Thursday, October 08, 2009

Obedience is better than sacrifice

Last year I was a part of the mom's group at our church, which was great, but this year they switched it from Friday morning to Thursday night, making it a lot harder for me to get to. I was feeling really sad for myself and was praying for another outlet to connect with God and other moms that was during the day. Lo and behold, my God provided and I was invited to join a mom's group that was birthed out of a group of friends that Tim went to college with. It started out as a guy's Bible study about 10 years ago, then it was a co-ed Bible study based out of Woodland Hills and a few years ago came to include a weekly mom's group. It has also provided Tim with a part time job! While we meet upstairs, Tim gets paid to watch the kiddos downstairs :) Super cute. He gets Dad of the Year for sure!! Only 1 or 2 of the little girls are scared of "Mr. Tim."

We have only met 3 times, but I love it. It's a really neat group of 9 women who truly love the Lord and are passionate about Him, which leads them to being passionate about healthy marriages and healthy families.

We are reading through a book together and this week's chapter brought us to 1 Samuel 15, which REALLY blessed me. Through the voice of Samuel, God told King Saul to destroy the Amalekites and everything that belongs to them. Everything. Seems pretty clear, right? Well, apparently, not to Saul....he spared King Agag and the best livestock. The Lord was grieved over Saul's inability (or unwillingness) to follow His instructions and here's where it gets funny. So Saul says to Samuel (probably with a big grin) ' "I have carried out the Lord's instructions!" baaa, baaa....' Hm, is that a sheep I hear???? A sheep that you were supposed to destroy...interesting. Even though Saul intended to use this choice livestock as a sacrifice to God, God was NOT pleased and told him that obedience is better than sacrifice and rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft. Strong words.

I get encouraged from this as I see such a prime example of how seriously God takes our obedience. By staying back from going to Senegal, Tim and I have been obedient to God and we believe that He will bless that. It was a salve to my hurting heart to see confirmation of that in Scripture. We could have acted under a similar motivation as King Saul, acting out of sacrifice to God. We knew there would be sacrifice involved in serving overseas and we were ready for that. But there was something else God desired more from us than that sacrifice, and that was obedience.

Although the dust has settled and most people are used to the news of us not going anymore, Tim and I continue to press through the thick fog of what that means for our family now, practically speaking. There is still much healing to be done and we so thankful for a God who speaks to us often by His Spirit and through His Word.

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.
1 Samuel 15:22


Keturah said...

I'm sorry that the new time doesn't work out as well for you, but I'm glad you found another outlet. I hope you still can come to mom's group at church sometimes, though. I'm really happy with the new time as I finally get to go!

Unknown said...

I'm glad you can go too! I'm sure it's a blessing for moms who work! It won't be as hard for me once we live closer again.