Obey, okay?

“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?

Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.

So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
‭‭-1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I bet cha some of y’all had no idea why or how Saul (the King before David) came to lose out on ruling. Well, this is it. If you’re unfamiliar with this story in the Bible, no problem. Key got you!

Many people know allll about King David (you may know him as the one who defeated Goliath, or maybe you recall he did the do with Bathsheba)…however you recall his name, before there was a King David, there was a King Saul.

Oh Saul. He can sometimes get such a bad wrap, but I think I’m starting to love him because he teaches such an important lesson in just a few verses in the Bible.

I’ll try my best to paraphrase (though that ain’t my gift), but I suggest reading 1 Samuel 15:1-32 to get the full context.

Basically, Samuel heard some very specific instructions from God, instructions that were meant for Saul to follow.

God wanted Saul and his army to wipe out the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt.

God specifically said, “Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”
‭‭(1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
)

(Now ain’t the time to judge why God said this, I’m just telling you what He said).

So off goes Saul and his army. But do they obey the instructions to the T or do they go off script? You guessed it! Off script’s the answer🤦🏾‍♀️

Yes, they slaughtered the Amalekites, BUT they captured the Amalekite King, Agag, spared his life and kept the best of the sheep, cattle, calves, and lambs. The Bible says, anything that appealed to them, they kept. “They only destroyed what was worthless or of poor quality” (1 Samuel 15:9).

Meanwhile, Samuel was probably off doing his thing trying to rest, assuming Saul did what he was told, but God had to let him know— Nope, ya boy Saul let me down and because he did this, I’m sorry I ever made him King. And the next morning, Samuel went looking for Saul. This is where I was for real laughing. When Samuel asked someone where Saul was, they said this:

“Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.” (1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

My boy was out building a freaking monument, TO HIMSELF, I might add, while Samuel over here upset that Saul couldn’t follow instructions.

Samuel finally finds Saul and Saul runs up to him all happy and stuff (which I found funny). Saul tells Samuel that he carried out God’s instructions, but Samuel called him out on it.

Saul’s argument was that the animals were going to be used as sacrifices unto God (side note…I’m soooo glad us Christians today don’t have to do animal sacrifices cuz man 😳. All I gotta say is thank God for Jesus… Ok. Back to the story).

Samuel shares what God told him and to me, it’s so sad because Saul really thought in his mind that what he did was ok. And that one disobedience cost him everything.

If you have time, please read the whole story. It’s really good, but it got me to thinking, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

Lately, I’ve been repeating that in my head. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

Man, that’s tough for me to swallow, for real.

I’ve been off and on with my blogging for a few years now and I don’t think I talk about this much, but I’m sure I’ve mentioned it one time or another.

Alcohol is a stronghold of mine.

There, I said it.

Saying that is hard and embarrassing and weird and shameful, but it’s real. I try to pretend it ain’t true. I can go days on days without drinking anything, but it’s always there, that addiction, just lingering and waiting on any little push to take me over the edge.

I keep saying that when I go out, I can just have one. One is never just one. One is two, two is three, three is more.

I tell my friends I got this handled, and lately, I do, but I don’t want something being “handled” in my life. I don’t want the devil studying my life and saying, “All I gotta do to trip her up is present an opportunity for her to drink.” I don’t want that. I really don’t.

I don’t want to let ANYTHING keep me from complete freedom in Christ, but this is one area where I’m still feeling chained. I told my mom the other day that the thought of not drinking ever…I just can’t fathom it. I like a glass of wine. I want to enjoy a margarita. EVERY FREAKING PLACE ON INSTAGRAM THAT I WANT TO TRY OUT ALWAYS SUGGESTS DRINKING. Drinks, drinks, drinks…it’s just a constant in my mind. When I’m sad, I want one. If I’m lonely, I usually want one. For dinner? Margarita me, please. Chilling with family, let’s wine down.

I can’t let this be my life. I can’t.

I’ll be real, if you’re even still reading because y’all know I can get lengthy.

I’ve gotten a DUI before.

It’s embarrassing, it’s not something I think I was ever ready to share soon, but here we are.

I spent 2, yes TWO, wig-less nights in jail. I think what hurt most is the fact that my son knows.

My son..he knows.

And now, you do, too.

I won’t get deep into this, not for now anyway, but as embarrassing of a situation this was (and still is), I saw God’s grace so clearly from a freaking holding cell. It was a moment where I looked through the glass of that cell and saw a Bible just sitting on this cart. I wanted to hold that Bible soooo bad. I wanted to read it for some reason, probably to take my mind off my bad situation. But whatever the reason, I wanted to read it and couldn’t. I couldn’t freely leave. I couldn’t go to my clean bathroom. I couldn’t lay in my comfortable bed. I had to sit there..on that hard bench, with no pillow or blanket, and just sit there with my thoughts.

I thought to myself that I cannot do this anymore. I can’t let this have me anymore. And I did good for awhile with my sobriety. Like, I went a whole year with no drinking. Then, I got comfortable again. One won’t hurt. Two is ok. As long as I’m home drinking, I’m fine. Alllllll the excuses you can think of, I’ve probably thought them. But I just can’t shake the feeling that God ain’t cool with one or two…not when it comes to me.

I promise this is not me telling you that a drink is a sin. For you, it may be ok to have one or two and you’re still good with God. But I think for me…no, I KNOW for me… it’s different.

I don’t want to be like Saul and know what I’m supposed to do, but do something different. I don’t want to be like Saul and lose everything.

Saul was remorseful. Saul was sorry. Saul ran after Samuel, grabbed onto him and tore his robe. And all Samuel could tell him was just as his robe was torn, the Lord had torn the kingdom of Israel from him and was giving it to someone else (1 Samuel 15:27-28).

I don’t want God to look for someone else to fill the shoes I’m supposed to fill. I don’t want to make it easy on the devil by leaving a door open for him. He already got enough ways to try to get us. I don’t want to lose everything. I don’t want to disobey God.

Please hear my heart. I’m not perfect. I never will be. But this is me intentionally saying, “God, I hear You. Obedience. That’s what You want.”

And what You want, I’ll give. Cuz I can’t do this life without You.

So to my people still reading this: let’s obey, ok?

God, thank You for Your Word. It never fails me, always instructs me, and leads me to Your way, which is always the better way. I’m sorry for every single time I’ve hurt Your heart. I’m sorry for every disappointment and broken promise. I’m sorry for my disobedience. Lord, help me, help us. Help whoever is reading this. We need Your Holy Spirit to make us holy. We can’t do this life, with its twists and turns, without You. Help us with our struggles, help us overcome addictions. Help us to obey. Help us like only You can.

We love You, now and always.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

♥️♥️♥️

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