You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure;
1 Samuel 13:13-14(a) (NIV)
It was customary to offer a sacrifice before Israel went to war. Because the troops were discouraged and threatening to leave, King Saul got ahead of himself and offered the sacrifice. When Samuel arrived, he saw the sacrifice burning, rebuked Saul, and informed him that he had lost the throne of Israel for his sin.
Many do not understand why Saul’s punishment was so severe. After all, he did something good. He offered God a sacrifice that His law demanded. The problem was not the burning sacrifice but that Samuel had told Saul to wait for him to do it. Besides that, Saul was not a priest or a Levite. Only a Levi priest could offer sacrifices. Saul tried to do something godly, His way.
Sadly, Saul is not the only person in the Bible who tried to do the same. Cain tried to give God an offering from his harvest instead of a lamb, the Pharisees and Sadducees judged Jesus for not keeping the Sabbath, and Ananias and Sapphira sold their land and gave part of the money to Peter. They all did good deeds, and all of them ended up in trouble with God.
I have met many people trying to do God’s will their way. That, my friend, is disobedience, and disobedience is sin. I have seen how people go to the mission field not necessarily to serve the poor but to experience a new place or to have fun with their friends. Many attend church not to worship, or serve but as part of a cultural or religious tradition.
My friends, God is not impressed with good deeds from hearts with wrong intentions. We cannot serve the God of the Bible our way. This week, I would like us to evaluate our walks with God. Are we Christians, or do we just assist a Christian church? Let us reflect and if we need to, let us straighten our ways. Instead of sinning trying to do God’s will our way, let us surrender our will to God and live our lives His way.