To obey is better than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22b ESV
This message To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice was spoken by Samuel to Saul after Saul had not listened to God concerning how to conduct the battle with Amalek. (1 Samuel 15: 1- 21) Saul had listened to the people (vs 23-26) instead of God’s instruction, and it cost him dearly. He was rejected by God as king over Israel. The cost of not obeying God, as a Christian, is expensive and carries a cost the Christian does not want to pay. How can and do we obey God in our day when we don’t have a Samuel who hears directly from God and then instructs us how to proceed? Answer….. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and we have the Bible which is God’s word to and for us. Let us therefore…..
Set our mind on the Spirit:
For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 ESV
If you want to live to obey, then you must focus on what is important. When the Spirit of God controls you, you will reflect often upon God. You will grow in your love for Him and love what God loves. The world and the things of the world will become less important to you for they will not be the desire of your heart. God, however will become very important to you and the desire to please him will grow stronger in your life. This desire will not simply be an acquaintance relationship with him but a longing to know him as Lord of your life. When this becomes your mind’s focus, the desire to obey will become a priority in your life.
Repent and confess sin:
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51: 16-17 ESV
A heart that is broken before God is a person / heart that acknowledges their disobedience of God. This heart will desire to make right whatever wrong it has done in order to live obediently before God. The word of God is clear… if we repent and confess our sin, he will forgive us our sin. (I John 1:9 & to those who do not know him Act 2:38-38) Repentance is turning from doing what is displeasing to God, and doing on purpose what is pleasing to God.
Note the last three words….what pleases God. When a person tries to please God by doing what they deem to be good works (sacrifice) to appease God for their sin of disobedience ……they will fail. The reason for God’s displeasure is that there are no works done as a sacrifice for sin that will please him…. period. The sacrifice for all sin was completed by Jesus on the cross, and to try to offer any other type of sacrifice is to attempt to bargain with God. If you sin with no remorse, you are not close to God nor do you love God with a love that pleases him. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with and will be in you. John 14:15-17 ESV
Walk in the Spirit:
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, WHO WALK NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH BUT ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. Romans 8: 3- 4 ESV
As stated above, the Bible is God’s word to us today and we know what we know because of his word the Bible….. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV ………. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2: 4-6 ESV ……
One way to walkin the Spirit is to learn and know the word of God and live it on purpose. Jesus showed us how to walk in the Spirit, and we should walk as he walked for he walked with the focus of doing this Fathers will. And being in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross. Philippians 2:8 ESV
Make sure you are in Christ and by this I mean… know you are a Christian. Not in name only, but know you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Do not mistake doing works with being redeemed. The first and most important step in obeying is to believe. The greatest work you will ever do will be to believe. (John 6:29) Followed by the confessing of your sins, and then as a disciple of Jesus, follow him. Your belief will cause you to obey, and this will please God; for you will have received the Holy Spirit and will be walking in the Spirit.
As a follower of Jesus, know he walked as he would want you to live… OBEDIENT. To follow someone means to walk where they have walked, or in the case of Jesus, walk in life as he taught us to live. In short, as I have said many times….. LIVE ON PURPOSE FOR GOD!! This is to obey him and desire to please him with your whole life.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David