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.”
1 Samuel 15:22, NLT*
What is it about humans that we always want to make it about us? And about outward, not inward, and doing, not being?
God’s been poking me about this in relation to why I do things and how I choose what to do. Too often my first line of thought is “what do I want/think/feel about this?” If Jesus is really Lord in my life, the better question is “what does God want/think/feel about this?”
Self-focus is insidious and I think we all struggle with it.
It’s silly, really, because if we know God’s way is best, why do we so quickly shift focus to what we want? When I’m focused on my own opinions and feelings I miss the better things God has for me. And I’m not pleasant to be around.
Focus on (and surrender to) His way brings joy, contentment, and a contagious sense of wellbeing. A much better choice… if only it were easier to keep this perspective!
Without this heart-choice—spirit-choice—we’ll either be doing the wrong thing or doing the right thing for the wrong reason. We can even turn the pursuit of holiness into being about us. Take a minute to read Violet Nesdoly’s post about victory vs. obedience.
God our King, Your wisdom and power, kindness and justice make you the perfect ruler. Forgive us when we try to re-take control of our lives, and draw us back to full surrender to You. There is none other like You, none other worthy to be God. Remind us who You are, and help us to trust and obey. Help us worship You with our lives.
Today’s song is “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” by ZOEgirl (not the same song that Hillsong does). Notice the part that says “It’s all about You… It’s not about me.”
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
I think you have this right on. When we focus on self – and feelings and desires – we lose track of what God is doing around us. Let us drop all that and focus on who God brings into our path. Like you, Janet, this morning.
I can’t log in unless I used WordPress.com or Facebook or Twitter so I am using Under the Cover of Prayer.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” Proverbs 3:6 … I think that’s what you’re saying, Jan, and I agree completely. It takes deliberate focus and I confess I’m not so good at it!
Thinking if we had foresight rather than hindsight, we’d have no problem making a quick choice for God’s way. It’s always way better!