by Pastor Troy Spilman
There are seasons in our Christian experience where we can go through the motions of the faith but not be walking in true obedience.
In the book of 1 Samuel, King Saul comes back victoriously from the battle of fighting the dreaded Amalekites. He was given the command to utterly wipe out every living thing, yet Saul decided to keep some of the best of the loot, which included many animals. To justify his choice, he claimed that the oxen and sheep were to be sacrificed unto the Lord.
This is where Samuel has his famous speech, “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 sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22).
My first impulse is to mentally scold King Saul for his disobedience and countless excuses. He had even gone so far as to claim that he feared the reaction of his soldiers if he followed through with the orders.
But then I quickly recall the many excuses I have given for shrugging off a prompting of the Holy Spirit. I can also be fearful of the reaction of others or consider myself too busy in my obedience in other areas, or simply don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Responding in Obedience
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a woman who lives on the East Coast whose sister is a part of one of our short-term missions teams. The team will be partnering with a ministry in the Tijuana area to build three homes over Memorial Day weekend for deserving families. In her letter, she wrote that she had a strong sense that the Holy Spirit wanted her to give a sizable gift toward this project, even though she has a modest income.
She explained how the Lord confirmed in multiple ways that she should move forward in sending the check. In her letter, she explained how she learned in a recent Bible study that we can often experience a “crisis of belief” after God speaks to us. She was faithful to push through this “crisis” and responded to the Lord in obedience.
I was challenged by this dear sister in Christ to walk by faith and simply be obedient to the Lord’s leading. I was reminded of the verse that states “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Obedience means to simply walk by faith and to say “Yes” to the Lord.
What is He asking you to say “yes” to?
Maybe it is volunteering for the children’s or youth ministries at your church, sharing your faith story with a friend, or introducing yourself to your neighbor and offering to help fix their fence. It could be volunteering at a local organization in order to be a light to many people, or getting involved in a missions project. Whatever it is, commit to saying “yes”, and see what the Lord might do in and through you!