Tag Archives: rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft

Checking Our Motives

I was born and raised in church. My parents took me to Sunday School each week. Year after year I had heard the same stories taught by different teachers as I grew older, and I had memorized them all. Christianity began to move from my heart to my head. I began to see it as behavior based instead of relationship based. I remember talking to my dad about sin and all the behaviors you could and couldn’t do. I wanted to make sure I didn’t do any of them. I thought if I could memorize them all, I could know which behaviors to avoid so I could go to Heaven. That’s when he said, “Chewing gum can be a sin.” I was confused. He said, “Sin is as much an attitude as it is a behavior. If the rules tell you not to chew gum and you do so in defiance, you are sinning. James 4:17 tells us if we know what’s right, and don’t do it, it’s sin.”

In the Old Testament, King Saul was told to wait for the prophet to show up who would offer a sacrifice. When the prophet didn’t show up at the appointed time, Saul began to panic. His men were afraid and some began to desert him. He decided to offer the sacrifice instead. Just as he finished offering the sacrifice, the prophet showed up. He knew he needed to Lord’s blessing, but didn’t do it the right way. A few chapters later, he was told to kill even the animals as he destroyed a nation. When the prophet showed up, Saul said, “I have carried out the Lord’s command.” The prophet replied, “Then what is this bleating of sheep and goats I hear?” Saul said he was going to sacrifice them to God. In 1 Samuel 15:22, after rebuking Saul, the prophet said, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

Saul was doing the right thing by offering sacrifices, but his attitude was wrong in each case. Jeremiah 17:10 says, “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (NLT). Man looks at behaviors to judge people, but God looks at our heart. He’s interested in our motives. You can do the right thing with the wrong heart, and it can be wrong. We can’t approach Christianity as a list of behaviors of right and wrong, thou shalts and thou shalt nots. It’s not your behaviors that get you into Heaven. It’s the grace of God through the blood of Jesus. God wants a relationship with you, and through that relationship, we’re changed from the inside out. We receive a transforming of our mind (Romans 12:2) as we become a new creation. We are saved by grace, through faith, and not of our behaviors. The Bible does tell us how we should live, but God is also looking at our heart behind the behaviors.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Simple Obedience

Do you remember when you were told to clean your room? What did you do? You probably went in there and thought of ways to not do it. After a long time contemplating, you decided to either shove everything under the bed or put it in the closet. When your room is checked, you didn’t fool anyone. The shelves and boxes where your things should have been are still bare. Your closet gets opened and your sheets pulled back exposing your lack of obedience.

Sure the floor is free of clutter, but you didn’t do what was asked. You didn’t clean your room. You merely rearranged it without putting things where they belonged. In your mind, you think you obeyed, but deep down you know what you did was an act of defiance. You try to argue your case by using technicalities, but you don’t get very far. What you’ve done is caused more work for yourself and lost more time because you have to do it over the right way.

Saul was like that. He got specific instructions from God on what to do, but somehow put the toys in the closet every time. He obeyed, but didn’t. Each time he had an excuse for doing what he did. God finally had enough and Samuel called him out on it. In I Samuel 15:22-23 Samuel said to Saul, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king” (NLT).

Each of us struggle with simple obedience for some reason. God gives us simple instructions, but somehow we complicate them. God is looking for us to simply obey what He’s asked us to do. Anything other than obeying His call on your life is an act of rebellion in His eyes. Whatever He’s called you to do, you need to do. Wherever He’s called you to go, you need to go. Whatever He’s called you to say, you need to say. Don’t find ways to put they toys in the closet. Do what He’s asked willingly and with a good attitude and your life will be fulfilled like never before.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Simple Obedience 

  
Do you remember when you were told to clean your room? What did you do? You probably went in there and thought of ways to not do it. After a long time contemplating, you decided to either shove everything under the bed or put it in the closet. When your room is checked, you didn’t fool anyone. The shelves and boxes where your things should have been are still bare. Your closet gets opened and your sheets pulled back exposing your lack of obedience.

Sure the floor is free of clutter, but you didn’t do what was asked. You didn’t clean your room. You merely rearranged it without putting things where they belonged. In your mind, you think you obeyed, but deep down you know what you did was an act of defiance. You try to argue your case by using technicalities, but you don’t get very far. What you’ve done is caused more work for yourself and lost more time because you have to do it over the right way.

Saul was like that. He got specific instructions from God on what to do, but somehow put the toys in the closet every time. He obeyed, but didn’t. Each time he had an excuse for doing what he did. God finally had enough and Samuel called him out on it. In I Samuel 15:22-23 Samuel said to Saul, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king” (NLT).

Each of us struggle with simple obedience for some reason. God gives us simple instructions, but somehow we complicate them. God is looking for us to simply obey what He’s asked us to do. Anything other than obeying His call on your life is an act of rebellion in His eyes. Whatever He’s called you to do, you need to do. Wherever He’s called you to go, you need to go. Whatever He’s called you to say, you need to say. Don’t find ways to put they toys in the closet. Do what He’s asked willingly and with a good attitude and your life will be fulfilled like never before.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized