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…
Peggy Hoefl says
Very interesting Sister. So much of this goes with the GRACE we have been talking about. Can a person just be “saved”? Can we continue in sin? What sin is acceptable in this day and age? Can we stop being legalistic? Do we need to be holy? Do we have to obey the old testament rules? [Gosh I hope not!] What are we to do? The 2 new commandments the LORD gave…is that enough? Love the Lord your God with all your heart? Love your neighbor as yourself? Did HE really mean there were only 2? Is John 3:16 truth? Or do we add to it? Take the verse and then add the BUT you need to do this or that and not do this or that.
Bottomline? Grace is amazing, grace is what we get because Christ loves and loved us so much He was willing to take all our sins, past, present and future and take the penalty. Uh-oh…do we believe that or not?
I think the only real answer will be when we are sitting on our marble front porches, with our barefeet on the railing, and Jesus is sitting there with us and He will give us the answer or just laugh at us and say I LOVE YOU, Don’t you get it!?!
Kit Lawrence says
It is so easy to talk about other things like going to the lake, hiking up that favorite mountain trail or taking the grand kids to the pool. Easy stuff. But this stuff…these truths are not easy. They are hard. Hard because they go against the very center of who we (were). Even more difficult than talking is the doing.It would seem that these are hard truths that we can only attempt to live moment by moment, day by day. Knowing to do good, do right, when everything in us wants to strike back or walk away. O God, our Master, help us with this great task and help us do it gladly that you will be honored and we will be at peace with ourselves and You.
I read this yesterday and kept it “up” to read again this morning. It is deep to me. *smile* But, I sure keyed in on ” And, obedience is the BEST thing. Not the easy thing. Not the comfortable thing. But, it IS the BEST thing.”
Years ago I bemoaned the fact that the path I was walking seemed “lonely”…and God really spoke to my heart and assured me of His presence and that the path would indeed be that way at times.
The more obedient we are to God and His Word the less in step with the world we are and………………………………I appreciate what you wrote, Susan, as always!
ali battersby says
I enjoyed everyone’s comments and insights. I loved Peggy’s vision of sitting on the front porch, Jesus laughing, and saying I LOVE YOU!
It sounds like surrender to me -abandoning myself to God’s providence. Something I have to work on on a daily basis. The ego sure tries to get
in the way! I can’t do it by myself but can only attempt to present myself to God , trying to NOT have an agenda, but as empty of myself as possible, so that there is some room for him to come in and do for me what I cannot do for myself. I pray for the faith to truly surrender and abandon myself to His providence because I believe the Holy Spirit will then guide me to flow in his will.
Well done , Ladies. All these answers are truly amazing. I would love to just copy them and put them in my Bible. What great writers you are.
Thank you, for I shall be pondering on them all. ♥
I love what everyone wrote and it inspires me when readers share how they feel about a subject or offer their own viewpoint. LOVE THAT!