Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Notes From My Daughter

I'm starting a new series called - Notes From My Daughter.  This daughter is 19 years old with a heart that desires to serve God. We've had great conversations around her spiritual growth and the evidence of it in her life. She wanted to start sharing some of her thoughts via a blog, but she has not done so as yet. She thought my blog would be a great starting point. So without further introduction, here is her first note.

What You Want vs. What God Wants (Spoiler: in this battle, God wins)

The phrase “Obedience is better than sacrifice” is extracted from a conversation between Saul and Samuel in 1 Samuel 15. In this chapter Saul, the appointed king of the Israelites  disobeys God but finds his actions to be justified because he “technically” performed the task God asked him to do. God asked Saul to destroy Amalek (a city that ambushed the Israelites), and Saul did almost that. Saul chose to keep the King of Amalek alive, the animals alive, and kept “all that was good” (verse 9). Samuel, the priest of Israel, is instructed to confront Saul about how the Lord now rejects Saul as king because of his actions. There are 3 basic things that I took away from this chapter that we can all learn from:

1. Excuses 

Saul’s reasoning for disobeying God is found in verse 24 where Saul states “I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.” When I first read this chapter I overlooked this verse but now it stands out to me because I relate to Saul’s logic. Sometimes God’s instructions get overshadowed by popular opinion, and it’s not because He wasn't clear in His instructions but that we took our eyes off of Him and put our focus on other human beings. We as humans are swayed at the thought of pleasing other humans instead of LISTENING to what God has to say. It’s natural, but it’s wrong, especially in a leadership position like Saul had. Keep in mind God is not a people pleaser; He see’s beyond the surface of the situation and instructs based on what’s necessary, not what's popular. People are always going to have an opinion but God is the only one who speaks the absolute truth. Stop with the tired excuses.

2. Forgetfulness
The reality is, we are all like Saul. Going back to the beginning of Saul’s story (which starts in 1st Samuel 9) we can see that Saul was initially an “average Joe” who was appointed as King because God chose him for the job. In the beginning of Saul’s reign, Samuel was sure to instill in Saul that he would have to follow God’s will if he wanted to be established (this was the only requirement). However, we all forget the beginning when we are caught up in the now. Humble beginnings are reminders that throughout the whole journey you still NEED to depend on the one who got you started. You cannot do God’s will, without Him. No matter how much you think you have it under control, you need to trust God more than yourself, which leads us to…

3. Pride

Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil” –Proverbs 3:7
Sometimes/Often the actions that we take are all very logical from our own perspective. We think the way in which we interpret what God says precisely matches what he originally said to us. Honestly if this were the case there would be no need for the Holy Spirit who continually guides and protects us, even from ourselves. We think…..wait for it…….WE KNOW IT ALL, or at least we know enough from our point of view. But don’t let yourself fool yourself. God did not ask Samuel for sacrifice; He asked for obedience. He didn't ask for selectivity, but for total submission. He didn't ask for what you heard, but what he told you. It’s not based on you. The only way to be a leader who “Does not lie or change his mind” based off of what he/she thinks is to consistently go back God because the reality is, you need God.

“Obedience is better than sacrifice” said Samuel to Saul. So how does one start being truly obedient?

Obey his words; read them, meditate on them, bind them around your heart (Proverbs 3) and consistently go back to God as he continues to sanctify you. Do not go off of what the majority says, or even what seems right to you, but seek God in ALL things and be willing to LISTEN. A true leader is a person who is dedicated to following God at all times and directs others based off of God’s will. We start by realizing we need God and putting our full trust in him, we continue by following him, wherever he takes us…obedience is key to your walk with God.

Obedience or sacrifice?

PS - please show some love in the comments; I appreciate all my readers!
PPS - I had such a hard time adding those images.


  1. Amen! A wonderful first post that is a challenging, uncompromising Word that ministers to me right where I am. Thanks!

  2. Wow! What a great and mature daughter you have Nylse! Enjoyed this!
    And Nylse...don't be afraid...make that list;)


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