Life is easy when the choices are black and white. When it’s a matter of simple right versus wrong we seldom have to give any extra thought to what our choice is going to be.

But what about when it’s a matter of good versus best? That’s where we tend to agonize in our decision-making process.

An example is found in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. King Saul, the first king of Israel, is given a choice between what God told him to do through the prophet Samuel, or doing what he thought was best. It seemed like a no-brainer. The prophet spoke very clearly with specific instructions that left no doubt what Saul was to do. Saul, however, began to rationalize rather than simply obeying what he had been told to do and, as a result, God removed his blessing from Saul’s life and eventually replaced him as king. The choice Saul made seemed like a good one to him and some of those around him. On the surface it even appeared to be very spiritual. In reality it was very religious but not spiritual at all, and there is a big difference. Religion can best be defined as humankind’s attempts to get to God. It is based upon our effort and limited understanding. We see this in Saul’s response to Samuel’s rebuke. Basically Saul said, “I know what you said God told me to do, but I came up with a better plan. What you told me to do didn’t make as much sense as my plan.” Samuel’s response can be found in 1 Samuel 15:22: “Obedience is far better than sacrifice.”

I don’t know about you, but I have to relearn this principle regularly in my life. God speaks to me through his word, through one of his servants or through his still small voice in my heart and I think, “Well, that’s a good idea, but if I did this instead…” and immediately I miss out on the blessing God has for me that comes from simply doing what he said. However, every time I simply obey I sense his pleasure and enjoy his favor as a result of following the instruction he has given me.

So what’s God saying to you?


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