“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,...
“The word of the Lord came to Samuel: ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.’” -1 Samuel 15:10-11
In our home, we define obedience as “doing what you are told, when you are told, with the right heart attitude”. When one of our children is asked to take out the garbage, it’s expected that they will stop what they’re doing, take out the garage, and be grateful that they have garbage to take out. If our child takes out the trash right away, but grumbles and complains, that is determined as disobedience. In the past, our kids have said “Dad, what is the big deal? I did what you said. Why is my attitude such a big deal?”
Partial obedience is disobedience. This is what we see from Saul in 1 Samuel 15. Saul understood what the Lord commanded him to do and yet he willfully chose to disobey. Disobedience begins with deception. In Saul’s case, he was deceived into thinking that his way was better than God’s. Saul’s deception grew into an attitude of disrespect for both God’s Word and God himself! Saul’s sin, as all sin does, caused distance between him and God. Ultimately, Saul’s disobedience led to him being rejected by God.
We can learn from Saul’s failures. But we must examine our heart—do our actions cause distance between us and God?
For the believer, there is good news! God doesn’t ask us to be obedient in our own strength. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us walk in obedience. Ezekiel 36:27 reminds us, “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” As Christ-followers, we have all we need to obey God!
Father, I pray the prayer of David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Amen.
For Further Reading