Partial is not complete

1 Samuel 15:22-23

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. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Saul in trouble. He really did not follow the Lord in this instance. Prior to these verses, he was instructed by Samuel to absolutely destroy the Amalekites. Destroy everything, leave nothing alive behind. Which in a way is a harsh command. God wanted them totally destroyed and that is what Saul did. Well, mostly did. He took a prisoner and he kept the good cattle and was going to use it as a "sacrifice" to the Lord. Though he may have had good intentions to do that, it was not the instructions. However he justified in his head that it was okay to bring back the cattle and bring back a prisoner. A closer look at this and the issue may not have been that Saul did all this, the issue seems to be that Saul's heart was not in the right place. In prior chapters this was a common occurrence, Saul in 1 Samuel 13 breaks protocol and offers sacrifices with out the priest Samuel. In chapter 14 he issues this decree only to make exceptions for his son. There is a pattern of not following the Lord. It appears that Saul's heart is not first committed to God. Later on when Samuel tasked to find Saul's replacement he is instructed by God to not look at the outside when selecting a king, God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Saul's heart was not in the right place. Saul's order of importance in his heart was not God first.

Now as I look at this often times I am conflicted with what is first in my life. And I have to admit that often times it is not so much that the things that I want to see done are bad, they are just not completely in line with what God wants done. God wants your heart to be 100% for Him, that is all that he wants. It means sometimes that we may have to do things that do not make sense, or take on challenges we don't want to do. The Lord though wants us to give our whole heart to Him. That may look different in many ways, but what is certain is that if our heart is not fully committed to Him, then we cannot experience the full life He has for us. It didn't happen for Saul so we can't expect that for us.

Lord sometimes I know I have split heart, now Lord I want to give it all back to you. Help me with that and help me do what is needed to accomplish that.


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