Thursday, January 27, 2011

TOYING WITH DIVINE INSTRUCTIONS? Friday 28 January

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22).

READ: 1 Samuel 15:4-11

Apart from oppressing the poor and indulging in idolatry, another cause of spiritual famine is incomplete obedience to God’s instructions. This was the case against King Saul. He had a problem with submitting to divine authority. In 1 Samuel 13:1-14, King Saul was instructed to wait seven days for the arrival of Prophet Samuel. A crucial sacrifice which would establish his kingdom was to be made. But when Samuel delayed, Saul became impatient and intruded on the office and duties of the priest by carrying out the sacrifice himself. As a result what was meant to establish his kingdom ousted him. When God asks you to make sacrifices to Him, you may never tell that which would establish you in greatness, hence, wait on Him with your offering or sacrifice. May what should establish you not demote you!

Similarly, in 1 Samuel 15:1-23, the Lord sent him with clear instructions into the land of the Amalekites to destroy both man and beast, young and old. God clearly forbade them from taking the spoils of Amalek. But on arrival, Saul played ‘God’ over the lives of men and beasts, bringing back there accursed spoil. You can never know more than God. He owns everything in Heaven and on earth and is free to decide who lives and who dies. If God has asked you to carry out and assignment, all He expects to see is your obedience. Anytime you spare the Amalekite (weaknesses or character flaws in your life), it is to your detriment. Do you know that on many occasions when divine orders are flouted, it is not because the instructions were not clear enough, but because the hearers do not have an obedient heart? After King Saul‘s second disobedience, he was rejected and thrown into spiritual famine. It is commonly observed that King David remained in favour with God in spite of his many weighty sins, but King Saul was rejected after a few ‘minor’ sins. One major difference was the type of heart they had. David’s heart was turned towards God but Saul never really had a right heart before God. Also, David never joked with God’s Word. He held it in high esteem but Saul saw no difference between God’s Word and that of men. Disobeying God’s Word is a grievous crime that can trigger spiritual famine. Are you toying with God’s specific instructions to you on a particular issue? Repent and immediately obey it before it breeds famine!

KEY POINT:

A sure way to avoid spiritual famine is to faithfully obey all of God’s commands.

Bible in One year: Deut. 1-3