“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” – 1Samuel 15:22
Until yesterday, it had been a long time since I’ve written a post here on The Celebration…a VERY long time. After writing yesterday, I decided to look back to see exactly how long it had been. Other than my single, Superbowl-inspired post from last year (GO Seahawks!), the last new post that I wrote was in February, 2012. It was a beautiful post called “Be Still” (read it here) featuring the same verse I mentioned yesterday: “Be still and know that I AM GOD” ~ Psalm 46:10.
I am sure you have heard it said, “When you are struggling, go back to the last thing God spoke to you.” More often than not, the struggle has come from our own lack of response to the words He has already spoken in our hearts. As I reread the post from two years ago, I’m marked by how the words speak to me now. They are, in fact, exactly what I need to hear in this moment.
But hearing is not enough. True, faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), but faith without corresponding action is dead (James 2:20). I heard what the Lord said to me two years ago, but the proof that I didn’t obey His words to me can easily be found in my post from yesterday. What happened?
I got busy “working at” the things that needed to be done – ministry, family, job. I have worked, and worked and worked, but have felt all the while like I was running in place. I became more weary, more discouraged, more distant…why? I was busy sacrificing and not busy obeying. I was doing the things I thought I should do, instead of going back to exactly what the Lord told me and attending to those words first. In doing so, I have essentially made my own way, just like Saul did in 1 Samuel 15 when he did a part of what God told him to do and then winged it the rest of the way. It cost him the Kingdom.
If you find yourself out of touch with God, don’t busy yourself with doing things that seem good; go back to the last thing He said to you and do THAT. Obedience is far better than sacrifice.
~by Linda Frederick