Today’s Scripture Selection: First Samuel 15:22

“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.’”

Use the word “obedience” in conversation, and it’s likely that someone will think you are talking about your pet dog; or maybe the latest theories in child-rearing.

But it has a far more profound meaning and history than that.

It has always been on the hearts and minds of God’s people to consider what it means to be truly “obedient” to Him.

Samuel put it in terms of how mere religious ritual can’t compare to heartfelt obedience – no matter how regularly we do it.

And, for many years, people have gotten that wrong.

They think that as long as they meet the “letter of the law” that’s good enough – without considering if they are meeting the “spirit” of the law.

I remember hearing of one young woman – a Roman Catholic by faith – who did pretty much anything she wanted Monday through Friday, figuring that a “good confession” on Saturday would sort of square things up with God.

I can’t imagine that her priest thought that was a good way to live out her faith.

But many of us do something similar.

We go through the motions of doing all the “right” things – even giving “sacrificially” – but we still, somehow, fall short of the mark.  That is – we fail at really faithfully, happily, sacrificially obeying God.

It’s not religion God cares about – it’s relationship.

So, how about if we all do some real soul searching this week.  Maybe we can find some ways to really do what God wants us to do – starting with having a prayerful conversation with Him that begins, “Lord, show me your will for my life.”

That’s always a good place to start.

Prayer: Lord, show me your will, that I may obey it.  AMEN.


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