I Sam. 15:15, 22-23 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else”…..But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD, your burnt offerings or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
God does not play around. He has a purpose for the things He says. And what He says, He means. Obedience is a heart attitude. It is submitting to the Lord and doing what we know God tells us to do.
God had told Saul through Samuel that he was to go to war against the Amalekites and completely destroy them. Saul only partially obeyed God. In reality he didn’t obey Him at all because a little disobedience is the same as a total disobedience. The Lord does not let us get away with doing what we want to do while serving Him. It’s God’s way or no way.
No matter our intentions, if we don’t obey God it doesn’t matter. No matter what we give to the Lord or do for Him, if our heart is not right when doing them, it is not pleasing to the Lord. Jesus said that if we truly love Him we will obey Him.
We know what the Lord wants us to do by faithfully spending time alone with Him in His Word and in prayer. We approach Him with a desire to know what He wants us to do. We don’t take lightly what He says and skim over it. We take God’s Word to heart and apply it to our lives. We don’t select what we want to do and expect it to be alright with God. He holds us accountable for all of His Word spoken to us.
The sobering truth is that if we, like Saul, reject God’s Word and do what we want to do, God will reject us. What we do indicates the condition of our heart. Those who love the Lord will obey Him. Sure, there are things in the Word that we may find difficult to do or that we don’t want to do, but that does not give us license to not do them.