Don’t Obey Your Thirst. Obey Your God.


I remember traveling somewhere new for the first time using my GPS. The GPS told me to go one route, but I was convinced that I could get to my destination faster if I went a different way. On the map, there was a place marked with a red dot, and I assumed it was my destination. I didn’t understand why the directions were not leading me there. There was no other place marked with a balloon. I decided to ignore the directions and follow the way to the marker that seemed most efficient to me. I ended up at the wrong destination and late to my appointment. I had to return to follow the initial directions that were given to me.

Sometimes we think we know where we should be going and how to get there; sometimes we assume what would be most beneficial for us, and we disregard the clear instructions given to us; we rely on our own inclinations and thinking instead of God’s instructions. We end up in the wrong place and punished for our disobedience.

And Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Sam 13:11-14)

Being self-willed is a dangerous thing.

How can we call him “Lord, Lord” and not do the things He says?

We see Saul having a hard time waiting and listening to the instructions he was given. He felt he could not wait for Samuel. He had to do something. If he did not do something, he thought he would be destroyed.

Have you ever felt pressured to make a brash decision? Have you ever found yourself willing your own outcome instead of waiting on and listening to God? I think this scripture demonstrates how critical it is for believers to trust solely on the Word of the Lord. If He says wait, then we must wait. If He says go, then we must go. We should neither delay to obey his instructions nor alter them; we must do exactly what we are told. We should never choose our own wisdom, desires, or stubbornness over the Word of God!

We see Saul’s stubbornness on another occasion (1 Sam. 15). He disobeys God by not doing all he was told. God said to destroy everyone and everything, but Saul kept back the king and the best sheep and oxen. He said that he kept back the animals so that the people could sacrifice unto the Lord. Samuel responds,

When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?…Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?…Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LordBehold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraftAnd stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LordHe also has rejected you from being king. (1 Sam. 15:17-23)

Being self-willed is a dangerous thing! Rebellion is like witchcraft! Stubbornness is like idolatry. When we are self-willed and do what seems good in our own eyes instead of what God says, when we alter any aspect of what God tells us, when we allow pressure or the opinion of others to change our course, we are exalting ourselves over God. We are no longer humble servants. Whenever we decide to disobey the commands of God, we commit idolatry, worshipping ourselves or others. Idolatry is one of the worst (probably the worst) kind of sin their is! In fact, the first commandment is, the Lord thy God is one and you shall have no other god before me. God wants, demands, and expects obedience.

How can we call him “Lord, Lord” and not do the things He says?

Do we really trust God? Have we actually been obedient to what He has been telling us to do or not do this season? Is what we’re doing today in line with the Word of God and what He has commanded us to do? Or, in presumption, are we actually worshipping our own feelings and desires? If God tells us something, we must learn to do it. We can’t seek to justify disobedience! We must do what we know we’re supposed to do. And do a complete job. Anything less is faithless.

Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

(Psalms 19:13)

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