January 12 God’s Goals, God’s Methods

scripture reading: 1 Samuel 15
key verse: 1 Samuel 15:22

Samuel said:
“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,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”

Saul wanted to be a good king who ruled fairly and followed the ways of God. However, his motives were not pure. And for the most part, the flaw went undetected until he was faced with a tremendous decision.

God had told him to completely destroy the Amalekites in battle. They had ruthlessly pursued Israel after the Exodus, killing the weak and disabled, and God never forgot the evil they committed against His people.

Saul complied with the Lord’s command and headed into battle. However, once the dust settled, he decided to spare the Amalekite king, his strongest fighting men, and the best of his sheep and oxen.

Saul tried in vain to convince Samuel that he had obeyed God by saving the best of the spoils as a sacrifice. But it was not obedience that motivated Saul; it was pride, and that cost him his throne.

Partial obedience is not obedience; it is disobedience, and there is never an excuse for it in the eyes of God. Whatever goal God has placed before you, He has a method in mind for you to follow in achieving it. Ask Him to give you His wisdom so that you may accomplish the goal perfectly, completely—and most important—obediently.

Total obedience—that is what I want in my life, Father. Reveal Your purposes to me, then give me the wisdom to accomplish Your plans perfectly, completely, and obediently.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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