God has given us multiple opportunities to share with people at churches and small groups lately. This past Saturday I got to share at our contemporary worship service at our church. I shared a message from 1 Samuel 15 that God has used in my life to challenge me. I have shared before that God has really shown me that obedience is the key to pleasing God and not sacrifice.
In the passage in 1 Samuel, God told Saul to completely destroy the Amelekites. Saul spared the King and allowed the soldiers to bring back the best sheep and cattle. When Samuel asks Saul why he could hear sheep and cattle, Saul claims they just brought them back to sacrifice them to God. Samuel explains that God said to destroy them and not bring them back. God wanted the obedience not the evidence of disobedience to become the objects of sacrifice.
It is the same way in our lives. God tells us to do something and we end up doing almost what God wants us to do and then claiming to have been obedient. The very things that we are doing, that we call a "sacrifice" of service to God are actual the evidence of our disobedience.
If God tells you to go on a mission trip, giving the money for someone else to go is disobedient and not pleasing to God.
If God is calling you into the ministry as a pastor or other full time minister, then teaching Sunday School, and being a deacon, or working with the youth- those are all evidence of disobedience and not pleasing to God. No matter how "good" the acts are on their own, if it is not what God led you to do...it is disobedience and not pleasing to God.
Those very acts become the sheep and cattle lowing and bleeting in the background of lives drowning out our prayers and deminishing the effectiveness of our testimony because it is not what God has planned for us.
Don't settle for less than God's perfect plan. Give it all to God and experience the fullness He has for your life.
If this entry seems redundant from previous ones, it is because this is where God has me right now. It is the point of liberation for me and my family and I want it to be for you as well.
Check out the video of Logan and Philip in California. We are getting things ready for the move. We can almost smell the burning trash and fried plantains as we speak!