The Journey - part 1

I was privileged to spend Saturday with the beautiful women from Harvest Christian Fellowship NYC on their annual women’s retreat. The speaker was Jan Vance, a women’s ministry leader from Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, CA. It was a dynamic time of fellowship with the women and with the Lord. Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing with you some of what I gleaned during the day.

At lunchtime, my tablemates and I had a deep discussion about how God required complete destruction of people, animals, even earth, in the days of Noah, Lot, Joshua and Saul. Later during Jan’s evening message, she mentioned this very thing. Ouch! My heart pierced, the Spirit's arrow embedded firmly in my right ventricle. I knew there was a message for me here.

God’s instruction to Moses in Deut. 7:16 was “You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.” Aha, the snare! God required the complete destruction of those who would set a fatal trap for His people.

God took care of the destruction for Noah and Lot. Joshua obediently took care of the destruction himself. But Saul, oh Saul, was only partially obedient. And, as Jan said, "partial obedience is disobedience."

Although Saul was instructed to "go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.” (1 Sam 15:3), he decided against it, keeping King Agag alive as prisoner and keeping the best quality livestock. When confronted by the prophet Samuel, Saul whined, "But I did obey the Lord (v. 20) to which Samuel replied,
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.” ( Sam. 15:22-23)

Listen! (When God says "Listen", you better!)
-Obedience is better than sacrifice.
-Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft.
-Stubborness is as bad as worshipping idols.

Samuel eventually killed the king, but the damage was done. The Amalekites remained a snare to the Israelites for generations to come.

I often said to my children when they were younger, "Delayed obedience is disobedience." And now, God was saying it to me. He's asking me to completely destroy that which will ensnare me - attitudes, time-wasters, behaviors. Things that I haven't gone to bed with, but have been slow-dancing with.

How about you? Has God been asking you to destroy completely a potential snare? To take care of it now before it develops roots and is harder to deal with later? Delayed or partial obedience is disobedience. 




Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

There's much food for thought here. Examining our hearts is an essential part of this walk.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Wow, as Susan R. said, there is a lot to think about here! Glad you enjoyed your time at the retreat. Thanks for sharing this.
Karen :)

Nancy said...

good word, looking forward to part 2

christy rose said...

I teach my kids that delayed obedience is disobedience too. Wow! Good word for myself here today! Thanks!

Faith Imagined said...

I love this phrase, "Delayed obedience is disobedience." I am definitely going to use this phrase with my kiddos and myself!

Maria I. Morgan said...

Great post, Susan! So often we are deceived when it comes to obedience. We follow Saul's example and do most of what God tells us, maybe just ommitting a thing or two...Oh, how deceitful our hearts are! Trying to gratify self at any cost. You're exactly right, "Both delayed obedience & partial obedience IS disobedience."
Thanks for the reminder! God bless!

quietspirit said...

Part of our Ash Wednesday service at church was to focus on what we need to give up to God. Two of the things I gave over to Him had to do with my persona and how I react to things. The third thing was a habit I seem to enjoy.