There was just so much happening in last week’s post. One thing I was working to but didn’t get to was the issue of partial obedience. We looked at 1 Samuel 15:18-21 where we saw that Saul did most of what God asked him to do and not all. Did you know that partial obedience is still disobedience? Yep. It’s still considered rebellion.
1 Samuel 15:13-14 says, “When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.” I laugh every time I read this verse. Saul tried so hard to play it cool and cover his tracks, but we can’t hide our sin from God. He already knows. The only person we are deceiving is ourselves. Saul had been asked to destroy everything, but he did not. He kept some livestock and said he wanted to sacrifice it to the Lord.
Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned this from my pastors, “You can be sincere but sincerely wrong”? This is one of those moments. God told Saul to destroy it, Saul decided, “Nah, it looks alright we can keep it and sacrifice it to God.” Really, Saul? In that moment he rebelled against God because he wilfully disobeyed God. His motives were irrelevant. Whether he genuinely wanted to offer the animals up as sacrifices or not does not matter. God asked him to do something and he thought he knew better.
We can read about Saul and shake our heads at him, but we too can be like that with God. God says bring the full tithes and offerings into the storehouse in Malachi 3. If we decide, “Meh a tenth of everything in this economy is a bit much. I’ll be generous with my offerings. Put an extra $5 in there.” That’s still disobedience. Whatever area where God has told us what He requires of us, if we do a half measure, we are in disobedience.
I pray that this week we ask God to show us areas where we are sincere but sincerely wrong. Areas where we are not fully trusting God. Areas where our faith is misplaced. Because if we are not putting our faith in God, it goes somewhere else. It doesn’t just disappear. If you are not trusting in God you are trusting in something else. Meaning, you are putting something else above and before God. This is what the bible calls idolatry. If we are trusting in our ability to save and have a nest egg instead of God providing for us when we obey Him, our idol is our nest egg or savings account.
If we have more faith in that boyfriend always being there for us and we make decisions that compromise what we know God requires of us, we are trusting in that man more than God’s promise never to leave nor forsake us. Last week we saw that even Gideon fell into idolatry. We don’t know how or where his heart turned from God but at some point something other than God became more important to him.
Let this not be our story, let us be a people who love God with all we have and put Him first in everything.
Love and blessings,
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