What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Obedience or Sacrifice~Which Will it Be?" Recycled

Good Morning Friends...I've been a little out of sync here lately when it comes to writing and posting...it's been too hot and dry to sit in the Secret Garden...mostly I've been watering flowers and trying to keep them living...and I've neglected my own thirst for the Living Water that only time spent  alone with Christ can quench.  So here it is Sunday morning, and I'm feeling dry and empty.  So I went back to the "well"...prayed the Lord would refill my cup to overflowing and help me to be able to focus my thoughts and heart on Him and Him alone.  Easter is coming in a couple of weeks, and my heart needs to be prepared for all of the sorrow mixed with joy of these events, as we walk through the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus, and up onto the cross on Calvary...as we remember His death and sacrifice for our sins...MY sins...and then as we rejoice with Mary and the Disciples at the Empty Tomb...yes...my heart needs to be prepared.

I was searching back through some of my old posts and came across this one that was originally posted here in 2012, for what was then called "Random Journal Day"...a day when we open up our old journals and post something randomly chosen...so that is what this is, and it was from my journal back in 2002.  As I re-read what was written here, I was reminded that "obedience is better than sacrifice"...and perhaps that is where I need to return...back to "obedience".

From My Journal, Written on Tuesday, January 22, 2002
"It would appear that I am home "sick" a lot, because that seems to be the only time I can find the time to write!  I am home from work today with a bad cold or sinus infection.  It is a gray, cloudy day, but doesn't seem to be too cold.  (We live in Florida, so I'm sure it wasn't too cold, even in January)

I have been thinking about yesterday's devotional reading from I Samuel 15:22-23 ~
"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?   Behold, to obey  is better than sacrifce, and to heed than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king."

Although this was directed to King Saul, it has application for us today.  I know that I must obey the voice of the Lord in all things~in every area of my life~regardless of what sacrifices may have to be made. 

Sometimes it is easier to say, "But Lord, look at all I've done for you~And look at the sacrifices I've already made to serve You."   And God says, "Yes, child, I know you have been faithful in many things~but you must continue to obey Me and trust Me in ALL ways.  Don't give in to the "martyr" syndrome.  Keep your eyes fixed on ME, Jesus, the Author and finisher of your faith...
"Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:2

A song I am listening to while I write is "Where There is Faith": 
"Where There is Faith" by 4Him (click on this link for a video of this song)

"I believe in faithfulness
I believe in giving up myself
for someone else;
I believe in peace and love,
I believe in honesty and trust;
But it's not enough~

For all that I believe
may never change the
way it is,
Unless I believe that
Jesus lives~

Where there is faith
there is a voice calling
'Keep walking,
You're not alone in this world~
Where there is faith~
There is a peace like a
child sleeping~
Hope everlasting
in Him Who is able to
bear every burden,
to heal every hurt
in my heart~
It's a wonderful, powerful place,
Where there is faith."

Christ's bequest of peace:
"Peace I leave with you~My peace I give to you~ Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  John 14:27

Isaiah 26:3-4 says:

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength."

Back to the present:  I guess that message must have helped, because I didn't write for quite a while after that...life became very busy.  God opened a new window of opportunity, and we were soon called to obey  and move to another place to serve the Lord after a time of rest and recuperation from some difficult things we were going through during that time.  God restored my sense of peace and gave me the faith to keep going in the face of some very hard obstacles.  That doesn't mean that life became perfect and I never had any more struggles with obedience or trust...no, that seems to continue in cycles...but thankfully God continues to meet me in those hard places and carries me through.  He keeps calling to me to
"Keep walking...you're not alone in this world...where there is faith..."  (4Him)

So what about you?  Have you found that it is better to obey than to sacrifice?  

Postscript:  In writing a response to one of my blogger friend's comments (see Modern Day Disciple below) I added these thoughts that I felt needed to be added to the body of this post:

Yes, it is during those times of trial and testing that I discovered the riches of God's grace, mercy, and love. I also found out that it IS truly better to obey than to sacrifice...oftentimes our "sacrifices" make us feel self-righteous and holier than thou. But when we humble ourselves and OBEY God's word and His leading in our lives, our sacrifices seem very small compared to the joy and glory of following our Master and Lord in His steps.  


  1. Glad you did not give up on the posting for this week! Rich with blessing and wisdom in this offering. Isn't it a journey, though- learning the way of flesh (sacrifice) to the way of the Spirit (obedience/trust). Your verses, lessons, thoughts. ALl blessing. Thank you for opening your journal. Thank you for the lesson. So many lessons in 1 and 2 Samuel.

