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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Complete Obedience

Today's passage was in 1 Samuel 15, the episode where Saul, king of Israel, prepares to battle the Amalekites. Samuel, the prophet, tells Saul this (1 Samuel 15:3):

Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.


Pretty clear: Kill them all. Leave nothing. The Amalekites were enemies of the Lord and He wanted them completely destroyed. However, Saul failed to obey (1 Samuel 15: 9):

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

Saul decided that surely God couldn't mean for him to destroy all of those fat sheep and cows? There was nothing wrong with them, right? The Israelites needed them for their spoil. They would be useful. They were good. Maybe he thought that if he just destroyed the bad things, that would be sufficient.

I think that we can do the same thing in our lives. All of us have sin in our life that is obviously "despised and worthless"--from drug addiction to harsh speech. If someone points them out, we have no defense. Our only answer is "Yes, that's sin, yes, God wants me to get rid of it." However, I think we also have idols or areas in our lives where the thing itself is not bad, but maybe the value or time we attach to it is. Some examples include Facebook, chocolate, or relationships. Sometimes, for our sanctification or to remove idols from our lives, the Lord will tell us to get rid of something, maybe for a season, maybe forever. It can be very difficult to abandon something that is "good" in our eyes.

Obedience to the Lord is sometimes a very individual matter. For Saul, there were other battles in which Israel was allowed to keep the spoils. With the Amalekites, they were specifically told to devote the city to destruction. Saul's disobedience resulted in him losing the kingship.

I need to be listening to the Lord and simply obey what He says, even when I think that "Hey, these 'sheep' are perfectly fine and beneficial, surely You don't want me to get rid of them?" Surely He does if that's what He said.

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