1 Samuel 15 : 8 - 12, He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night. NKJV
As children of God in Christ, we have been made kings and priests unto the Lord. However, even though God has appointed the body of Christ to walk in Kingdom authority and to fulfill certain duties on the earth, there are times when we struggle to be obedient to His will. If you struggle to obey God, and you beat yourself over the head, so to speak, know that you’re not the only one. Many Christians, if not all of us, struggle to obey God from time to time.
This isn’t an attempt to justify self-justification, but rather a lesson on what it might cost us when we allow ourselves the liberty to disobey God’s will. Let me say that partial-obedience is still disobedience in God’s eyes, and we see this in today’s passages. King Saul was commanded to destroy utterly all the Amalekites, as well as all the animals. Saul destroyed all the people, but he allowed the king and the best animals to continue living. This greatly displeased the Lord to the point that He regretted appointing Saul the king of Israel.
It doesn’t require much faith to obey God when we already agree with His will. However, what do you do when God’s will opposes your will in any given situation? Do you submit to His will, or do you respond to God with self-justification? This is where self-justification can begin to enter our hearts, adversely affect our faith-walk and greatly reduce our authority to carry out the will of God in the earth.
I use King Saul’s story today to illustrate what happens when children of God partially obey and use justification to prop up their disobedience. You see; if God takes the time and effort to order our steps, but we fail to see the value of His request, know that there is going to be severe repercussions for our disobedience.
Why does a child of God partially obey or justify disobedience before God when we know that He already knows what we’re really telling Him is NO? We see the answer to this in today’s passages on King Saul. He had an agenda in his heart that caused him to assess the situation differently than God. As a result of Saul’s agenda, he overrode God’s plan and sinned in God’s sight. Had Saul yielded his plan to God’s will through faith instead of acting out of fear, then God would have been pleased by his faith and given him greater dominion. Since Saul chose to act in fear of the people and please them rather than God, God chose to remove him as king of Israel.
When we seek to please ourselves or other people when God has given us specific instructions, as He did with King Saul, then we will forfeit our spiritual authority as well. Finally, when we seek to disobey God and justify our sin, we will also have to blame someone else in order to shift the blame from us. As you read the entire chapter on Saul’s rejection of God’s perfect will, you’ll notice where the king had to blame the people whom he had previously used as an excuse to God for his sin.
1 Samuel 15 : 13 – 15, Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed." NKJV
King Saul declared to Samuel, the prophet, that he had fully obeyed the Lord and utterly destroyed the Amalekites, but Samuel could hear the sounds coming from the animals taken from Israel’s enemies. Afterwards, Saul continued to justify his wrong deeds by placing the blame on the people that he was supposed to have ruled over. King Saul sought to please himself and man more than God, and it ultimately cost him the throne.
Beware of partial obedience and self-justification because they will cost you far more than your fears threaten to take from you if you obey God. God told Samuel that He looks upon the heart… which was the very reason He chose David as King of Israel and rejected Saul. David was a man after the heart of God. He loved the law of God and hid it in his heart.
Seeking to Please the Father,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery