then in the following year, I watched Him grow the ministry and provide things in amazing ways I could never have imagined. But I slowly allowed things to take my focus off of God. Things like fear, worry, and how some people were describing my labor in ministry as “not working” because I had no corporate position. I began looking at things we didn’t have, seeing obstacles on every side, and, like Peter on the water, once I took my eyes off of Jesus, I began to sink.I started doing less and less ministry and more and more job hunting. God never gave me peace about it, but I felt the sacrifice of my calling was necessary to help my family. I eventually took a job that, from the first day, caused me extreme physical pain to the point that I lost the ability to climb stairs, suffered extreme joint pain, and even struggled just to walk. No medication I took eased the pain. Ministry nearly shut down altogether: I just didn’t enough time or mental resilience. I cried out to God asking why I’d had to leave the ministry I loved so dearly only to suffer so much trying to do “what was right.”It was then that the Lord reminded me that He’d never called me to do it in the first place! I’d done it on my own. I was trying to meet needs He’d promised to meet. I was trying to please people who meant well, but were not there when He gave me my divine command. My pain and suffering were a result of my disobedience. My husband and I decided that I would leave the job and return to full-time ministry, where God had told me to be all along.The Lord may have impressed it upon your heart to start a business, become involved in a ministry at your church, go back to school, make amends in a broken relationship, or any number of frightening or uncomfortable things. Whatever God has told you to do, you must do.You may feel unworthy or unqualified. That’s okay. We all are in one way or another. It’s not us making the thing happen in the first place. It’s God working in us. He who clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air will also meet your needs as you walk in obedience to Him.People will talk. They talked about Noah, Moses, and Jesus Himself, but they knew their purpose, and despite everything, they did the Father’s will. God used Noah to ensure that all living things would not be utterly destroyed from the flood, He used Moses to end four hundred years of slavery for the children of Israel, and because of Jesus, the whole world can receive the free gift of salvation. So if they talk about you, well, you’re in good company.Obey God. Obey God. Obey God.Father, forgive me for sometimes doing things that seem good, but are not what You told me to do. Regardless of my intentions, not doing what You said is called “disobedience.” Give me the sense to just obey You. You only want what accomplishes my good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.