My cyber-friend made a new devotional available a week or so ago, The Middle: Devotions for the Journey Through, by Deidra Lawson Manning, and, I have truly enjoyed the entries. They are not lengthy but “just enough” with good scripture references at the end and some serious insights to chew on. I love when writers are personal and Deidra is. I purchased the Kindle version but the hard-copy is available too. Deidra’s TRUST & OBEY devotion made me do some pondering about obedience is better than sacrifice.
The story about King Saul and his reluctance to carry out God’s orders when conquering the Amalekites resulted in Samuel’s stern reproof in 1 Samuel 15.22 To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. Saul’s disobedience cost him his kingship and his throne. Samuel goes on to say, for rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance (pride) like the evil of idolatry.
Jesus talked about obedience too. In John 5.30, I have not ever acted, and will not in the future act, on My own. I listen to the directions of the One who sent Me and act on these divine instructions. For this reason, My judgment is always fair and never self-serving. I’m committed to pursuing God’s agenda and not My own.
So as I pondered this obedience and sacrifice thing, it dawned on me. My obedience to my heavenly Father is complete, pure, true, sincere sacrifice. The greatest sacrifice a person can make, their pride. Because when we do what God tells us to do, instead of doing it our way, but instead doing the hard thing, the uncomfortable thing, we are in essence laying our pride down in sacrifice and it becomes glorious obedience. And, obedience is the BEST thing. Not the easy thing. Not the comfortable thing. But, it IS the BEST thing.
Could I be so bold as to say,
Obedience is great sacrifice: the laying down of one’s pride and doing it God’s way.
Love to hear YOUR thoughts on this…