An Ounce of Obedience
At the “Families are Forever” conference this year, Joaquin Molina, while talking about prayer and obedience, made the following statement: “One ounce of obedience is better than a ton of prayer.” Sometimes it is difficult for covenant keepers to understand the full depth of this statement. Prayer seems like an easy thing to do whereas obedience isn’t quite that easy.
We see in 1 Samuel 15:21-23 (MSG) that Saul is defending his actions to the Lord. He had been clearly instructed to kill everything when he attacked the Amalekites and yet he kept back a few things in order to use them as a sacrifice.
“Saul defended himself. ‘What are you talking about? I did obey GOD. I did the job GOD set for me. I brought in King Agag and destroyed the Amalekites under the terms of the holy ban. So the soldiers saved back a few choice sheep and cattle from the holy ban for sacrifice to GOD at Gilgal - what’s wrong with that?’ Then Samuel said, ‘Do you think all GOD wants are sacrifices-empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to Him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what GOD tells you is far worse than fooling around in the oc-cult. Getting self-important around GOD is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said “No” to GOD’s command, he says “No” to your kingship.’”
Having something to sacrifice is a good thing, but doing so after the Lord clearly instructed differently cost Saul his kingship.
Likewise, prayer is a good thing. However, if you have been instructed by the Lord and have not obeyed, you can pray for hours and God will kindly remind you that you will sacrifice more if you don’t obey first. You must obey first. God is more glorified and “self” more denied by obedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a lamb to be burnt upon the altar than to bring every high thought into obedience to God and the will subject to his will. 2 Cor 10:4-6 says, “for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.”
Are you taking every thought captive?
Philippians 4: 4-8 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
This clearly says “do not worry about anything.” Are you being obedient to this? He tells us how – by prayer and giving thanks. Then God will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.
When anything burdens our spirits, we must ease our minds by prayer. When we are distressed, we must seek direction and support. We must link thanksgiving with our prayers. We must not only seek what is good for ourselves,but also have a heart that freely gives mercy to others. The effect of this will be the peace of God keeping our hearts. Do not blame God for not listening to your prayers if you are not listening to His call to obedience. You will end up blaspheming God and accusing Him of negligence, while all along you will be the culprit. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” Isaiah 26:3
Written by Carolyn Johnson
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