The Cost of Sparing the Good Things
by Rodney W.Francis

In 1 Samuel 15 we have the revealing story of the cost of not fully
obeying the voice of the Lord. The first king of Israel, Saul, was
instructed by God to “Go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy
all that they have, and do not spare them” (v.3). Saul heard what
God had spoken to him, yet we discover that he was only partially
obedient to the command. As we read through the chapter we
discover that Saul’s decision to “spare the good things” was to
prove very costly for him and his people.

When Samuel the prophet was sent to reprove Saul, we find
that Saul was confessing that he had indeed obeyed the Lord.
But he was in deception ~ the good things of the Amalekites
had deceived him. You will also notice that Saul was hiding
behind a form of spirituality by declaring that they had spared
the good things to “sacrifice to the Lord” (v. 15). How
interesting that human nature seeks to cover its disobedience
to God by declaring the result of that disobedience is “for the
Lord”!! But God is not mocked, and God is not fooled by
our covetousness and desires for “sparing the good things.”
It is recorded: “But Saul and the people spared Agag (king
of the Amalekites) and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the
fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling
to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless,
that they utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:9). As a result, God
said to the Prophet Samuel, “I greatly regret that I have set up
Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has
not performed My commandments” (v. 10-11). Saul paid a huge
price for his disobedience that day:

1. He lost his anointing

2. He lost his respect, and

3. He lost his kingship (ruling authority).

Things changed that day for Saul because of his pride in thinking
he knew better than God. Like most disobedient leaders, he blamed
the people for his rebellion against the voice of the Lord.

The “good things” that he spared were the very things that found
him out ~ the “bleating of the sheep” (v. 14)!

In summing up His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made this
statement to His listeners: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’
and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:47). He then went
on to tell us of the wise and foolish man. The wise man was wise
because he listened to Jesus and obeyed what He said; while the
foolish man only listened to Jesus, but did not apply and do what
He said. The difference between the two men was success for
the wise man and total loss for the foolish man. Maybe the foolish
man “spared the good things”, like Saul did?

The foolish man paid a very high price for his disobedience!

This is a huge challenge and lesson for every Christian today. So
many of us are wanting to have the “good things” of life, but if God
has asked us to sacrifice them for His sake, then we need to do
that, because God always has our best at heart ~ He wants us to
enjoy the best, but with His way of providing it, and in a way that
He gets the glory. This message explains one reason why the
Christian Church seems to be so powerless in these days ~ not
much anointing, not much respect, and not much authority. We
have spared the good things ~ things that God wants us to give
up for Him. We have compromised with the ways of the world,
and it has cost us dearly. In Christianity, “having the best of
both worlds” does not work! God is trying to get us to the place
where we will totally trust whatever He says to us, and that we
will obey Him without question ~ because we have learned that
“the Word of the Lord is right”; that there is nothing more sure
and accurate than that which God speaks. But we have to trust
and obey what He says in order to see the fulfilment of His
promises to us! And that means a total commitment to
whatever He says.

God Tests Our Commitment

We need to know that God does test our commitment to Him.
When we say that He comes first in our lives, then He will test
us to see if we really do put Him first before anyone and
everything else. When we demonstrate to God that He is, indeed,
“Number One” and we value Him above all else, then He can trust
us with assignments that clearly show the handiwork of God that
are accompanied by supernatural signs, wonders and miracles.

Let’s face it:
If we have the Living, Supernatural Jesus Christ residing within
us, then surely there should be some evidence of a Supernatural
God at work in and through us??!!

The world is sick of religion ~ it is crying out for a demonstration
of the risen, Living Lord Jesus Christ manifest in and amongst His
people. If we do not learn this lesson, then we will go the way of
Saul and finish up with nothing of eternal value to show for our lives.
Let the voice of God guide you into all truth, and into a life of total
commitment that has no regrets!

-Original Source-



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