“. . . Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice . . .’”
— 1 Samuel 15:22
Do you ever dread going to the doctor or dentist, fearing what he or she might find in the exam? Well, every once in a while, we need to have a spiritual checkup, as painful as it may seem. Let’s search our hearts today.
Have you neglected any duty in your life that God has called you to perform? God wants us to obey Him. To obey (follow Him in whatever He asks) is better than sacrifice (the confessions we offer to Him). Husbands and wives, have you neglected duties to each other? Do you have that tender relationship of love and intimacy that Christ calls us to? Or have you let it sit on the back burner for a while? As children, do you honor your parents? Do you fully obey that commandment, or do you do it only when it’s convenient? What about the other commandments in the Bible and the whisperings of God to your heart, calling you to some great work—have you obeyed?
We also need to search our hearts for any evil. Have you persisted in evil habits contrary to God’s will? We need to allow God’s Word to convict us so that we might obey Him in all He asks. One of our church members told me that a few years ago I really convicted him when I talked about his addiction to cigarettes. This man was absolutely bound to smoking despite Scripture’s admonition against bondage to anything. I wonder how many condemn drug addiction in the young yet themselves nurture an addiction to cigarettes? Some four hundred thousand Americans will die this year from smoking-related diseases. Others are in bondage to the bottle and refuse to obey the Lord, refuse to see their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yet others habitually look at pornography in magazines, movies, television, or videos, all of which surround us like a polluted swamp.
Consider your life today. Have you avoided a duty God has called you to? Do you not want to hear some passage of Scripture because you know you are disobeying it? Then face it today. Ask God to forgive you, then purpose in your heart to obey. Remember: “To obey is better than sacrifice.”