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":
"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.