But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NIV)
God desires for us to walk in the paths He has called us to. We are to remain obedient to His Word, staying in the lane He has directed us to walk in, until He changes our course. He gifts us, placing us where He wants us and He uses all that has occurred in our lives. He wastes nothing. When we fail to do His giftings, both the body of Christ and we ourselves will suffer. “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go” is to be our mantra – always available to do God’s bidding and giftings for His glory and our good.
We so often find ourselves desirous of other’s giftings, jumping ahead and trying them ourselves – as if seeking to drag God along in our will and our way – yet never with much success, if any – certainly not in God’s eyes. If a bird who was created to fly wanted to be a marathon runner instead – they would be a failure, right? God has equipped them to soar on wings like eagles, not to run as an ostrich. That which is the Master Commander’s business is not the Private’s, Amen? We might have the best intentions as Uzzah did when he reached out to stabilize the ark, yet God was not pleased with the zealousness of his actions because they were against His commands. Just as Saul sought to justify his actions in his lack of obedience. The thing is, God always sees the heart and the motivation behind the action and He judges rightly because of it.
Always pray to walk in obedience to God’s commands, doing what He desires for us to do. God is fully capable of shutting doors which He does not desire for us to walk through. In our verses for today we discover through the Prophet Samuel’s words that Saul did not obey the Lord’s commands, rather he sought to explain his actions by excuses. And it did not serve him well – it will never serve one well. We must ask ourselves, “Who required this of our hands?” When we remove ourselves out of the center of God’s will, we remove ourselves from His protection and it is dangerous to do what we are not called to do, or to neglect our own duties. Better to forgo the “flashy” calling (if you will) sans God’s presence than abide in our own callings with a plethora of sweet blessings and much of His Presence. Remember God only requires faithfulness in where He has placed us and not in the calling of another. The world is way too narrow for a proud heart. Man always prospers best in his own soil.
“‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. Jeremiah 7:21-24 (NIV)