It is very wise to establish the purpose of this column before going further; to draw people closer to God and to establish His kingdom here. The best any Christian can do is to try all within their means to help other brethren in faith in working their salvation to perfection. So, I welcome you to this column where we all try to feed on the ‘Word of the Word.’
Back to the topic of the day, total obedience. Obedience in simple terms has to do with doing the right thing at the right time without ulterior motive. May it be said at this juncture that ‘half-obedience’ in Christendom is a ‘no obedience’ at all, the Saul experience with the instructions of God summarises this concept. One then may be forced to ask, why then the use of ‘total’ as an adjective in the topic above. The use of the adjective ‘total’ is only to achieve emphasis that there is no partial obedience when it comes to Kingdom issues.
Absolute obedience to God is the key to success and happiness, (I Samuel 15:9-11). In the above passage, the verse 11 states that “I
am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions” (NIV). The question is if the source of one’s happiness and hope is embittered and sad, what will be the lot of the person? The fact is that the sun cannot be shining brightly while the planet earth experiences cold, the actions must be complementing to each other. Surely in the quoted verse above, God registers His sorrow for entrusting the kingship of Israel into the hands of Saul. May I ask, has God committed anything into your hands and you’ve made Him embittered through that commitment? The best action for you to take now is to ask for the mercy of God. Because God was ‘grieved’, Saul became an embodiment of sorrow, rejection and failure.
Any man that desires to obey God must remove every ‘but’ from his life. The word ‘but’ is a question mark of our obedience to God’s instructions. The verse 9(a) of our text states that “But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves….” The italicised word above shows that Saul had done every other thing as instructed by God except those listed. The main cause of this disobedience was greed! He wanted to keep the best of the property of the Amalekites to h
imself. Many of us in today’s word have also used the avenue of God-given assignments to accrue illicit wealth to ourselves. The Lord is grieved for this! You don’t need to sadden God for counting you worthy of overseeing such an assignment. The good news is; mercy still flows for you.
The greatness of Saul and his lineage was cut off because he disobeyed God’s instruction. May it be echoed at this point that there is no alternative to obedience of His words. When Samuel approached Saul for his act of disobedience, he wanted to deceive Samuel that those items were kept for God, (vs 15). Dear minister of God, what are those investments you’ve made with His name that He never supported? Haven’t you accrued wealth to yourself using the platform of ‘sacrifice’? Please, remember the Saul experience!
Key to Obedience
Love of God. This is the only fundamental key to walking with God. According to John 14: 23 Jesus replied “if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (NIV). It saddens one that even some so-called ministers of the Gospel do not love Him. For a man one loves, one can go to any extent to satisfy them. People should therefore endeavour to please God if our confession of our love for Him is not just lip-service.
Barriers to Obedience
Basically, there are two major barriers to obedience;
Pride (2 Chronicles 7:14) It all starts from the place of prayers. Many a Christian does not ask for humility again in prayers, in fact they want to tell God they know His words than He does. God hates show-offs in praying.
Selfish desires (Acts 5:1-2). The story of Ananias and Sapphira shows in apt terms what greed means. While others were faithful about donating their possession to the growth of the church, Ananias and his wife wanted to take in the credit of sacrifice, yet, their selfish-desires were not tamed. Also, Saul fits in to this scenario.
Consequences of Disobedience
Long suffering/deadlock: Saul suffered for the remaining part of his life after disobeying God. Disobedience only brings suffering, stagnation, deadlock and redundancy. The common saying in Christendom is that until the last instruction is obeyed, God won’t give another one.
Death: This is the ultimate price of disobedience. Ananias and Sapphira paid with their lives. Also, many people have been victims of untimely death due to disobedience.
Dear one, there is no alternative to obedience. God desires nothing but obedience from you in all your activities to Him on earth.
OKE, Babawale Simon is a member of Livingspring Chapel International, he worships at Dominion City, the church’s headquarters at Ibadan.