Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obedience is Better Than Sacrifice

Breakfast with Jesus @ Starbucks.

Today's menu: Bacon and egg frittata and a tall black coffee.

Food for thought from Pastor Kong Hee's daily devotional (read the full devotion here).

Better Than Sacrifice

16 JUN 2009

So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 1 Chronicles 10:13

Partial obedience is the most dangerous form of disobedience. Like Saul, when you obey partially, you will always try to justify your own actions (1 Sam. 15:9, 19- 21).What God wants is your complete obedience instead of your best sacrifice. There are two types of believers: (a) The immature believer is like a slave that needs to be told all the time what to do. (b) The mature believer is like a son who understands the heart of God (Gal. 4:6-7). “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are [the mature] sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).

A spiritually immature person is childish. King Saul was an immature person. Like a child, he had no control over his moods or emotions. He was impatient and presumptuously offered a burnt offering to God (1 Sam. 13:8-9). Out of anger, he made a rash oath that put his entire army under bondage and weakened the morale of his soldiers (1 Sam. 14:24). He disobeyed God’s command and did not destroy the Amalekites completely. As a result, Saul lost his entire kingdom and died a tragic death.

How terrifying. How often do I hear from God and before I can finish thanking Him for the word He has given me, I'm already bargaining with Him about how I'm going to do His will.

"Can I give 50% first then when I get that cheque I'll give the rest?"

"I will obey! Just not this year. Next year can?"

"Yes I want to buy the tissue packets from that celebral palsy guy on the street — just that I'm rushing. I'll do it when I come back down okay?"

That's totally not obedience at all. It's like the two brothers — one says no when his father asks him to do something, yet later, he goes and does it. The other brother says okay I'll do it, but never does. The second is worse — I know, because my kids do exactly the same thing to me!

Sometimes I get so sick of this fleshly body I'm in (haha yes the fleshY body I'm in too, which refuses to be pummeled into shape ... more cardio!). I can absolutely identify with Paul when he said "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Rom 7:15). Can I just add: "Siannnnn!"

Daily, I must crucify my old man on that cross. One cell leader once said, "You take that old man, and you HAMMER those nails through him. Don't let him off that cross. Crucify him!" Violent, but needed. I realise now that that is the only way Pastor Kong does it — if he at any point gave in to his human whims and fancies, or bargained with God, there is no way he could have the anointing he does. He is uncompromising in his obedience — wow, just how FAR away am I from that!

Think about it — if not for total obedience to God, many of the world's greatest preachers and evangelists could not have changed this world. Mother Teresa would never have given up everything to go to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta to feed, care for, clothe, love them. John Sung would never have left the comfort of Ohio to go and bring God's word to countless Chinese in Taiwan and China. Often, what God calls us to do defies "human logic" — give money to someone when you hardly have any left for yourself; place your hands on someone dying of cancer and declaring she is healed.

Will I obey?
I may not succeed everytime, but I would be the world's biggest fool if I did not try.
With each time that I try, I grow in faith. Each time I obey in faith, and God meets me at that point - I grow a couple of inches spiritually.

How many people get to do that? I'm grateful for the privilege. God, give me grace to obey fully, each and every time, no matter what my eyes and my heart tell me.


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