    1. Yes, it is during those times of trial and testing that I discovered the riches of God's grace, mercy, and love. I also found out that it IS truly better to obey than to sacrifice...oftentimes our "sacrifices" make us feel self-righteous and holier than thou. But when we humble ourselves and OBEY God's word and His leading in our lives, our sacrifices seem very small compared to the joy and glory of following our Master and Lord in His steps.
      Thank you for your continued words of affirmation and encouragement. You truly are an excellent "coach". God's Blessings upon you today...

  2. I've been thinking about this particular verse quite a lot lately myself. Sometimes giving God the sacrificial offerings is a lot easier, but the obedience can bring the more amazing results/rewards. Glad you posted! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. Yes, oftentimes we think we've done our part by giving our tithe, using our talents, and sacrificing something for "Lent"...but God is calling us to walk in faith, trusting Him to take us to a higher plane...where we can only reach by obedience to His word and His call. It may seem formidable from down here on this level of just making "sacrifices"...but when we trust and obey, the greater rewards are waiting for us to enjoy. If only we could trust that much...and take that step of faith...no telling what heights we could reach with Jesus by our side! Thanks for visiting again, Sylvia. I always enjoy chatting with you.

  3. Trust and Obey there is no other way, Your journal entry really came home to me. On Jan. 22 2002 our beautiful grandaughter Olivia was born. We were so happy and excited,for our daughter Kristen. She was 34 and this was her first child. Just 6 yrs later in 2008 Kristen died, and this beautiful little girl was without a mommy! What a test of faith for all of us who loved not only Kristen but Olivia Margo. She is now a beautiful l0 yr. old, whose father is doing a wonderful job raising her alone with support and love from the rest of her family. I am sure there are lessons that God wanted us all to learn from Kristen's illness and death, but God has given us this beautiful little full of life girl to inspire us and encourages us every day to Trust and Obey.

    1. Wow...what a story! I am so sorry about your daughter Kristen. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that has been for you and your family...and especially for little Olivia to lose her Mommy. And yet, as you said, God has given you this beautiful little full of life girl to inspire you and encourge you every day to Trust and Obey. Amazing that on the day I was writing this journal entry you were welcoming your beautiful granddaughter into the world. Little did you know then what a sacrifice you would all have to make just 6 years later. I appreciate your testimony of your continued trust in God even after all of this. Thank you for sharing this with us. God bless you, Jackie, and especially my prayers go out for Olivia, that she will continue to grow in grace and love and trust in Christ her Savior. Love to you all. Pam

  4. I'm sitting here just letting the song wash over me. Sometimes it does seem like we are alone in the world. But God is there, right by our side--giving courage and faith that we can go on.

    1. Hi Pamela...Thank you for your thoughts on this. We all have times of feeling alone in this world...but often that is precisely the time that God chooses to reveal Himself to us...in the times of solitude and quiet He speaks to our hearts...and lifts us up and gets us back on the right track. I'm glad you stopped by to visit. Please do come back again...you aren't alone!

  5. God honors us when we honor Him. When we obey Him in an area of our lives, He smiles upon us. In the past four days, I have heard "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" three times. I love the ending line. "His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches over me."

    1. One of my favorite songs indeed! Has kind of been a theme song throughout my life. "Why should I feel discouraged?"..."His eye is on the sparrow...and I KNOW He watches me." Thank you for that reminder tonight.
      Blessings to you my friend.

  6. Your reflection and the Scripture you shared here, Pamela, truly spoke to my heart and soothed my soul. Oh, what a week last week was, and not at all what we had anticipated, but God was in it all. I will be writing about it in the weeks to come.

    1. Thank you Martha Jane. I am looking forward to hearing about your week, trusting that the Lord showed you good things and that you were able to spend some quality time with Him, as well as resting and relaxing with your hubby. Welcome back!

  7. This favorite of mine spoke to me this morning! "Peace I leave with you~My peace I give to you~ Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 What a wonderful way to start the day!! Blessings to you on this Monday!

  8. Trust and obey, for there's not other way!! I strive every day to walk in obedience to our Father. Yes, I said 'strive' because sometimes it's a struggle to be obedient in this world. Strength comes from staying close to Him, by staying in His word each and every day!

  9. God honors our obedience. At drama practice this past Saturday, the cast decided they would like to have another practice before Good Friday. I had to tell the director that Hubby and I had to try to go down to see our friends in southern Indiana in order for Hubby to help our friends sort through some of their late mother's things. If we don't go this coming weekend, we can't go until sometime in May. Yesterday afternoon, Hubby asked me if we could go this coming weekend. I consider that as obedience to God. The director fully understood what I told him and I appreciate that. Blessings on you and yours.

  10. Pam, I'm so sorry to be so late in reading and responding; however, in God's timing I'm not late. Yours is the second blog post I've read THIS AFTERNOON about how God wants obedience, not sacrifice. Hmm...thinking God is trying to tell me something.



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