One of the things the Lord has been teaching me recently is the importance of obedience to Him. When we are obedient to God, when we are submitted to God, when God is in His rightful place as the One ruling on the throne in our hearts, we live lives that are content. Think about when the shifting sands of the things of this world rule our hearts. We are always searching for the next thing, the better thing, the end all be all of our joy. When God is ruling, there is nothing greater for us to seek, nothing more for us to submit to.
It reminds me of the story of King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. In this story, God tells Saul to destroy everything of the Amalekites. Saul does not heed God’s command. Among other things, Saul keeps the best of the sheep and oxen. When Samuel confronts Saul, Saul says, “I kept these things to sacrifice to God.”
Samuel replies in verse 22 when he says, “Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.”
If our lives are not submitted to God, it does not matter if we sacrifice millions of our dollars or all of our time in service to Him. What matters is our relationship with Him which begins with obedience to Him. We may have the best intentions of following God, of living lives for God, of being in prayer and reading His Word, but if our lives are not lived in obedience and submission to Him, we are not really following Him.
I will finish with this quote by AW Tozer. “Are you sure you want to be possessed by the blessed Spirit of the Father and of the Son?… He will expect obedience to the Word of God. But our human problem is that we would like to be full of the Spirit and yet go on and do as we please. The Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures will expect obedience to the Scriptures, and if we do not obey the Scriptures, we will quench Him.”