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March 13, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | March 13

Selective Obedience

He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  Hebrews 11:26


Renowned pastor and author Stuart Briscoe said, “When God’s commands seem onerous, men often cast them aside and experience a sense of freedom as they do what they want rather than what God wills. But such joy is short-lived as the negative consequences to health and well-being become apparent.”


Every honest man knows the struggle and pain of selective obedience. On more than one occasion King Saul could not resist his impulses to mess with God’s clear instruction. He is a timeless poster child for every man arrogant enough to turn his back on God’s revealed will. This is how it played out in Scripture, condensed into a nut shell. …


God told Saul in no uncertain terms to kill all the Amalekites and totally destroy everything— men, women, children, and animals—for what they did to Israel when they came out of Egypt. When Samuel approached Saul, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.” But Samuel said to Saul, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?…You have rejected the word of the Lord.” (See 1 Samuel 15.)


Saul deceived himself into believing he was okay when the stark reality was that he had a king and Old McDonald’s farm in his possession! God’s command was clear but Saul obeyed selectively, and his arrogance cost him. Again, the ugly mole poked his head up and deceived Saul—and Saul took the bait hook, line, and sinker.


We’ve all been there. God asks us to tithe—but we give less than the amount He tells us. We are convicted about watching a certain show, but convince ourselves it’s fine because most of our friends watch it. We harbor bitterness toward a relative, even though the Holy Spirit’s been nudging us to mend fences. There’s a little bit of Saul in all of us, for sure.


It’s time for us to consider what bait will we succumb to. What is God’s revealed will in our lives? Saul certainly was living with some short-term joy. Chase after the long-term joy found in obedience to His revealed will for you.


Father, you have nothing but my best in mind. Help me consider the consequences of short-term joy.


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